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Henry Cuellar's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (TX) - District 28, Democratic
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Henry Cuellar 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-life Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 7 "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015" (
  • Rated 0% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (
No 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

  • "Congressman Cuellar believes in lowering taxes for everyday hard-working American families and sparking economic growth to sustain and create new jobs." (
  • "Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28) voted in favor of a tax package that restores more than four dozen tax cuts and prevents a burdensome tax increase on the business community and millions of American families." (
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, Project 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

  • "Not only is this an historic investment in Texas students - it's also smart economic policy. These funds will create jobs right away, and the infrastructure they build will improve Texas education and strengthen our economy for years to come." (
  • "One year after being signed into law, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has delivered over $19 billion in committed federal funding to Texas and provided over $4.2 billion in tax cuts to hard-working Texas families and individuals. This has no doubt delivered a boost to average, everyday working Texans in the midst of these tough economic times." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Congressman Cuellar believes in lowering taxes for everyday hard-working American families and sparking economic growth to sustain and create new jobs." (
  • "As our economy continues to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, businesses, taxpayers, and American families would face short-term harm and instability if these tax cuts were not extended," said Congressman Cuellar. "These cuts will provide certainty to businesses across the county and in Texas, including farmers, ranchers, the industrial sector, and many others for the coming year." (
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "By expanding the Race to the Top program to allow school districts to apply, the Department of Education is offering South Texas schools their fair shot at a piece of the $400 million pie should they qualify and win. I am hopeful that eligible schools in our community will take advantage of this opportunity to improve classroom instruction to help close achievement gaps and meet all students' needs." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The clear linkage to job creation, the economy, and domestic energy security demonstrates that it is in our national interest to invest in this project and approve construction of the Keystone pipeline." (
  • Voted in favor of S. 1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone 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

  • "We have a number of domestic energy resources we can expand and we should continue to make investments in natural gas, wind, solar and other alternative energy fuels to power Texas and the rest of the country." (
  • "That's why Congressman Cuellar believes in expanding our domestic energy resources here at home by making critical investments in alternative fuels, in addition to, domestic oil, gas and coal." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "August 1st letter to EPA on concerns of Clean Air Transport ruling. This EPA ruling would mean higher energy costs for all Texans. Because of this, Congressman Cuellar has been speaking with the administration about the impact of this flawed policy. " (
  • Signed a letter stating: "By setting a nationwide energy efficiency standard that precludes a consumer from choosing to install a noncondensing furnace, DOE will be forcing many homeowners either to abandon the use of natural gas to heat their homes or to pay substantially more for the installation of a furnace that meets the new standard. Each of these options will cost residents, regardless of in what part of the country they reside, thousands of dollars." (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 0% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "I support the Supreme Court's ruling to preserve and apply the Second Amendment throughout this great nation as our Founding Fathers intended. This landmark decision upholds the constitutional rights of Americans and ensures citizens nationwide their individual freedom to keep and bear arms no matter where they live." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "These enrollment numbers show that the Affordable Care Act is working and is giving millions of Americans the peace of mind they deserve." (
  • "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes sure that no one will ever be turned away again due to a pre-existing condition and also provides for free preventative care as a way of encouraging people to get regular checkups and treat health issues before they become more complicated and more expensive to treat." (
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

  • "That's all we're asking for – a vote on comprehensive immigration reform that will provide smart border security, fix the broken visa system, and provide legal status to the 11-12 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows." (
  • "I support a comprehensive approach to reform that includes a path to earned citizenship for the 11-12 million undocumented immigrants living in this country." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "As of today, all Americans across our nation now have the equal right to marry whom they so choose. This ruling, however, and as Justice Kennedy stressed in his Majority Opinion, does not take away from the First Amendment rights of religious organizations and persons to teach the principles that are so central to their lives and faiths and to continue the family structure they have long revered." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Cuellar will fight to give our law enforcement agencies the resources and tools to keep known terrorists from entering our country. Cuellar will support legislation to fight cyber terrorism, find and fight terrorist cells in our country, making American terrorist targets less vulnerable to attack, and providing more resources to our first line defenders on our borders." (
  • Signed a letter stating "[…] it is time to devote ourselves to a negotiated peace, and work with allies, including surrounding Arab states that have a vested interest in the security and stability of the region, moving forward with both a peace plan and a coordinated assault 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

  • "In addition, I oppose the creation of private retirement accounts, which I believe will drain money that is badly needed to help maintain the current system. Experts predict that the proposed private accounts would take nearly $5 trillion dollars from the Social Security trust fund, and would require massive new borrowing that would drive up the national debt." (
  • "Cuellar has pledged to protect Social Security and Medicare and opposed total privatization efforts that would take $1.5 trillion from Social Security to set up private accounts over the next ten years leaving a massive hole in Social Security funding." (


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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