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Bill Keating's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (MA) - District 9, Democratic
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Bill Keating 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, 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 0% by National Right to Life Committee (
  • "Bill is a strong supporter of women's reproductive rights and policies that afford access to legal, safe reproductive healthcare services. Most recently, he opposed H.R. 3, a bill that aims to rescind tax credits for small businesses that provide their employees with healthcare coverage plans that include legal abortion services." (
  • "Received 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL for work to protect women’s access to healthcare coverage." (
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" (
  • "Q: We've both talked about taxing the wealthy. You've mentioned eliminating the Bush Tax cuts [¦] 50% for top earners. How about that, Bill Keating? Keating: I favor just taxing the millionaires right now. It's a hard sell in this Congress“ Q: Taxing the millionaires meaning what? The Bush tax cuts or the Buffett rule? Keating: the Bush Tax cuts “ they're going to get an average of another $140,000 extra tax cut, while Medicare people are going to have to be paying $6.400 dollars more per year." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We write to urge extension of the highly successful grant program for specified energy property in lieu of tax credits (the "1603 Treasury Grant Program") before it expires on December 31, 2011. Since enactment, this program has leveraged more than $22.8 billion in private sector investment for 22,000 projects across the clean energy industry, including solar, wind, biomass, fuel cells, combined heat-and-power, and hydro, in all 50 states. Extension of this successful and effective program will create jobs, spur economic growth, and promote private sector development of clean energy technologies." (
  • "To address these urgent economic, transportation and safety needs, we believe our country needs a six-year, fully funded and paid-for transportation reauthorization with investments above current funding. Short-term extensions fail to recognize that meaningful, large-scale transportation projects take years to plan, approve and implement. The traditional six-year time-frame allows state departments of transportation to prepare for substantial infrastructure projects. A modern, safe and efficient transportation authorization will not only create jobs now for the construction industry--facing a 13.3 percent unemployment rate--but it will also set the table for long-term job creation and economic growth." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" (
  • "Instead of tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, Bill has advocated for policies that reward companies that create jobs here in America." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Local school boards and communities that have played integral roles in improving our children’s education shouldn’t be stripped of their ability to make decisions that strengthen our educational system." (
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

  • "Today, Rep. Bill Keating announced a total of $200,000 in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (AWP) grants for the City of New Bedford. These grants, which enable recipients to revitalize communities and strengthen local economies, will be used for recreational space and attracting economic redevelopment in New Bedford. The city anticipates linking the redeveloped areas to the planned South Coast Rail system." (
  • "He strongly believes that investing in new energy technologies and incentivizing small businesses will allow us to create jobs in new frontiers." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I opposed legislation in Congress that would prevent the enforcement of the Clean Air Act and eliminate critical EPA regulations I believe that Congress should pass a robust energy bill that increases the use of clean, renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind, in order to create hundreds of clean energy jobs throughout Massachusetts, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, increase America's energy security and protect our coastlines from environmental disasters." (
  • "We must permanently address key sources of pollution and encourage "green' habits, like recycling and other efforts to reduce our carbon footprint." (
  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "No one's rights are infringed upon with universal background checks and their sole purpose is to protect the public. Background checks will be a constructive step towards enhancing our public safety." (
  • "He voted for a statewide ban on assault weapons. In Congress, he will fight hard to close the loophole that allows people on the FBI Terrorist Watch list to buy guns and support federal regulations requiring that all guns sold in this country are equipped with child safety trigger locks." (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against HR 596 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" (
  • "Bill’s conversations with community members have led him to understand that everyone knows someone who has been positively impacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that repealing the healthcare reform improvements would add over $230 billion to the deficit. There is still work to be done to address small business concerns and help senior citizens understand how this law can work for them, and Bill is working with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to fix outstanding issues." (
  • "Bill's conversations with community members have led him to understand that everyone knows someone who has been positively impacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." (
Unknown Position Unknown 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

  • "Bill Keating opposes amnesty. As a District Attorney, Bill Keating enforces our laws and believes that everyone must obey them. His office has prosecuted thousands of criminal cases that resulted in defendants being detained for immigration and deportation action." (
  • "I was proud to be one of the many Irish-American voices that must be heard as we progress toward comprehensive immigration reform, and I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to further this conversation." (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Marriage is a commitment between two adults and no other man nor institution should be able to interfere with that commitment. Now is the time to finally declare that all men and women in this country are truly equal by striking down marriage inequality." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Both candidates said they support airstrikes against ISIS, and they both oppose deploying American ground troops in the 'traditional sense,' as Keating put it. Where they disagree is on a proposal that passed last month to arm and train Syrian rebels. Keating voted against the proposal out of concern that the rebels are infiltrated by terrorists and setting their sights more on removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad than quashing the ISIS threat." (
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

  • "The Social Security Trust Fund's solvency is forecast until 2037, so any radical reforms such as privatization or raising the retirement age are unnecessarily dangerous and would harm efforts to ensure that citizens receive the benefits they deserve." (
  • "It was a bad idea when President Bush tried to privatize Social Security and talked about raising the retirement age, and it is an even worse idea now." (
  • Rated 98% by Alliance for Retired Americans (


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 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.

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. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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