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David Cicilline's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (RI) - District 1, Democratic
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David Cicilline 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, 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 deserve equal pay for equal work, protection from violence, including family violence, and the right to full reproductive freedom. In Congress, David will fiercely protect a woman's right to make health care decisions, free from government intrusion and interference." (
  • "David firmly believes that it is a woman's right to make personal decisions about her own reproductive health. That's why David has fought to protect women's reproductive health care by speaking out and voting against legislation that would deny full reproductive freedom, such as the the Protect Life Act." (
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

  • “House Republican leadership held a vote on H. Con. Res. 112--The Republican Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution. This budget proposal sets the wrong priorities for my home state of Rhode Island and the nation as a whole--extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, making deep cuts to programs that serve middle class families, and ending the Medicare guarantee for our seniors [¦] budget proposed by Representative Paul Ryan (R WI), and approved 228 191 by the House of Representatives, would not only fail to create jobs, it would also give the wealthiest Americans an average tax cut of $150,000." (
  • “On Tax Day, U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) reiterated his call for Congress to take steps to restore tax fairness for the middle class, beginning with the Buffett Rule, which would ensure that people making over $1 million per year do not pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans [¦] 'Special interests long ago wielded their influence in Washington, D.C. to create a tax code that allowed wealthy individuals and corporations to avoid paying their fair share while middle class families foot the bill. It is wrong that we continue to ask hardworking Rhode Island family to pay higher tax rates than our nation's wealthiest income earners.” (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating “As a threshold matter, the 'drugs minus two' amendment fixes flaws in the guidelines that have resulted in excessive sentences for approximately 51,000 currently incarcerated federal drug offenders who have been sentenced since 1987.” (
  • Signed a letter stating “Fundamental fairness demands that all eligible prisoners receive a chance to seek punishments that hew more closely to the mandatory minimum drug sentences that set the baseline for the drug sentencing guidelines.” (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "With increasing gas prices and outdated infrastructure, rail is becoming an increasingly critical component of our nation's transportation system and our economy. From Bucks County to Providence, we applaud Secretary LaHood for his commitment to rail improvements that run through the hearts of our districts and the heart of America's commercial centers. Most importantly, these projects will create substantial construction and engineering jobs that will help put America back to work while improving our transportation network." (
  • “The fact that our Nation's investment in High Speed Rail remains a target for the budget chopping block is not just disappointing--it is a threat to our economy. We have to commit to paying down our debt. But, we must also commit to putting people back to work, supporting our infrastructure, and ensuring our Nation's ability to compete in the global economy." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “I urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their plans to hold middle class tax cuts hostage to their demands for another tax cut for millionaires and billionaires and to pass a balanced tax plan, such as that contained in H.R. 15 that extends tax cuts for 98 percent of all Americans and 97 percent of small businesses.” (
  • “To restore tax fairness and provide tax cuts for economic growth, the Democratic budget alternative that Cicilline supported in the House includes the Buffett Rule, and extends middle class tax cuts while ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.” (
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “The congressman commented that just as Rhode Island's education effort is being helped by a $75-million Race to the Top grant from the federal government, he foresees a need to fight 'for additional federal investment' and was happy to see that President Obama's budget proposal calls for more Race to the Top." (
  • "I was proud to be part of Rhode Island's Race to the Top Delegation, along with Superintendant Tom Brady and Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith, which traveled to Washington last year to present the best case for Rhode Island's application, and I am even more proud to be here with you today to celebrate our achievements. I applaud the work that has been done to strengthen the foundation Rhode Island has built to drive meaningful education reform and the public-private partnerships that are driving the state's successful initiative. Due to these partnerships, our state's education system will have a brighter future and our children will be college- and career-ready." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1 “A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline” (
  • “We should proceed cautiously.” (
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 only way to get gas prices down in the long run, while also helping improve our environment, is to support the development of renewable energy and advanced vehicle technologies.” (
  • “Additionally, Congress and the Administration must work together to strengthen support for domestic clean energy technology manufacturing and deployment.” (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “Despite these attacks on our environment, David has been has a strong and vocal advocate – voting to uphold important protections for clean air and water.” (
  • "The Republican budget includes tens of billions in tax breaks for Big Oil, and weakens our ability to ensure clean air and a healthier environment for our children, by eliminating nearly every tool the Environmental Protection Agency has to address serious public health threats from carbon pollution. It also slashes investments in clean energy -- like wind and solar. These key investments in energy would not only help rein in our dependence on foreign oil, but also create jobs." (
  • "I believe we have a responsibility to address it and do whatever we can to protect our environment and develop and produce clean energy. I believe it is an opportunity for America to lead the world again in the production and development of clean energy. When Rep. Loughlin is out publicly talking about global climate change, he mocks it, that it's not serious. This is a serious issue. We have a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions, to address global climate change that is caused by pollution. There is broad scientific consensus on this." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence endorsed David Cicilline in the 2010 general election. (
  • "One of the greatest threats to peace in our communities today is gun violence. It is time for us to revisit our nation's gun laws. As the former Mayor of Providence, I have worked hard to reduce gun violence, and was a founding member of the Mayors' Coalition against Illegal Guns. In 2009, we made several recommendations for federal consideration specifically designed to prevent attacks like the one in Tucson. Representative McCarthy's bill, which I am proud to co-sponsor, gets to the heart of these recommendations by banning these dangerous weapons of mass terror." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "My number one priority is to do everything I can to get Rhode Islanders back to work, to get our economy moving, and to confront the rising national deficit -- and that is what we should be focusing on. This law lowers drug costs for seniors, bans discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and allows young people under the age of 26 to stay on their parents' insurance plans, and invests in wellness, among other benefits. Repealing this law would reverse all of that and hurt Rhode Island families. We should be working together to find practical solutions that improve this law and its impact on Rhode Islanders." (
  • David Cicilline. HR 2. 112th Congress. Repealing the Health Care Bill. David Cicilline voted Nay on 01/19/2011. (
  • “David supports the Affordable Care Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, but he also understands that the law is not perfect and we should be working together to address any issues that surface during the law's implementation and do all that is necessary to make sure the law is working for all Rhode Islanders.” (
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

  • "I support the DREAM Act." (
  • “Our current immigration system is broken. David strongly believes that the House of Representatives should pass legislation to help approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants emerge from the shadows, and provide a responsible path to citizenship for those who want to fully participate in our civil society and contribute to our nation's economy.” (
  • "Cicilline said he supports the DREAM Act. 'It's about making sure we as a country honor the values of young people who come here, study hard, play by the rules and work. He said America needs a national immigration policy. Separate immigration policies in individual states or individual cities and towns 'won't work,'' he said." (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “As one of only eight openly-gay members of Congress, David has been a consistent, determined advocate for legislation and regulations that would guarantee full equality for the LGBT community.” (
  • "While the fight for marriage equality is far from over, President Obama's decision to no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal courts is a major civil rights victory for the LGBT community." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “Our government has no more basic responsibility than to provide for the safety and security of our citizens. Americans must have complete confidence that all levels of government are working collaboratively to provide the highest level of security and protection.” (
  • “It is clear that ISIL poses a serious threat to U.S. national security interests in the region and has expressly threatened the American homeland, and we must do everything we can to prevent another terrorist attack on American soil.” (
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

  • “David also opposes the raising of the Social Security eligibility age or any effort to privatize the system.” (
  • "We have to do everything we can to protect Social Security and fight privatization." (
  • "Ryan's proposal to privatize Social Security would cut guaranteed benefits, gamble Social Security in the stock market, and provide up to $940 billion in windfall profits to big Wall Street banks through management fees. Cicilline rejects the Ryan plan. Loughlin has not yet said whether he would support the Ryan budget plan in Congress." (


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 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.

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. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Rhode Island State Legislative Election 1998 National Political Awareness Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.
Xa) Abortions should always be legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
c) Abortions should be legal only when pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should always be illegal.
f) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and parental notification requirements.
g) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.
h) Support "buffer zones" by requiring demonstrators to stay at least 15 feet away from abortion clinic doorways and driveways.
i) Other
Yesj) Should Rhode Island government funding be provided to clinics and medical facilities that provide abortion services?
Indicate the principles you support (if any) concerning affirmative action. State government agencies should take race and sex into account in the following sectors:
Yesa) College and university admissions
Yesb) Public employment
Yesc) State contracting
d) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
c) End parole for repeat violent felons.
d) Support the use of the death penalty.
Xe) Oppose the death penalty.
Xf) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
g) Inform communities when a convicted sex offender moves into the community.
Xh) Increase state funds for programs which rehabilitate and educate inmates during and after their prison sentences.
Xi) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
j) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
k) Strengthen penalties and sentences for sex offenders.
Xl) Lower the blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
m) Prosecute juveniles who commit murder or other serious violent crimes as adults.
n) Other
Undecidedo) Do you support the current law requiring the state to take DNA samples from suspects in violent crimes?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning the economy and employment.
Xa) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
c) Support limits on cash damages in lawsuits against businesses and professionals for product liability or malpractice.
Xd) Increase funding for state job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
e) Other
Nof) Should the state approve a gambling facility for the Narragansett Indians in Providence?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
Xa) Increase state funds for professional development of public school teachers and administrators.
Xb) Encourage private or corporate investment in public school programs.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
Xd) Favor charter schools where independent groups receive state authorization and funding to establish new schools.
Xe) Support sex education programs which stress abstinence.
Xf) Support sex education programs which stress safe sexual practices.
Xg) Increase state funds for school construction and facility maintenance.
Xh) Increase state funds for hiring of additional teachers.
i) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
Xj) Increase state funding to develop full day kindergarten and preschool programs.
k) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Require the use of cleaner burning fuels in order to prevent pollution.
b) Support "self-audit" legislation which creates incentives for industries to audit themselves and clean up pollution.
Xc) Require a cost/benefit analysis to determine the economic impact of proposed environmental regulations before they are implemented.
Xd) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.
Xe) Provide funding for recycling programs in Rhode Island.
f) Request added flexibility from the federal government in enforcing and funding federal environmental regulations.
g) Suspend participation in unfunded, federally mandated environmental protection legislation.
h) Other
Yesi) State environmental regulations should not be stricter than federal law.
Undecidedj) Do you support increasing the minimum size for lobsters harvested in Rhode Island waters?
Undecidedk) Do you support instituting limits on the number of traps maintained by each lobsterman?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding government reform.
a) Do you support limits on the number of terms of the following Rhode Island officials?
No1) State Senators and Representatives
No2) Governor
b) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yesc) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yesd) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yese) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Nof) Would you vote to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring an annual balanced federal budget?
Nog) Do you support allowing members of the General Assembly to serve on state boards and commissions?
h) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.
Xa) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
Xb) Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
c) Maintain state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
d) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
e) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.
f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.
Xg) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
h) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.
Xa) Provide tax incentives to small businesses that provide health care to their employees.
Xb) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care, through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care where necessary.
Xc) Support funding for RIte Care, which provides health care for uninsured pregnant women and children under age 18.
d) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
Xe) Use state funds to continue some Medicaid coverage for legal immigrants.
f) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
g) Guaranteeing medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
Xh) Allow people to sue health maintenance organizations that deny treatment, when that action results in serious injury or death.
i) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Xa) Increase state funding for programs to prevent teen pregnancy.
Xb) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
Xc) Increase state funds to provide child care to children in low-income working families.
Xd) Deny or suspend state-issued permits and licenses to parents who are delinquent in paying court-ordered child support.
Xe) Favor banning smoking in public places.
Xf) Increase state funding for Head Start in order to serve additional children and/or increase services from a half to a full day.
Xg) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
Xh) Support state funding of programs for at-risk youth such as guaranteed college loans and job training and placement.
i) Other
Yesj) Do you believe that the Rhode Island government should include sexual orientation in Rhode Island's anti-discrimination laws?
Yesk) Do you believe that the Rhode Island government should recognize same-sex marriages?
Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories. Select one level only.
Greatly Increasea) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increaseb) Education (Higher)
Slightly Increasec) Environment
Slightly Increased) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusf) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other
Indicate the tax levels you will support. Select one level only.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gas taxes
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes
Greatly Decreaseg) Property taxes
Slightly Decreaseh) Sales taxes
i) Other
Yesj) Do you support Rhode Island's flat tax structure for state income taxes?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.
a) Maintain the five-year limit on welfare benefits.
Xb) Require that able-bodied recipients participate in work activities in order to receive benefits.
Xc) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xd) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
Xe) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
Xf) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
Xg) Allow welfare recipients to remain eligible for benefits while saving money for education, starting a business, or buying a home.
h) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
i) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
j) Other
Please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.
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