Representative Jan Schakowsky's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (IL) - District 9, Democratic
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Jan Schakowsky has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Illinois Congressional Election 2016 Political Courage Test

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

Women should be able to make their own decisions whether and when to have children. I am a co-author of the Each Woman Act to end the Hyde Amendment restrictions.

YesIn order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate AnswerIn order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Other or expanded principles

I am a co-author of the People's Budget to reduce defense spending and target it efficiently. I introduced the Fairness in Taxation Act to create a 45% tax rate on income over $1M per year, 49% in income over $1B per year

YesDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

I oppose Citizens United, support full disclosure, and am a cosponsor of H.R. 20, the Government of the People Act

NoDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
YesDo you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders?
Other or expanded principles

I support criminal justice reform and am a cosponsor of the bipartisan Sentence Reform Act, H.R. 3713

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesInferred Answer Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations
  • Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? "Yes" (
  • "According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the payroll tax cut and the tax credits expanded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the child tax credit and the earned income tax credits) together would keep more than 2 million Americans above the poverty line and reduce the severity of poverty for 19 million more." (
Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles

Federal investment initiatives like green energy, repairing pipes and bridges, and safe drinking water create good jobs and help our economy. I support targeted tax reduction - such as expanded child care and EITC tax credits - but I do not support "trickle down" tax policies that reduce taxes for the wealthy and profitable corporations. I also support targeted tax incentives - for example, I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3733, to provide tax credits for renewable energy.

YesInferred Answer Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations
  • "I support strong standards for our educational system but believe that No Child Left Behind needs to be substantially overhauled, and that teachers must play a significant role in any education reform we do." (
  • "The Race to the Top competition has created an incentive for school districts and local organizations to partner with one another to implement new ideas. A number of people have raised serious questions about certain aspects of the President's agenda for education, such as the move towards charter schools or the use of competitive grants. That said, the Race to the Top program has jumpstarted the national conversation about how to make education work better for this country's children and has already begun to implement real change." (
Other or expanded principles

I opposed the testing requirements in No Child Left Behind and voted for changes in the new ESEA reauthorization, the Every Student Succeeds Act. My response to the question would depend on what type of education reforms are being required and for which grants.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
YesDo you support increased regulations on the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
Other or expanded principles

I oppose fracking. I introduced H.R. 1515, the Safe Hydration is an American Right in Energy Development (SHARED) Act to require testing of groundwater in the vicinity of hydraulic fracturing operations. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 1902, the Protect Our Public Lands Act, which would prohibit fracking on public lands.

YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles

I am a cosponsor of H.Res. 540 to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you generally support gun-control legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I am a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and support common-sense legislation such as expanded background checks and bans on assault weapons.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Other or expanded principles

While I support the inclusion of a public option and have introduced H.R. 265, the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act, Obamacare has expanded coverage to 18 million Americans, ensured people with pre-existing conditions can get insurance, ended underwriting that increased premiums to people with chronic conditions and women, and lowered drug costs for millions of seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Other or expanded principles

I support comprehensive immigration reform that allows undocumented people to earn citizenship.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles

I am a member of the Equality Caucus. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 197, the Responsible Marriage Act, to guarantee marriage equality. I am also a cosponsor of H.R. 3185, the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination in the workplace and in other parts of our society.

YesInferred Answer Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations
  • Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? "Yes" (
  • "By declaring a global war against nameless individuals, organizations, and nations "associated" with the Taliban and al Qaeda, as well as those playing a supporting role in their efforts, the Detainee Security Act would appear to grant the President near unfettered authority to initiate military action around the world without further congressional approval. Such authority must not be ceded to the President without careful deliberation from Congress." (
Should the U.S use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the United States from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

If targeting means pursuing them, yes. I oppose drone strikes outside of theaters of conflict. I was active in mustering votes for the Iran Deal in Congress, preferring always diplomacy over military force.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles

Social Security is the bedrock of retirement security--providing the majority of income for 2 out of 3 retirees and more than 90% for 1 in 3. I have introduced H.Res. 393, expressing support for protecting and expanding Social Security's earned benefits, while securing its long-term future in a fair and responsible manner.


Indicate what federal spending levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.

Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Slightly Increaseb) Arts
Greatly Decreasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Greatly Increasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Slightly Increaseg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical Research
Slightly Increasei) Scientific Research
Slightly Increasej) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Slightly Increasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

Within many of the categories provided, I support increases in some areas and cuts in others


Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.

Slightly Increasea) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusc) Small business taxes
Maintain Statusd) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Slightly Increasee) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Slightly Increasef) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statush) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Greatly Increasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Slightly Increasej) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusk) Payroll taxes
l) Other or expanded categories

We need to stop providing tax incentives to companies that offshore jobs and profits

Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

I am focused on making sure that we have an economy that works for all, not just the wealthiest few; addressing climate change; and enhancing retirement security by protecting and expanding Social Security and Medicare and providing assistance for long-term care.

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