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Derek Kilmer's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (WA) - District 6, Democratic
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Derek Kilmer 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 (
  • "Derek believes decisions about women's health care are best made by women in consultation with their doctors and their spiritual advisors. He opposes efforts to restrict access to family planning services and has opposed efforts to limit reproductive health care services." (
  • Seattle Times "Kilmer also supports abortion rights and has voted in favor of same-sex marriage." (
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

  • "We need to get rid of unproductive tax breaks, including tax cuts for the wealthiest. Tax breaks for people making over a million dollars is a wrong plan." (
  • Seattle Times "He wants to end some of former President George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Wherever you live too many folks have felt the impact of heroin and opioid abuse.[...] This scourge has led to overcrowded jails, overwhelmed medical professionals and emergency responders, and families who simply want to do more to help their loved ones. I'm proud to join my colleagues in introducing a bill that invests in programs and professionals that are on the ground helping those struggling with addiction and working to provide lifesaving care." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Very simply, we support transportation and infrastructure investment because our economy needs a national system to safely move people and deliver goods from place to place." (
  • "Salmon are not just a Washington state icon; they are also a staple of our local economy. We need to make investments now to ensure salmon runs remain robust. It's also important to support our coastal communities facing the threats of rising sea levels, severe weather, and the impact of ocean acidification on our waters." (
  • 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.636 "America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015" (
  • "Sponsored the bill to restore the one percent cap on property taxes […] Opposed proposals to raise the sales tax and taxes on employers." (
  • "[...] state and local sales tax deduction was created so families in our state and those that live in states with an income tax are treated equally under the federal tax code. Each year this deduction saves people in our state about $600 on average." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "We applaud the NSF's partnership with the College Board in providing funding for production of the AP Computer Science Principles curriculum framework. We encourage the NSF to similarly invest in the development of an AP Engineering course as well." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "[...] I’d like to see much more focus on reducing our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. I support policies that move us toward a greener economy and the use of more renewable sources of energy. Doing so will not only have environmental benefit, it will also safeguard our economic and national security interests. As a result of these significant concerns, I voted against S.1. Despite my opposition, on February 11, 2015 the legislation passed 270-152 in the House of Representatives." (
  • Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle "None of the Western Washington Democrats, however, favored the pipeline. […] Derek Kilmer of Tacoma […] opposed the pipeline." (
  • 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

  • Signed a letter stating "We are writing on behalf of the 80,000 Americans employed by the U.S. wind industry […] to ask that you promptly extend the current law Production Tax Credit and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC)." (
  • "Derek understands that climate change is real. We have a moral obligation to address it. He supports moving away from fossil fuels toward cleaner energy sources, creating market based mechanisms to limit carbon emissions, promoting renewables, enhancing our electric grid, and improving efficiency in buildings and automobiles." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
  • "He supports moving away from fossil fuels toward cleaner energy sources, creating market based mechanisms to limit carbon emissions, promoting renewables, enhancing our electrical grid, and improving efficiency in buildings and automobiles." (
  • "Today, Representative Kilmer congratulated the Port of Tacoma for securing a grant to reduce diesel emissions at their facilities. The port was one of six sites to receive investments from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the opening for the agency's 'Advancing Sustainable Ports' summit." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • Seattle Times "Two other freshman Democrats, Reps. Suzan DelBene of Medina and Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor, support universal background checks, and Kilmer said he favors limits on ammunition magazines." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While Derek was not in Congress when the Affordable Care Act was passed, he believes Congress should work to fix the problems with it rather than playing politics or going back to a system where people could be denied coverage for preexisting conditions." (
  • "Representative Kilmer has called on the Administration to carefully consider the needs of rural populations when determining payments of specific service providers, such as dialysis care facilities, community health centers, and rural hospitals." (
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

  • "Improving our legal immigration system will ensure American workers receive the benefits of competing on an equal ground. It will reduce exploitation and give undocumented workers and their families a path toward achieving opportunity." (
  • Signed a letter stating "While we commend the steps your administration has taken previously to exercise prosecutorial discretion including through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, we are concerned that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to detain and remove hundreds of thousands of immigrants who pose no threat to public safety [...]" (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I'm proud to hail from a state that stood up and said yes to marriage equality. I don't believe the pursuit of happiness or the ability to start a family with the person you love should end at our state's borders. I'm glad today's ruling will begin to end this era of discrimination. I'll continue to fight to ensure our entire nation is a place where every family is given the respect and recognition it' s entitled to." (
  • Rated 100% by the Human Rights Campaign (
  • "No matter what the Court decides, we will keep pushing so people in loving, committed relationships throughout this Nation can say two simple words with extraordinary meaning: `'I do.'' We will keep fighting to ensure that people don't face discrimination based on whom they love." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Our military – working with troops from other nations – continues to train and advise the Afghan National Security Forces in hopes of ensuring that they are capable of protecting their own nation and keeping it from becoming a haven for terrorism going forward." (
  • "Congressional Oversight of Drone Strikes Representative Kilmer cosponsored this provision that requires the Administration to notify Congressional defense committees when there are targeted lethal operations by U.S. military overseas. It will also require a report outlining all legal and policy considerations relating to the use of force by the U.S. military against terrorists overseas." (
  • Signed a letter stating "We welcome the possibility of improved ties with Iran. But we believe that we must increase the intensity and accelerate the pace of our pressure on Iran as long as it is accelerating its efforts toward a nuclear weapons capability. Until Iran fundamentally changes course, the United States must continue to toughen sanctions." (
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

  • "Derek opposes attempts to privatize Social Security and will work to ensure that it continues to be available well into the future so all seniors can retire with dignity." (
  • Rated 90% 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 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.

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