Representative Adam Smith's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (WA) - District 9, Democratic
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Adam Smith 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?

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 Vote Smart.

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 are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I believe that health care decisions should be left to the individual, their doctors, and their families; not their employers." (
  • Signed a letter stating "We write to express our disappointment over your decision not to make the emergency contraceptive Plan B available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age." (
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Given the budget challenges we all face, it is intolerable to ask our nation's working poor to bear the greatest burden for recovery while handing a multi-million tax break to the rich." (
  • "There are too many loopholes in the current code that undermine the ability of governments to raise the revenue they need to balance their budgets, and also allow people and large corporations who can afford high- priced accountants to pay less in taxes than many middle-class Americans and small businesses." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While the current crisis we face in opioid abuse is extraordinarily important, we must remain cognizant of the unfinished business in the sentencing disparity between crack vs. powder cocaine. That these are essentially two separate forms of the same substance remains a significant issue that cannot be overlooked. In 2010, I supported the passage of S. 1789, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the sentencing disparity between offenses for crack and powder cocaine from 100:1 to 18:1. It also eliminated the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession offenses. The 100:1 ratio was scientifically unjustifiable, and resulted in individuals of color being targeted and jailed with disproportionately longer sentences." (
  • "Communities of color still face disproportionate mandatory minimum sentences, with charges often stacking on top of one another. The vast majority of inmates leaving prison face long-term unemployment, with employers often unwilling to consider them due to their records. Make no mistake, I believe that the justice system must work to protect the innocent, and hold those committing crimes accountable -- but a central goal of our corrections system must also be rehabilitation and reintegration." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We need to reduce spending and increase revenue to get us on a path to greater fiscal health." (
  • "America's growing deficit is unacceptable and unsustainable. Reining in spending and finding ways to make due with less funding will mean a certain degree of shared sacrifice at all levels of society as we put our fiscal house in order." (
  • "I firmly believe that investment in our nation's infrastructure is critical. It provides jobs for thousands, ensures the efficient movement of goods that keeps our economy growing, and ensures the safety of countless lives." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith, joined by a group of House New Democrat colleagues, today announced his support for a 'lean, targeted, fiscally responsible' stimulus package. The package includes meaningful relief for displaced workers and tax cuts designed to spur investment and stimulate the economy." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.4853 "Temporary Extension of Tax Relief" (
  • "Unlike a lot of the tax cut ideas being thrown out, these are tax cuts that will really work to encourage investment and create jobs." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Supported full funding of the No Child Left Behind Act, and changing the "one-size-fits-all" testing plan so that testing accurately reflects learning, and performance indicators other than test scores are included." (
  • "NCLB established the idea that we must measure academic progress and ensure that students are achieving at appropriate levels as they progress through K-12 education. It also guards against schools failing to properly serve minority groups by separately measuring how each group is doing instead of measuring all students together. I strongly support these provisions of the law." (
  • "This is an overdue critical start for the replacement of two of the five aging schools at JBLM. All students in our community deserve the highest quality education and first-rate facilities. This money will ensure the children at JBLM will receive both." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
  • "I opposed the Keystone XL pipeline because I believe it is the wrong direction for our energy policy." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Rather than focusing on Keystone XL, we should be working on bigger picture investments in clean energy and energy efficient technologies that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels that hurt our environment." (
  • "Wind and solar power, once thought to be hopelessly impractical, have become cost-competitive with fossil fuels. We need to encourage greater research and development, and use these clean and renewable energy sources. Fuel cells and geothermal energy are just a few of the energy technologies that can bring us into the 21st century." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
  • Signed a letter stating "Dear President Obama, Thank you for your leadership in responding to the serious challenge of climate change. We applaud and support your Climate Action Plan, the joint announcement with China establishing ambitious carbon pollution reduction targets, and the national commitment to the Green Climate Fund. These actions are critical to protect Americans from the most dangerous effects of climate change." (
  • "Record to prove it: Consistently supported legislation to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, making cars more fuel-efficient. Cosponsored legislation to develop stricter emissions standards for power plants." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "As part of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I will work with my colleagues to review the President's plan, as well as other proposals, to put policies in place that protect our children and communities while maintaining the rights granted by the Second Amendment." (
  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "America is facing an epidemic of gun violence. We need to find a comprehensive approach that improves access to mental health services, closes loopholes in background check requirements, and bans military-style and excessively violent assault weapons and high-capacity magazines." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (
  • "Adam's work on Healthcare […] Voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." (
  • "I'm pleased the Supreme Court has the Patient Care and Affordable Health Care Act. This law is the best available step forward for our health care system that is in dire need of reform." (
  • "The Affordable Care Act will help nearly 30 million uninsured Americans obtain health insurance and will cut our deficit by more than $1 trillion in the long term with mechanisms in place to curb fraudulent and wasteful medical spending. It gives Americans the promise of better care by keeping health care and insurance providers accountable for the well being of their patients." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I am disappointed in the decision to temporarily delay the President's executive action. The President acted within his legal authority to help fix our broken immigration system as President Bush, Reagan, and many presidents have before. The President's action is much needed as it would bring millions of families and children who live in constant fear of deportation out of the shadows and refocus our resources on individuals who present real risks to our communities." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" (
  • "I strongly support the President's executive action on deportation relief. This action is long overdue and will bring millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I firmly believe that all people deserve equal protection under the law, regardless of who they love. The 113th Congress has been a monumental year for marriage equality." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "Today's decision by the Supreme Court is a victory for justice and equality. Ensuring marriage equality for all Americans regardless of who they love strengthens families, communities, and our nation as a whole." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support a comprehensive foreign policy strategy that will counter the philosophy of religious extremism and anti-American venom that we are currently battling. This means policies that understand and respect other nations and encourages self-determination, democracy, human rights, economic development, and much greater access to education, health care, and jobs." (
  • "During our trip, we were able to learn more about SOCOM's excellent work in Southeast Asia and get a better sense of the global challenge we face from the spread of a violent, totalitarian ideology. One thing is clear following this trip: the next president faces an enormous challenge in rebalancing our worldwide force distribution to adequately fight terrorism in nations other than Iraq." (
  • "Going forward, we must use technology as a tool for securing our nation and fighting the war on terrorism. This means leveraging our national assets – including the National Labs, universities, the private sector, and small business – to develop and bring to bear technologies designed to protect critical infrastructure, identify threats, and prevent potential attacks." (
  • New York Times "For the first time in our history, an entity has declared a covert war against us. And we are using similar elements of American power to respond to that covert war." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I do not support cutting benefits to people dependent on Social Security nor do I support privatizing our Social Security system because doing so would undermine the system and actually make the problem worse." (
  • Rated 91% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "While we must act to save Social Security, private investment accounts are not the answer because they do not fix the deficit that the Trust Fund faces." (


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

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Washington Congressional Election 2012 Political Courage 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.

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan?
YesDo you support a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan?
Other or expanded principles

I coauthored an amendment to the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would have required the President to complete the accelerated transition of U.S. combat operations to the Afghan government by the end of 2013 and require the redeployment of U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. I have also cosigned several letters with my colleagues calling for an accelerated transition of security responsibility to the Afghan government and security forces and the expedited withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as quickly as these can be safely and responsibly accomplished.

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing the federal budget.

In order to balance the budget,

YesCandidate Answerdo you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate Answerdo you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Nodo you support reducing Medicaid spending?
Nodo you support reducing Medicare spending?
YesIs balancing the budget a legislative priority?
Other or expanded principles
YesDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles
YesDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Other or expanded principles

I support maintaining in federal law provisions for capital punishment in extreme cases and also am strongly supportive of DNA testing and other means that enable the demonstration of innocence.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support the temporary extension of unemployment benefits?
NoDo you support the 2010 temporary extension of tax relief?
Other or expanded principles
Unknown PositionInferred Answer Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations
Other or expanded principles

It depends greatly on what reforms are being required. For some reforms yes, for others, no.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production?
Other or expanded principles
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
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Other or expanded principles

I support reasonable restrictions that keep firearms out of the hands of children, criminals, and those affected by mental illnesses.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
YesShould individuals be required to purchase health insurance, as mandated in the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
Other or expanded principles

The Affordable Care Act is an important step toward lowering the cost, improving the quality of and expanding access to health care in this country.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
YesDo you support allowing illegal immigrants, who were brought to the United States as minors, to pursue citizenship without returning to their country of origin?
NoDo you support the enforcement of federal immigration law by state and local police?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations
NoShould the U.S use military force in order to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

Regarding the targeting of suspected terrorists, it depends greatly on what one means by "outside of official theaters of conflict." I support strikes in places like Yemen and Somalia where Al-Qaeda affiliates directly threaten us. But in almost all other places, no.

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

I oppose means to unnecessarily subject Social Security's benefits to market risks. Privatizing Social Security would result in large costs to the Federal Government and it would remove the guaranteed benefit on which most individuals depend.


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
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Slightly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Slightly Increaseg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical Research
Slightly Increasei) Scientific Research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Slightly Increasek) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
Slightly Increasem) Other or expanded categories

Infrastructure. Responsible investment in our infrastructure is an important and effective means of creating well paying jobs and supporting economic growth.


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
Slightly Increasec) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Slightly Increased) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Slightly Increasee) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
Slightly Increasei) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusj) Payroll taxes
k) Other or expanded categories
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.

1: Broad based economic opportunity.

2: Keeping up with global competition in all sectors by providing workers with training, retraining, and access to continued education that promotes innovation and job growth in Washington State.

3: Fiscal responsibility where increased revenue plays an keystone role in bringing the deficit under control. I oppose balancing our budget by simply gutting government programs that are crucial to the middle class and poor.

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