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Kathy Castor's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (FL) - District 14, Democratic
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Kathy Castor 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

  • "Women and their health care providers across the country can breathe easier today after the Supreme Court struck down an outrageous Texas law that closed clinics and blocked medical access to women's health services. The Supreme Court has clearly reaffirmed the constitutional right of women to make their own health care decisions, including access to the full range of medical services. Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature should take note, reverse course on laws they passed that clearly are unconstitutional "undue burdens' on women and their health clinics and doctors." (
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood (
  • "This Republican bill is an unprecedented, radical assault on a woman's right to make her own health and health insurance decisions. It interferes with the relationship between a patient and doctor." (
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

  • Rated 7% by Americans For Tax Reform (
  • "If you make $250,000 or less you will be guaranteed a tax cut. But what folks don't know is that it also applies to everyone else. There's a tax cut for the first $250,000 for everyone, no matter what their income is. But the problem is, if we go too much beyond that, it's going to sock it to the deficit." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Fair Sentencing Act reforms the law that created a sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. The disparity encouraged law enforcement resources to be disproportionately expended on street-level dealers rather than drug traffickers, and disproportionately affected African-Americans. By taking legislative action today, we are fixing this disparity and unfairness in our criminal justice system." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "To the construction workers, the utility workers and the contractors, to the nearby restaurants that get an indirect but important economic jolt, the Recovery Act is doing what it intended right here in Tampa: creating jobs." (
  • "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a dramatic lifeline to families and businesses across Florida and the struggling Tampa Bay area. President Barack Obama initiated a bold recovery plan of action upon taking office just as Franklin Delano Roosevelt did seventy years ago. Our neighbors and community now have better opportunities to stop the downward spiral of shrinking jobs, health care and savings." (
  • 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

  • "It is obvious tea party Republicans never wanted a middle-class tax cut or an extension of benefits for the unemployed, and are willing to harm the economic well-being of our community, seniors, middle-class workers and unemployed." (
  • "Along with President Obama, I have worked for tax relief for hard-working Florida families. We need to ensure that taxpayers learn about all the credits to which they may be entitled. This tax relief will put money back in the pockets of my neighbors and into our economy to spur job growth." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" (
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tampa Bay Times "Castor defended federal education programs, pointing out that Head Start, which prepares young children for school, is an example of an important federal education program. 'It doesn't mean Washington controls them,' Castor said. 'It means they provide those resources to Hillsborough County.'" (
  • "Today at the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, U.S. Representatives George Miller and Kathy Castor spoke with area teachers about the reauthorization of what they call an improved version of NCLB. […] 'We’re going to make it a lot more rational, and stand up for our kids and take a whack at this achievement gap.'" (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against H.R.3 "Keystone XL Pipeline Act" (
  • 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

  • "The appropriation in the bill for energy efficiency and renewable energy is $112 million below the 2014 appropriated level, and it is $528 million below the budget request. Now, I wish we could meet the budget request this year, but, colleagues, we should at least restore the money back to last year's levels, which is still a very modest investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy for America.The funds tied to energy efficiency and renewable energy fuel jobs across America in advanced manufacturing and clean energy." (
  • Signed a letter stating "As public officials, we are writing to express our support for clean energy and urge your company to deepen its investment in energy efficiency and solar power in Florida." (
  • "Mr. Chairman, my amendment increases the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy account by $266 million, to simply restore it to last year's levels, with an offset from the fossil energy account. My amendment will boost energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives across America that have a proven return on investment for taxpayers." (
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.R.2454 "Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ("Cap and Trade")" (
  • Signed a letter stating "Many communities that we represent are already feeling the effects of power sector pollution and climate disruption. Putting Florida on a path to homegrown clean energy and decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels is the best way for our state to safeguard public health and the environment while mitigating the worst impacts of climate disruption." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Our nation has suffered at least 74 school shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre. The factors allowing these rampages are no mystery: loopholes in the background check laws, straw purchases, restrictions on law enforcement, and gaps in our mental health system." (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence (
  • Rated 7% by Gun Owners of America (
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" (
  • Voted against HR 45 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" (
  • "U.S. Rep. Castor intends to urge communities across the country to take concrete steps to tackle climate change and build on the momentum after a nearly 200-country coalition led by President Obama late last year agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions." (
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

  • "These values apply to all except a small number of young people who have been stuck in limbo through no fault of their own. They face obstacles to education and productivity. The Dream Act breathes life into the hopes and aspirations of these young people if they attend college or join the armed forces. Our communities and economy will benefit as well." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Today, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that equal rights are fundamental to our American values and our nation can now turn the page on a patchwork of discriminatory state laws that have blocked marriage equality. It is a great day for this historic announcement in Tampa Bay as we kick off our annual LGBT Pride Parade, one of the largest in Florida." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL) cheered the end of discrimination against gay couples in Florida on this first, historic day of marriage equality. U.S. Rep. Castor credited equal rights advocates across Florida for progress and congratulated all of Florida’s committed couples who have waited so long for marriage equality." (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Most of us agree that deploying long-term combat forces like America previously did in Iraq and Afghanistan would not work unless we were committed to being a permanent occupying force in the Middle East. I know from listening to my neighbors and military experts that such a ground force is not in our national interest, nor does it solve the underlying dynamics that allow violent extremist groups to flourish in areas of poor governance." (
  • Signed a letter stating "However, we are deeply concerned that eight months into Operation Inherent Resolve, the House has taken no action on an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which would provide a clear legal justification for the actions against ISIL." (
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

  • "Social Security is a fundamental promise to each and every American that no matter what happens in their lives, they will have security and stability." (
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "Recent calls to privatize Social Security or use the trust fund to balance the budget deficit will meet with stiff resistance from me and our growing coalition." (


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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