Patrick Murphy's Political Positions

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Patrick Murphy refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

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 are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Patrick Murphy supported the interests of NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent in 2009. (
  • Planned Parenthood. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Patrick Murphy supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2008. (
  • Planned Parenthood. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 14 September 2010. Planned Parenthood endorsed Patrick Murphy in the 2010 general election. (
  • Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy Celebrates 33rd Anniversary Of Roe v. Wade. 22 January 2006. "Thirty-three years ago, the Supreme Court gave women the right to make personal medical decisions between themselves and their doctors. Roe v. Wade gave women a fundamental right to privacy, and now more than ever, we need to protect that right. I taught constitutional law at West Point, and I understand that every woman has a fundamental right to privacy. When I'm elected to Congress, I will aggressively fight to protect a woman's right to choose." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy Receives Planned Parenthood Endorsement. 27 June 2006. "I want to thank Planned Parenthood, and everyone from the 8th District, for their support for change in November. As a former prosecutor and constitutional law professor, I understand that Roe v. Wade is settled law, and that the right to privacy is absolutely guaranteed in the United States Constitution. Abortions should be safe, legal and rare - but above all it is a difficult personal decision that must be made by a woman and her doctor." (
  • Patrick Murphy. H Amdt 509 to HR 3962. 111th Congress. An amendment printed in Part C of House Report 111-330 to codify the Hyde Amendment in H.R. 3962. The amendment prohibits federal funds for abortion services in the public option. It also prohibits individuals who receive affordability credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions. However, it allows individuals, both who receive affordability credits and who do not, to separately purchase with their own funds plans that cover elective abortions. It also clarifies that private plans may still offer elective abortions. Project Vote Smart Summary: Patrick Murphy voted NO on 7 November 2009. (
  • National Right to Life Committee. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Tim Murphy supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2009. (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Patrick Murphy. Fighting for Working Families. 1 January 2001. "Being able to live the American Dream is not just about good jobs, it's also about affordable healthcare, a clean and safe environment, security for our older Americans, and a quality education that promotes values and learning for all our children. It should be a crime to pass on to our children the crippling debt we are leaving, which is currently at $276 billion with no end in sight. In fact, the House just passed the repeal of the estate tax in April 2005, which adds a burden of another $290 billion over the next ten years." (
  • National Taxpayers Union. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Patrick Murphy supported the interests of the National Taxpayers Union 55 percent in 2009. (
  • Williams, Juan. Democrats Run Iraq Veterans for Congress. 3 August 2010. "WILLIAMS: Democrat Murphy responded by arguing that eliminating the inheritance tax would be a tax break for the super rich. He said there are already exemptions for family farms and estates valued at less then $5 million. Mr. MURPHY: That's fine. That's only for $5 million. That's the Paris Hilton tax cut. So if Mike Fitzpatrick wants to stand with Paris Hilton, let him stand with Paris Hilton. I'm going to stand with the family farmers? " (
  • Patrick Murphy. Message to Veterans. 1 January 2001. "Where's our country's focus? Additionally, in Spring 2005, Congress has cut veterans benefits by $176 million for 2006 alone, and $798 million over the next ten years. At the same time, they've given additional tax benefits for the ultra-wealthy by abolishing the estate tax to the tune of $290 billion over ten years. We are a nation at war and sacrifices should be expected. But these sacrifices must be made fairly." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy Takes Necessary Step On Behalf of Economy, Struggling Families. 3 October 2008. "This bill is neither perfect, nor popular, but swift, bipartisan action was necessary. With Bucks County families unable to pay their bills and businesses unable to make payroll, we could not afford to play 'Russian Roulette' with the American economy or the future of hard-working families in hopes that everything will be just fine. We have to protect those hurt by the market's collapse and those at risk of losing even more. Our economy is on the brink of disaster - this is no time for bitter partisanship. That's why we needed a plan that will protect middle class families, seniors on fixed incomes and students who want to go to college. This necessary step also provides a jump-start to our economy with property tax relief, incentives for alternative energy and help for small businesses to create jobs. The road ahead won't be easy, but we could not afford to wait." (
  • Patrick Murphy. HR 1. 111th Congress. Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Patrick Murphy voted YES on 13 February 2009. (
  • Patrick Murphy. HR 1424. 111th Congress. To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Patrick Murphy voted YES on 10 March 2008. (
  • Patrick Murphy. To Boost Our Economy, Patrick Murphy Votes for Bipartisan Stimulus Package. 29 January 2008. "Last night, we all saw President Bush pledge to work in a bipartisan way - on behalf of the hard working families in the 8th District, I hope he keeps his pledge. I was proud to vote for this bipartisan economic stimulus package. It will put money into the pockets of middle class families, help small business owners and hopefully jump-start our economy. This is one of many initiatives that mark the beginning of our efforts to put our economy back on track and change the direction of our country." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy Leads Seniors Town Hall Meeting. 10 April 2006. "Another topic covered was Social Security and the Bush Administration's renewed plans to privatize and weaken the system. And seniors can't rely on their current Congressman to protect their retirement benefits. Just weeks after taking office, Fitzpatrick gave his rubber stamp to the Bush Administration's privatization scheme, telling the Doylestown Intelligencer [Mr. Fitzpatrick goes to Washington, Feb. 22, 2005] that he chose to support Bush's proposed private accounts. Murphy vowed that he would never vote to privatize or weaken Social Security." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Murphy Rejects Fitzpatrick's Plan to Raise Payroll Taxes, Privatize Social Security. 23 October 2006. "'I have taken a pledge never to support privatizing Social Security, and I stand by my word,' said Patrick Murphy, former captain in the U.S. Army, Iraq war veteran, and Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District. 'Congressman Fitzpatrick and President Bush want to turn our seniors' retirement funding into a gamble by privatizing Social Security. We need a change in direction and that starts with a Congressman who will stop raiding the Social Security trust fund and not raise taxes on hard working middle-class Americans.' Barbara Kennelly, President and CEO of the National Committee to Protect and Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said, 'Under current leadership, our seniors' retirement security is at risk of being privatized. We need leaders in Washington, like Patrick Murphy, who will fight to protect Social Security for future generations of seniors. I have met with Patrick Murphy and am delighted to say that he will be a champion for Social Security and seniors here in the 8th district and across America.'" (
  • Patrick Murphy. Issue Position: Social Security. "In 2006, when President Bush and other Republicans wanted to privatize Social Security, Congressman Murphy stood up for seniors and strongly opposed their plans. Privatization would have proven disastrous during the economic downturn of the last several years, as seniors' benefits would have been tied to the volatile stock market: Americans who had worked and paid into the system their entire lives would have been left with nothing." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy Participates in "Read Across America Day." 2 March 2007. "We need to invest in education - that is why I support fulfilling the promises of No Child Left Behind and fixing the flawed budget priorities of past Congresses and this administration." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Issue Position: Education. "Fighting to Fix No Child Left Behind: Congressman Murphy believes that NCLB needs to be restructured to include accountability for our schools, without leaving our teachers 'teaching to the test' and without excessive financial burdens on local governments and property owners." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Patrick Murphy. HR 2454. 111th Congress. To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy. Project Vote Smart Summary: Patrick Murphy voted YES on 26 June 2009. (
  • Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy Votes to Strengthen National Security, Pursue Energy Independence . 18 December 2007. "The cornerstone of the Energy Independence and Security Act increases the fuel efficiency of vehicles to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. The legislation also expands the use of American-grown biofuels to 36 billion gallons in 2022 increases the efficiency of buildings, homes, appliances, and lighting. All totaled it cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by up to 24 percent of what the U.S. needs to do to stop climate change. This is the first congressional increase in CAFE standards in 32 years and the bill will strengthen our national security by slashing U.S. oil consumption by more than 4 million barrels per day by 2030." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Issue Position: Environment/Energy. "Fighting Global Warming: Co-Sponsor of H.R. 1590, the Safe Climate Act. This bill freezes U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, at the 2009 levels. Beginning in 2011, it cuts emissions by roughly 2% per year, reaching 1990 emissions levels by 2020. After 2020, it cuts emissions by roughly 5% per year. By 2050, emissions will be 80% lower than in 1990. These goals are comparable to emissions reduction goals adopted by many states and called for by leading American companies, small businesses, religious organizations, environmental advocates, and others.Creating a Clean Energy Infrastructure: Voted for H.R. 547, the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act. * This measure will make biofuels, like E85 ethanol, easier to access and use by developing new technologies that would allow retailers to offer biofuels using existing infrastructure. Co-Sponsor of H.R. 197, to Extend the Renewable Energy Tax Credit. * Provides a tax credit for electricity produced from renewable energy facilities such as wind, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal, small irrigation power, landfill gas and trash combustion.Co-Sponsor of H.R. 593, to Extend the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction. * This legislation will extend the deduction through 2013 and increase the maximum incentive from $1.80 per square foot to $2.25 per square foot. Co-sponsor of H.R. 2481, to Increase the Number of Hybrid Vehicles on the Road. * This bill would increase the number of hybrid vehicles eligible for federal tax breaks." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy Endorses Safe Climate Act, Says Time to Reverse Climate Change. 12 April 2007. "We need cut greenhouse gas emissions and turn back the clock on dangerous pollution. In order to reverse course and stop the harmful effects of climate change, we need to act with a sense of urgency, which is why this report and the Safe Climate Act are so important. I am proud to be fighting for breathable air and a cleaner environment for all of the families of the 8th district. I appreciate the work of PennEnvironment, the League of Conservation Voters and the other concerned groups right here in Pennsylvania who are making climate change a priority." (
  • Environment America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Patrick Murphy supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009. (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Patrick Murphy. Bucks County Courier Times: Rendell, Reinstate weapons ban. 9 May 2008. "Congressman Patrick Murphy, D-8, a co-sponsor of a bill to reinstitute the assault weapons ban and son of a former Philadelphia police officer, said the government needs to be "proactive" to quell gun violence. "While I support the right of gun ownership and I believe in the Second Amendment, I strongly believe that if someone wants to fire an assault rifle they should join the military," Murphy said." (
  • Patrick Murphy. HR 6842. 111th Congress. To restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. Project Vote Smart Summary: Patrick Murphy voted YES on 17 September 2008. (
  • Gun Owners of America. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Patrick Murphy a grade of F-. (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Patrick Murphy signed The Progressive Change Campaign Committee Polis/Pingree Letter on 27 January 2010. "Representatives Jared Polis and Chellie Pingree are asking other members of Congress to join them in signing this urgent letter to Harry Reid: Dear Majority Leader Reid: As the Senate continues to work on health reform legislation, we strongly urge you to consider including a public option." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Dispelling A Health Care Myth. 12 March 2009. "Mr. Speaker, as we begin in this Congress a potentially transformational debate on the future of health care, I think it is time that we start dispelling some of the myths about American health care. So let's start with this one. If I told you that the country which spent the most money on health care also ranked among the highest in wait times for care, opponents of health care reform would scream, "Well, that is what you get with socialized medicine.'' The sad fact is that I'm describing our own health care system. A recent study published in Business Week showed that amongst the six top industrialized nations, the U.S. ranked fifth in medical wait times. We ranked behind New Zealand, Britain, Germany and Australia. In addition, 26 percent of Americans reported going to the ER for treatment because they couldn't get in to see their doctor, and ER wait times for heart attack patients has nearly doubled in the last 5 years. So when you hear these anecdotes about people waiting for care in other countries that guarantee health care, know the facts. Americans wait longer." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy Announces Support For Long Overdue Health Insurance Reform. 16 March 2010. "After careful consideration and having met with and listened to thousands of constituents, doctors, patients, and health care providers, Murphy will vote to improve access to coverage for middle-class families, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and get the United States' spiraling health care spending under control and on a deficit-reducing path. Health insurance reform is supported by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the American Nurses Association, and the American Cancer Society, as well nearly 300 other organizations, and will make critical and long-overdue improvements to the nation's health insurance system." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Issue Position: Health Care. "Making Health Care More Accessible and Affordable: Proud co-sponsor of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Act. * The bill would provide a tax credit to small employers to help offset the cost of health coverage. * The bill would also: provide more stable and affordable premiums through rating reforms; provide administrative cost savings; give employers and employees an easier way to find coverage; and, offer small business expanded choice with new insurance options. * It has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the National Association of Realtors." (
  • Patrick Murphy. HR 3962. 111th Congress. To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Patrick Murphy voted YES on 7 November 2009. (
  • American Public Health Association. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Patrick Murphy supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 100 percent in 2009. (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Patrick Murphy supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 85 percent in 2007-2008. (
  • Patrick Murphy. Securing Our Borders. 4 August 2008. "I would like to give you a quick update on some of the actions I've taken in Congress to secure our homeland: Cosponsored and voted for H.R. 2399, the Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act. This bill greatly stiffens penalties for those who smuggle illegal aliens into our country. It also streamlines confusing laws for prosecutors and law enforcement who are investigating alien smuggling; Voted to force the government to finally fund the 800-mile border fence authorized in the Secure Fence Act; Voted to increase funding for border security fencing, infrastructure, and technology by over $89 million; Voted for an amendment to increase funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement by $9.1 million... I am also an original cosponsor of the SAVE (Secure America with Verification and Enforcement) Act. This landmark legislation will strengthen overall manpower at the border and will implement new monitoring technology to secure the border. It also will implement a comprehensive plan to enforce the immigration laws already in place and crack down on employers who break the law by employing illegal aliens." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Peace Action West. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Patrick Murphy supported the interests of Peace Action West 50 percent in 2009. (
  • Patrick Murphy. HR 4899. 111th Congress. Supplemental Appropriations Act. Project Vote Smart Summary: Patrick Murphy voted NO on Limiting Afghanistan Military Funding to Withdrawal and Other Specified Purposes on 1 July 2010. (
  • Patrick Murphy. HR 4899. 111th Congress. Supplemental Appropriations Act. Project Vote Smart Summary: Patrick Murphy voted NO on Requiring Timetable for Withdrawal from Afghanistan on 1 July 2010. (
  • Patrick Murphy. Rep. Patrick Murphy Statement on Additional Troops to Afghanistan. 1 December 2009. "I strongly support President Obama for his decision to commit 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. He has listened to our military leaders on the ground, and has decided, along with our military commanders and civilian leadership, to pursue a strategy that ensures our brave men and women serving overseas have the resources and plan to dismantle, disrupt, and defeat Al Qaeda. With these additional troops, our service members and allies can continue to root out and kill the Al Qaeda terrorists who murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, and prevent them from destabilizing Pakistan and obtaining nuclear weapons." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Issue Position: Afghanistan. "After being elected in 2006 Congressman Murphy, the first veteran of the Iraq War elected to Congress, was one of the most outspoken advocates for a change of direction in Iraq and called for a redeployment of troops and resources to Afghanistan. He has repeatedly helped pass legislation that would bring our troops home and give us the resources we need to go after terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan. Although these efforts were blocked by President Bush and pro-war Republicans, Congressman Murphy continued to fight for a new direction in Iraq, a timeline to bring our troops home, and a redeployment of troops and resources to Afghanistan. Congressman Murphy strongly supported President Barack Obama's decision to commit 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan and continues to support the troops and their efforts to route out and kill Al Qaeda terrorists. Congressman Murphy believes that those in our military deserve the resources needed to defeat Al Qaeda and keep them from obtaining nuclear weapons from Pakistan." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Patrick Murphy. Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act Of 2009. 29 April 2009. "Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a cosponsor and strong supporter of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. Ten years have now passed since a University of Wyoming student was tied to a fence and fatally beaten just because he was gay. In the time since, we've seen a Texas man dragged to his death by a truck just because he was black and a woman brutally beaten and killed with a fire extinguisher just because she was transgendered. We've even seen young children at day camp shot just because they were Jewish. Passage of comprehensive federal hate crime legislation that would allow the Department of Justice to assist state and local jurisdictions unable or unwilling to prosecute violent, bias-motivated crimes is long overdue." (
  • NPR: Rep. Patrick Murphy, Iraq Vet and 'Blue Dog'. 9 January 2007. How will you handle social issues like gay marriage and abortion? "I taught constitutional law at West Point. And if we're talking about things like equality, I believe in it. If we're talking about things like a right to privacy, I believe in that. I believe that part of a right to privacy includes a woman's right to choose [abortion]. [And on gay marriage], it's an equality issue. If there are people in a loving relationship [and] they want to go get a civil union, they should be able to." (
  • Patrick Murphy. Representative Patrick Murphy, Veterans Announce Efforts To Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." 8 July 2009. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' clearly isn't working for our military, and it hinders national security and military readiness at a time when America is fighting in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. My time in Iraq taught me that our military needs and deserves the best and the brightest who are willing to serve- and that means all Americans, regardless of their orientation. Discharging brave and talented servicemembers from our armed forces is contrary to the values that our military fights for and that our nation holds dear." (


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

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