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Niki Tsongas' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (MA) - District 3, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Niki Tsongas 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

  • "H.R. 3 would raise taxes on any American whose employer-sponsored health care plan provides coverage for an abortion. […] This legislation allows a hospital to refuse to perform an emergency abortion, even if a woman would die without it. It would allow doctors to refuse abortion services, even if a pregnancy threatens a woman's health. […] My colleagues say that they are for no new taxes and for preserving life, but this legislation belies that claim." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/606748/oppose-hr-3#.VkoKU2wViko (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by National Right to Life Committee http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/89417/niki-tsongas/2 (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/89417/niki-tsongas/2 (votesmart.org)
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

  • "Strongly support comprehensive tax reform to close loopholes that allow some of the most profitable U.S. corporations and individuals to avoid paying their fair share." http://tsongas.house.gov/economy/#minimumwage (tsongas.house.gov)
  • "The math is clear. We will face a serious budget crisis even if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest expire on schedule. But there is simply no way to extend them permanently without reducing hard-earned benefits for our nation's seniors and veterans. That is why tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans must be allowed to expire as planned at the end of next year." http://tsongas.house.gov/op-eds/problems-with-extending-bush-tax-cuts-permanently/ (tsongas.house.gov)
  • Voted in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/42053 (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "These federal funds awarded to Lowell Community Health Center and Wayland Public Schools will promote substance abuse prevention among teens and area youths. Illegal use of drugs and alcohol at an early age can lead to a lifetime of dependence and tragedy which is why federal support of these local community prevention efforts is so critical." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/636152/kerry-markey-lynch-mcgovern-tsongas-capuano-olver-keating-ma-wins-45-mil-to-fight-youth-drug-use (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.1 "Appropriations, Tax Law Amendments, and Unemployment Benefit Amendments ('Stimulus Bill')" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/23644#.VY1yEPlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "The SBIR program is often described as the most successful federal government research and development program because of its proven track record in creating jobs and fostering innovation in Massachusetts and across the country. The program’s success hinges on its ability to provide small firms with small-dollar awards to give them a jumpstart when private financing is unavailable." http://tsongas.house.gov/small-business/ (tsongas.house.gov)
  • " 'This federal award is excellent news for Lowell and will enable the continued expansion of the Riverwalk and Canalway which have proven to be significant assets to downtown Lowell and Lowell National Historical Park,' said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. 'The Riverwalk attracts visitors to scenic sections of the Merrimack River while providing unique insights into Lowell's industrial heritage and it is an excellent example federal, state, and local partners working cooperatively.' " http://votesmart.org/public-statement/634347/lowell-receives-1-million-for-riverwalk-expansion-canalway-improvements (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/38274 (votesmart.org)
  • "In previous Congresses, hearing directly from constituents led me to introduce bills, endorsed by the non-partisan National Small Business Association, to guarantee that consumers and small business owners are able to access their deposited funds sooner and to provide immediate tax relief to small business owners who were forced to withdraw from their retirement savings during the recession to keep their businesses going." http://tsongas.house.gov/small-business/ (tsongas.house.gov)
  • "We applaud you for seeking to enact permanent tax policy to provide certainty to millions of taxpayers. Many of us voted for the American Taxpayer Relief Act—which you helped craft and enact into law—because we recognized the benefit of providing stability to middle class taxpayers and of reducing the deficit by billions of dollars compared to extending the Bush tax cuts unchanged." http://tsongas.house.gov/press-releases/tsongas-leads-colleagues-in-letter-to-boehner-let-us-vote/ (tsongas.house.gov)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I supported federal funding during the recession to keep good teachers in the classroom. Schools need smaller class sizes and more qualified teachers. We need to work collaboratively with teachers so they have the resources and incentives to improve the performance of students, teachers, and schools. The federal government should be a strategic partner that assists state and local communities, not an entity that issues mandates from on high." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/850251/issue-position-education (votesmart.org)
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" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VY1rQPlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Thank you @POTUS for your leadership in rejecting harmful #KeystoneXL pipeline & protecting America’s economic & environmental future." https://twitter.com/nikiinthehouse/statuses/662711844373725184 (twitter.com)
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

  • "I was a cosponsor of legislation to extend the production and investment tax credits for onshore and offshore wind development, and have spoken about these investments on the House floor. Unfortunately, the wind production tax credit (PTC) expired at the end of 2013." http://tsongas.house.gov/energy-environment/ (tsongas.house.gov)
  • "At the start of the 111th Congress, I voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which made a historic $69 billion investment in the clean energy sector of our economy. " http://votesmart.org/public-statement/632277/issue-position-energy-and-environment#.VY2WsvlViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "On July 26, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also referred to as the Waxman-Markey bill after its authors. I was proud to support this bill, which was by far the most comprehensive approach to combating global warming that Congress has considered." http://tsongas.house.gov/energy-environment/ (tsongas.house.gov)
  • Voted in favor of HR 2454 "Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ('Cap and Trade')" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/26496#.VY1zQPlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "America must be at the forefront and lead by example. We must embrace modern policies that aim to, among other things, cut carbon emissions, increase the use and effectiveness of sustainable energy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, and encourage the development of innovative green technology." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1018839/tsongas-statement-on-presidents-clean-power-plan/?search=emissions (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While I believe that the Constitution confers a right to own firearms, I also believe that our laws should be able to reasonably control gun manufacturing, sale, and usage to ensure that firearms are used safely and responsibly. Universal background checks are a vital step in that process and toward greater public safety." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/773604/mass-delegation-unanimous-in-support-for-universal-gun-background-checks#.VkpEsGwViko (votesmart.org)
  • "In order to best keep our law enforcement officials and our communities safe, I support prohibiting civilians from obtaining magazines, belts, drums, or similar devices that have a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition and were used in the Newtown and Aurora massacres." http://tsongas.house.gov/gun-violence-prevention/ (tsongas.house.gov)
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/89417/niki-tsongas/3 (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Affordable Care Act (colloquially known as 'Obamacare), which I supported, has provided our country with a way forward for protecting Medicare." http://tsongas.house.gov/social-security-retirement/#ACA (tsongas.house.gov)
  • Voted against H.R.596 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51284#.VY1sd_lViko (votesmart.org)
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

  • "Undocumented residents should be required to come forward and register for legal status, pay a fine, pay back taxes owed, learn English, and pass criminal background checks in order to remain in the country and work toward citizenship." http://tsongas.house.gov/immigration/#border (tsongas.house.gov)
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/32955#.VY1u1_lViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign Position on Marriage http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1256/rating/7220#.VY1tevlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "There’s a little bit more freedom in this country today. #marriageequality #SCOTUSMarriage" https://twitter.com/nikiinthehouse?original_referer=http%3A%2F%2Ftsongas.house.gov%2Fsmall-business%2F&profile_id=242892689&tw_i=614478707563081728&tw_p=embeddedtimeline&tw_w=532980555218821120 (twitter.com)
  • "In 2004, I rallied on the steps of the Massachusetts State House in support of same-sex marriage, and I was proud when Massachusetts became the first state to recognize marriage equality. But consenting individuals throughout the country, regardless of where they live, should have the ability to live an authentic life and have their monogamous, long-term relationships recognized and celebrated." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1102953/issue-position-equality-civil-rights (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "On September 10, President Obama outlined his plan to begin an effort to disrupt and ultimately defeat ISIL in Syria and Iraq and asked Congress to authorize the training and arming of Syrian rebels to confront ISIL. I voted against authorizing the arming and training of Syrian opposition groups because I thought it was a back door vote that had the potential to lead to an expanded and open-ended commitment spilling into future administrations. It called for us to make a near- term decision with long-term consequences, raising substantial and unpredictable risks that haven't been fully considered." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1102956/issue-position-foreign-affairs/?search=Syria (votesmart.org)
  • "We've always said air strikes could not stabilize and stop ISIS. The near term was for us to lend our air support to hopefully stop some of the broad sweep with which they’re moving forward. It’s had some limited impact. Long term, there’s been some understanding that boots on the ground were needed. But they should not be American boots. That’s one of the questions: are regional players willing to lend their support and send their soldiers to achieve that goal? It’s not yet clear." https://tsongas.house.gov/niki-in-the-news/boston-public-radio-congresswoman-niki-tsongas-president-obama-needs-a-congressional-vote-on-action-against-isis/ (tsongas.house.gov)
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

  • "Furthermore, I strongly object to the Bush administration's proposal to privatize Social Security and oppose diverting any amount of the payroll taxes into private, individual investment accounts." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/372882/issue-position-social-security-retirement-security#.VZ7ronUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I strongly object to the proposals to privatize Social Security. We don’t want to replace a guarantee with a gamble." http://tsongas.house.gov/social-security-retirement/#SOCIALSECURITY (tsongas.house.gov)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/89417/niki-tsongas/53 (votesmart.org)

Key

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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