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Rick Larsen's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (WA) - District 2, Democratic
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Rick Larsen 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 (
  • "I am pleased this bill includes the Shaheen amendment which allows female service members and dependents of servicemembers access to reproductive care, including abortions, in the event of rape or incest. Those covered by military health care should have the same health care options that others do in the case of such crimes." (
  • "Since the Roe v. Wade decision 40 years ago, women have had the right to make medical decisions privately with their doctors. I steadfastly support that right." (
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" (
  • " Democrats were willing to put major spending programs on the table, but Republicans insisted on protecting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans while asking fixed-income seniors to sacrifice more through cuts to Social Security and Medicaid. That makes no sense at all." (
  • "While I support an immediate tax cut for middle class families, I cannot support a proposal that will blow a $700 billion hole in the national debt just to cut taxes for people who make over $250,000." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In my home state of Washington, methamphetamine and other drugs have taken a terrible toll on our communities – on local families, schools, and businesses. Meth is a powerful drug, and meth addiction can be extremely difficult to beat. But when drug courts intervene, addictions are overcome, crimes prevented, families reunited, and lives saved." (
  • "The time has come for the federal government to treat the methamphetamine problem with the same urgency that state and local governments and groups have been bringing to the issue for years. A three-pronged approach incorporating prevention, treatment, and law enforcement elements is needed to successfully fight the methamphetamine epidemic." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "My top priority in Congress is to invest in the foundation of long-term economic growth that creates jobs and opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. We need to start with a budget that makes investments in transportation, education, and innovation that let our economy grow." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I championed a five year, job-creating transportation bill that was signed into law in December 2015. This bill makes investments in our roads, bridges, highways and transit systems that will relieve congestion, improve safety and spur economic growth." (
  • "This economic stimulus package will create jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and help Americans hurt by rising unemployment and the high cost of food and fuel." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a bill with support from Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, that preserves tax credits to help families and the middle class. H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act, extends for one year a variety of tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013, applying them to the 2014 tax year." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" (
  • "Today, I supported immediately extending tax cuts for middle class families. Middle class families need this financial relief and will actually use the tax break to spend money and help fuel our local economy." (
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today hailed the up to $60 million federal grant that Washington state will receive to increase access to high-quality early education programs. Washington is one of nine states to be awarded the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services." (
  • "The Impact Aid program to help fund school districts serving children on military bases or Indian reservations will receive $45 million in 2012, Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, said today. The funding was included in H.R. 2005 which Congress passed with Larsen's support last week. The funding includes $5 million for schools serving children with severe disabilities." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Last night, the Senate rejected the Keystone XL pipeline. I voted against the pipeline last Friday, but the full House voted for it." (
  • Voted against H.R. 3 "Keystone XL Pipeline Act" (
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

  • "Congress has taken several steps in the last few years to reduce energy use and pollution from energy, including: […] Creating new tax credits for renewable energy, allowing wind and solar projects in our state to move forward during these difficult economic times." (
  • "As we seek to relieve pressure on the oil markets, we must continue developing renewable energies and increase our fuel efficiency. One example of this is our investment in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies, as well as making our traditional vehicles more fuel efficient." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Larsen said he voted in 2009 for a cap and trade system that would have regulated CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions in the country." (
  • "Our country must lead with action to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the harmful effects of climate change worldwide. With the plan President Obama submitted to the U.N. today, the U.S. is showing the world that we are committed to doing our part to reduce fossil fuel use." (
  • "Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today praised the announcement from President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping that both countries will work to limit greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Gun violence has affected constituents in every Congressional district, and as their representatives, Members of Congress deserve the opportunity to vote on bills that would address this epidemic. Congressional silence is not a sign of respect, but rather an institutional indictment. We must right this wrong. You must allow a vote on substantive legislation to address gun violence." (
  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "I continue to hold my position that Congress should reinstate the assault weapons ban and ban high-capacity ammunition clips above ten rounds per clip, as proposed by Rep. McCarthy. These military-grade weapons serve no legitimate purpose in civilian life." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Supreme Court's decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a welcome result for middle class families across Northwest Washington and will bolster the necessary changes taking place in health care." (
  • "The Affordable Care Act has opened the door to health care for millions of people nationwide who otherwise would not have been able to afford coverage. Five years in, the uninsured rate is at its lowest recorded level and health care costs are rising at the slowest rate in nearly fifty years." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (
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

  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" (
  • "Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform to address all of these questions and create clear legal pathways to legal residency for those who wish to come here and contribute to our nation. That must include passing the DREAM Act, to make sure those who came here as children and are contributing to our nation are allowed to stay in the country they call home." (
  • "I have long supported helping DREAMers succeed in our country. Young people who are pursuing higher education or military service are contributing to our economy and our society and should be allowed to stay. I will continue to fight to protect these young immigrants and the talents and ideas they bring to their communities." (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "I am proud that Washington state voters led the charge for marriage equality, making our state one of the first to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote." (
  • "I am so proud that Washington state has been a leader in advancing LGBT equality and ensuring that all loving couples have the right to marry, but for far too many Americans, inequality remains." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The National Defense Authorization Act creates a smart defense budget that focuses on the right priorities to protect America and support our troops. […] This budget will help America fight terrorists by investing in Special Operations forces, supporting the use of Predator drones, and expanding our ability to assist foreign militaries build their own capacity to fight terrorists." (
  • "[…] voted for the bipartisan McGovern-Jones Amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. […] Importantly, the amendment did not prohibit the President from attacking Al Qaeda forces wherever they are located, from gathering, providing, or sharing intelligence with U.S. allies operating in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or from modifying US military operations during redeployment." (
  • "If ISIL is allowed to grow, they could become a direct threat to the U.S. […] The U.S. can provide support with targeted airstrikes and assistance in building the capacity of these indigenous forces." (
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

  • Rated 92% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "Today's rally gives me the opportunity to stand united with my colleagues in D.C. and my constituents in Washington state who are also rallying today to say 'No' to President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security." (
  • "Social Security must remain a safety net that covers all of our seniors. Washington state seniors have spent a lifetime contributing to Social Security. They are entitled to the benefits they have earned. For that reason, I oppose the privatization of Social Security." (


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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