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Robin Kelly's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (IL) - District 2, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Robin Kelly has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2016, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (
  • Abortions should always be legal "Support" (
  • "I believe in a woman's right to choose and in her right to make her own decisions about her body and her healthcare." (
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Many are still without work, struggling to make ends meet. Yet as these families work hard to get back on their feet, the Republican Congress is working to pull the rug out from under them by threatening damaging cuts to important programs like Social Security and Medicaid and increasing their taxes while giving the wealthy a pass." (
  • "That same day, the majority showed where their priorities lie, by handing out unpaid-for, debt-raising tax breaks that will benefit the wealthiest Americans." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I want to take just a moment to say [...] to introduce comprehensive legislation aimed at recalibrating prison sentences for certain drug offenders, targeting violent criminals, and granting judges greater discretion at sentencing for low-level drug crimes. " (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "One of Robin's most significant accomplishments was helping to pave the way for the Fresh Food Fund, a $10 million initiative to increase investment in supermarket development in underserved areas. The program helps create new jobs as well as provide healthy choices for Illinois families." (
  • "The Second Congressional District is home to over 1,200 farms which grow corn, soybeans, and wheat that feed our families, fuel our cars, and raise our livestock. We rely on farmers for everything that we do. I endorse strong federal policies that support family farmers, and ensure they are able to make the investments they need to increase their productivity and meet the nutrition and energy needs of our ever-growing population." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I recently introduced H.R. 3328, the American Work Opportunity Act, which extends the work opportunity tax credit for businesses that put Americans back to work." (
  • "Let's work to reduce the tax burden on the middle class, putting more money in their pockets and making it easier for them to afford their homes and to send their kids to school so that the American Dream is within everyone's reach." (
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "A re-write of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as 'No Child Left Behind,' is long overdue. We need a bipartisan and transparent approach to re-writing No Child Left Behind. Through a collaborative effort, we can ensure that under-performing schools have the funds they need, that teachers aren’t forced to unnecessarily change their curricula to accommodate high stakes tests, and that every student is college and career-ready." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In Congress, I will continue to work with my colleagues to pass common sense energylegislation that: […] Lessens our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, while increasing production of domestic alternative energy sources such as biofuels, wind, and solar power […]" (
  • "As demand increases and these resources become scarcer, the cost for these resources will only increase. For this reason, I believe renewable energy such as wind, solar, and biofuels must be the future of American energy. It is not only better for the environment; it is better for the economy in the long run." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "America must make a transition to renewable energy in a responsible manner. Our current consumption of energy relies heavily on fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil, which damage our planet and its inhabitants. The danger posed by inaction has never been more threatening. We must fight to preserve our planet and prevent further destruction to our environment. The time to act on climate change is now." (
  • "Investing in the 'green economy' is a win-win that decreases our energy costs, reduces our carbon footprint, increases our public health, protects our air and water, and decreases our dependence on foreign oil which will make our nation fundamentally safer." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Dickey Amendments have denied crucial gun violence prevention research. Lifting the ban on federal gun violence research is a crucial first step to putting an end to this senseless violence." (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence (
  • "Robin Kelly's Five Point Pledge: 1. Pass a comprehensive ban on assault weapons. 2. Eliminate the gun show loophole. 3. Pledge never to receive support from groups that oppose reasonable gun safety legislation. 4. Ban high capacity ammunition magazines. 5. Support laws that prohibit conceal and carry permits." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I believe every Illinois family and small business owner should have access to quality, affordable healthcare. The landmark Affordable Care Act isn't a panacea for all that ails the American healthcare system but it's an important step in creating a new foundation for a healthy American future." (
  • "The Affordable Care Act rightfully makes premium tax credits available to all eligible Americans regardless of where they live. That’s why this bill works. It bridges the divide that contributes to health inequality in America." (
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Our nation’s immigration system is broken. Passing immigration reform that supports a sensible path to citizenship, and attracts the best and brightest to the United States to build a diverse domestic workforce is essential to our long-term growth." (
  • "I support the President taking action to address our nation's immigration crisis by securing our borders, prioritizing criminals in deportations and making everyone accountable in paying their fair share of taxes. His executive action is an important first step toward immigration reform, which Republicans in Congress have punted on for far too long. It is now incumbent upon Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to fix our country's broken immigration system and keep families together." (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed letter stating "We write to urge the Social Security Administration (SSA) to take steps to ensure that same-sex couples receive the Social Security spousal and survivor benefits that they have earned. In June 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, restricting federal recognition to only heterosexual unions, was unconstitutional. By striking down this discriminatory law, the Supreme Court enabled federal agencies to begin extending federal benefits to many same-sex couples." (
  • "I support same-sex marriage." (
  • "Regardless of race, religion, gender, or region, LGBT Americans will have this right and represent our deepest held American values of freedom and equality guaranteed under the constitution." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support a Syrian no-fly zone or the U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones? Why or why not? "I think more must be done to ensure that Syrian civilians are protect from the horrors of this conflict. I’m supportive of efforts to reduce casualties tied to flying IED’s and 'barrel bombs,' and trust the judgment of America’s military strategists who are advising the President on 'no fly zones' and other humanitarian policies that will do just that." (
No Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "Standing up against efforts to privatize Social Security or end Medicare by replacing it with a voucher program. These proposals will hurt seniors. I support reforms that will make Social Security and Medicare more efficient without reducing benefits for our seniors." (


Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Illinois State Legislative Election 2006 National Political Awareness Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xb) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.
h) Other or expanded principles
State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.
Slightly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Emergency preparedness
Slightly Increased) Environment
Greatly Increasee) Health care
Maintain Statusf) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusg) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statush) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories
State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreasee) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Increasef) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Increaseg) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Greatly Decreaseh) Property taxes
Maintain Statusi) Sales taxes
Slightly Decreasej) Vehicle taxes
k) Other or expanded categories


Yesl) Should the state sales taxes be extended to Internet sales?
m) Should accounts such as a “rainy day” fund be used to balance the state budget?
n) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
Noo) Should college students in Illinois earning a B average receive a $1,000 annual tax credit in their first two years of college?
Yesp) Should there be a $500 sales tax rebate on the sale of certain fuel-effcient cars in Illinois?
q) Other or expanded principles

M and N only if there is no other choice

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Noa) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Illinois governors?
Nob) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Illinois state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
No1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
No4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yese) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yesf) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yesg) Do you support prohibiting media exit polling of voters until all polling locations in Illinois are closed?
Yesh) Should Illinois recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support the death penalty in Illinois.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
d) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
Xe) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
f) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
g) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xi) Require that crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, disability, or sexual orientation be prosecuted as hate crimes.
Xj) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
k) Increase state funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent or respond to terrorism.
l) Strengthen sex-offender laws.
Xm) Support the restriction of the sale of products used to make methamphetamine (e.g. tablets containing pseudophedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine).
n) Other or expanded principles

H--depends on age

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
Xa) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xd) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
e) Increase funds for hiring additional teachers.
Xf) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
h) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xi) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
Xj) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
k) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
Xl) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
n) Other or expanded principles

B--I would consider with more info
I--Based on merit/accountability

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that retrain displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xd) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xf) Support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Illinois' anti-discrimination laws.
g) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Other or expanded principles
Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies’ decisions on:
Yesa) Public employment
Yesb) State college and university admissions
Yesc) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles

Using principles of affirmative action rather than quotas.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
Xb) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
Xc) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Xd) Increase funding for improvements to Illinois' power generating and transmission facilities.
e) Support funding for open space preservation.
Xf) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
g) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Xa) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
b) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
Xe) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
Xf) Require a license for gun possession.
g) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
Xa) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
b) Transfer current Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
c) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xd) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
e) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
f) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Illinois.
Xg) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xh) Require pharmacists who stock contraceptives to disperse emergency contraception without delay to anyone with a prescription for it.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.
Xa) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xb) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
c) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
d) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
e) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
f) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
g) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
h) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 75 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

1. Change how IL funds education -- less reliance on property tax
2. Economic Development -- more revenue into state
3. Technology in the classroom

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