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Gerry Connolly's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (VA) - District 11, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Gerry Connolly 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

  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (
  • "Today, we are revisiting the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which is misleading and redundant to say the least and represents yet another attempt by Republicans to restrict a woman's reproductive rights and access to lifesaving health services." (
Unknown Position Unknown 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

  • "Extending these tax cuts is not an ideological issue for me. I look at this pragmatically from an economic standpoint. Now is not the time to eliminate the tax cuts for lower income, middle income, or high income households and small businesses." (
  • "The recovery is not sufficiently robust or stable and, until it is, we ought not to raise taxes on anybody." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Very simply, we support support transportation and infrastructure investment because our economy needs a national system to safely move people and deliver goods from place to place." (
  • "No great country can stay great without investing in its infrastructure. Throughout history, great leaders of both parties have understood there is a return on that investment. George Washington understood the need for internal improvements; so did Henry Clay. In the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and this Congress invested in the transcontinental railroad." (
  • "Voted for the Small Business Jobs Act to provide $12 billion in new tax relief for small businesses and to create a small business loan fund to leverage $300 billion in private-sector lending." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We are managing a very fragile recovery, and now is not the time to raise taxes on anyone. The timing is wrong and we should not do anything at this juncture that could jeopardize or slow the nation’s economic growth." (
  • "Voted for the Small Business Jobs Act to provide $12 billion in new tax relief for small businesses and to create a small business loan fund to leverage $300 billion in private-sector lending." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.4853 "Temporary Extension of Tax Relief" (
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Connolly believes we need to increase federal investments in education so our children learn the skills they need to compete in the global economy. He stood up to the Bush administration to demand that 'No Child Left Behind' be fully funded." (
  • "Gerry Connolly understands the need to invest in the innovators and community leaders of tomorrow and continues to led the effort to better coordinate and provide more federal resources for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in local schools like Thomas Jefferson High School." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The public has the right to know the financial and environmental costs of pipeline spills and their impact on the health of those affected by such spills." (
  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
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

  • "Wind energy is the most cost competitive renewable electricity source in the United States, but it is not as cheap as coal generated electricity. The Wind Energy Research and Development Act would improve national wind energy development and help achieve further cost reductions in the cost of clean wind energy." (
  • "In the 111th Congress, Congressman Connolly helped pass the largest investment in clean energy in American history and supported legislation to reduce global warming pollution and reform offshore oil drilling." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Finally, he is fighting against efforts to repeal the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Antiquities Act, and other important environmental legislation." (
  • "Sponsor legislation to establish a cap and trade, carbon tax, or equivalent system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aiming for an 80% reduction by 2050." (
  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "We write to urge you to renew enforcement of the ban on imported military-style firearms -- including those that are fully manufactured abroad as well as those that are imported as parts -- which was previously enforced during the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton." (
  • Rated 100% by the National Rifle Assoication (
  • "Connolly cosponsored the bipartisan House bill - the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013, H.R. 1565 - with Congressmen Peter King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA). The legislation would expand the existing background check system to cover all commercial firearm sales to ensure that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill cannot slip through background check loopholes that endanger the safety and rights of every American." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Gerry Connolly supported the Affordable Care Act because he believes the current system is too expensive and gives too much power to the insurance companies." (
  • "Congressman Connolly supported the Affordable Care Act that protects families from insurance company abuses, protects our seniors, expands access to affordable health insurance to 30 million Americans, and helps small businesses afford to provide insurance for their employees." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (
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

  • Signed a letter stating, "We want you to know you can rely on the New Democrat Coalition to support a comprehensive and bipartisan immigration package that includes a pathway to citizenship." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • Signed a letter stating "Section 3 does not achieve, but undermines, the actual interests served by the programs that take marital status into account, and denying recognition to couples who already are married under state law does not rationally serve any of the reasons relied upon by Congress in 1996 or created in response to this litigation." (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "[...] provide limited assistance to properly vetted factions within the Syrian opposition as part of the broader effort to ``degrade, and ultimately destroy'' the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The President specifically asked Congress to provide these authorities, and I somewhat reluctantly will agree to support it. But I want to add a caution, that this action should not be interpreted as granting congressional authorization for the broader use of military force to combat the growing threat posed by ISIL. Quite the contrary, the amendment specifically prohibits the introduction of U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities absent such explicit authorization." (
  • "We must allow our negotiating team the space and time necessary to build on the progress made in the political framework and turn it into a long-term, verifiable agreement. If we do not succeed, Congress will remain at-the-ready to act and present you with additional options to ensure that Iran is prevented from acquiring a nuclear weapon." (
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

  • "There are people who think even today that it would be a good idea to privatize Social Security. I will resist to my last breath any attempt to privatize Social Security." (
  • Rated 96% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "Connolly believes that Social Security is a promise that working people pay into that should be there when they need it. That’s why he opposes plans to privatize Social Security." (


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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