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Keith Ellison's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (MN) - District 5, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Keith Ellison 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 Planned Parenthood http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/38982/keith-ellison/2 (votesmart.org)
  • "Forty-three years after Roe v. Wade, women are still fighting for their right to choose. Today's Supreme Court ruling will keep dozens of women's health clinics open, and help ensure that retrogressive, anti-choice laws don't get between a woman and her health by closing clinics in Texas and around the country. And that's a victory for all women and all Americans." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1104541/rep-ellison-statement-on-supreme-court-ruling-protecting-reproductive-rights (votesmart.org)
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

  • Voted in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/42053 (votesmart.org)
  • "Tax breaks for billionaires don’t create jobs. The George W. Bush Presidency and the Republican recession are proof of that. Giving rich people more money just for being rich does nothing to help the economy, in fact, serves only to exacerbate our problems. No amount of Republican rhetoric can change that fact." https://ellison.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/incoming-cpc-chairs-ellison-and-grijalva-statement-on-tax-cut-deal (ellison.house.gov)
  • "Remaking the tax code the way Chairman Camp is proposing would concentrate more power and wealth in the hands of a few instead of investing it in America's working families. Tax reform is one of the country's best chances to make sure big corporations and wealthy individuals begin to pay their fair share." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/850737/cpc-co-chairs-tax-reform-must-do-better-for-working-families#.VZ1GXnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "The top 2 percent can afford to contribute more, but this bill ensures that middle class Americans are not asked to pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. Asking the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to permanently pay their fair share is a positive step, as are modest increases in tax rates on money earned on Wall Street, and the phasing out of exemptions for the richest 2 percent." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/763455/rep-keith-ellison-statement-on-his-vote-in-favor-of-american-taxpayer-relief-act (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Our economy depends on our ability to get where we need to, when we need to, quickly and affordably. Creating safe, inexpensive, and reliable transportation options is one of Keith's top priorities in Congress. Keith supports substantially increasing investment in our crumbling transportation and water infrastructure to create good-paying construction jobs and address an urgent national need." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1087933/issue-position-economy (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/54470 (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I'm in favor of cutting the taxes of Americans who are struggling hard every day to put food on the table for their family. That's who I think needs the tax cut." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/501254/the-progressive-caucus/?search=lower%20taxes#.VhfR7HUViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Today I voted to provide tax relief for thousands of working Minnesota families. 97% of families and small businesses across America will benefit from these tax cuts, with a typical family saving approximately $1,000 per year." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/573084/congressmen-ellison-votes-to-extend-middle-class-tax-cuts/?search=tax%20breaks#.Vhbv93UViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "I am a cosponsor of the Student Achievement and Successful Schools Act of 2007. H.R.1169, introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum, expresses the sense within Congress that full funding should be provided to schools to allow them to satisfy the federal mandates required under NCLB." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/370759/issue-position-education#.VZ1IeHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VZV9i_lViko (votesmart.org)
  • "I have serious concerns about authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline—which would cause the same carbon dioxide emissions as over 37 million passenger cars—in any circumstance." https://ellison.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-ellison-stands-against-endangering-our-environment-to-fill-big-oils (ellison.house.gov)
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

  • "We must make strategic investments in green technologies, provide strong incentives for companies to act responsibly, and make it more affordable for American families to adopt Earth-friendly lifestyle choices." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/570649/issue-position-environment-energy-global-warming#.VZ1KO3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 2454 "Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ('Cap and Trade')" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/26496#.VZWBWflViko (votesmart.org)
  • " […] Keith continues to advocate for policies such as cap and trade that reduce our carbon footprint and transition away from fossil fuel use." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/916537/issue-position-energy-and-environment/?search=cap%20and%20trade#.VhfVTXUViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "No religion justifies such a senseless act of terror. All decent people must condemn this hateful act that claimed the lives of 50 people and injured 53 more. Sadly, Orlando has now joined Aurora, Charleston, Newtown, Oak Creek, and many other communities rocked by gun violence. This is yet another reminder that Congress must pass meaningful, common-sense gun reforms that include a ban on assault weapons, which have no place in civilian hands. Members of Congress must stand up to the NRA." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1094655/rep-ellison-statement-on-shooting-at-orlando-nightclub (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 7% by National Rifle Association http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/38982/keith-ellison/37 (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/29181#.VZWCKflViko (votesmart.org)
  • "The Affordable Care Act is an important first step in a longer effort to fix our broken health care system and to guarantee quality, affordable coverage for every American." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/556644/ellison-praises-new-patients-bill-of-rights-warns-against-putting-insurance-industry-back-in-charge-of-health-care/?search=Affordable%20Care%20Act#.VhfhznUViko (votesmart.org)
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

  • Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor H.R. 5281 "DREAM Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/32955#.VZqYwPlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Keith supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes: a clear path to citizenship to those who are already in the U.S. working and paying taxes; expedited process for family reunification; and workable employment verification system with strict penalties for employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants. Keith also supports the DREAM Act, which increases access to higher education for the children of immigrants and gives them an opportunity to succeed and give back to their communities." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1087962/issue-position-immigration (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "But a clearly stated purpose and effect of this law was to disapprove of and disadvantage lesbians and gay men; this distinguishes DOMA from a routine act of Congress. Where, as here, Congress classifies persons, denying an entire class of citizens the rights that are afforded others, the Supreme Court has applied rational basis review to invalidate those laws. None of the reasons provided by Congress in 1996 or created in response to litigation rationally serve a legitimate federal interest." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/720129/#.VZq5vflViko (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/38982/keith-ellison/76 (votesmart.org)
  • Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Any military action against ISIL must be led by Iraqis and Syrians. The amendment passed today allows for the training and support of vetted Syrian groups. It ensures training will not take place in Syria -- keeping American troops away from the battlefield. The amendment also brings a previously secret operation to help the rebels into the light and ensures the process of aiding them is more transparent." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/930564/rep-ellison-statement-on-vote-to-aid-syrian-rebels (votesmart.org)
  • "President Obama's proposal to fight ISIL fails to meet minimal expectations for political, economic and diplomatic solutions that will be vital to ending hostilities." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/972397/progressive-caucus-holds-forum-on-isil-and-the-presidents-aumf-proposal#.VZ1MuHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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

  • Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/38982/keith-ellison/#.VZq73vlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Republicans have been trying to dismantle Social Security ever since President Roosevelt proposed it during the Great Depression. We should not try to bargain for their good will with policies that hurt our seniors, especially since they've been unwilling to reduce tax loopholes for millionaires and wealthy corporations by so much as a dime." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/776740/progressive-caucus-co-chairs-statement-to-president-obama-social-security-benefit-cuts-hurt-our-economy#.VZ1NJnUVhHw (votesmart.org)

Key

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.

Minnesota Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage 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.

Pro-choiceCandidate Answera) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Nob) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Noe) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles
1) Spending
Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Greatly Increaseb) Arts
Greatly Decreasec) Defense
Slightly Increase1) Intelligence operations
Greatly Decrease2) Military hardware
Greatly Decrease3) National missile defense
Greatly Increase4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Greatly Increase5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status6) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increased) Education
Greatly Increasee) Environment
Slightly Increasef) Homeland security
Greatly Increaseg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical research
Slightly Increasei) Scientific research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Slightly Increasek) United Nations
Slightly Increasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
2) Taxes
Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.
Slightly Increasea) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increased) Corporate taxes
Slightly Increasee) Gasoline taxes
Greatly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Greatly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
NoCandidate Answer3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
No4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
YesCandidate Answer5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
6) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
Nob) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesc) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yesd) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
Yese) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles
Noa) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yesb) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Noc) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Yesd) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Noe) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Yesf) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yesb) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yesc) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
Yesd) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
Noe) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yesb) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
Nod) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yese) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yesb) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yesc) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yesd) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
Noe) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yesf) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
Nog) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Nob) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
Noc) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Yesd) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Noc) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
Nod) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yese) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Nob) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
Noc) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
Nod) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
Nob) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesc) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
Nod) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yese) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yesf) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesg) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yesh) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Noi) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Nod) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 100 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.

Congressman Ellison's top legislative priorities include economic prosperity for working families, peace at home and abroad, environmental sustainability, and civil and human rights.

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