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Chris Coons' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Chris Coons has failed to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2020 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

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Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2020.

  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
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  • "Policing is mainly a local issue, and much of the change we need to see will come at the state and local level. But there are areas where we can take federal action. This bill includes measures I have already cosponsored to make lynching a federal hate crime and end racial profiling. Additionally, it will enhance the ability of prosecutors to bring federal charges against police officers who criminally violate Americans' constitutional rights and help the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division investigate systematic police misconduct. The bill will incentivize states to create independent investigative structures for police-involved deaths, ensure decertified officers are not able to change jurisdictions without disclosure of prior misconduct, mandate training on racial bias, and more." (votesmart.org)
  • "Dover Air Force Base is one of the finest military bases in the country, and I've been working to get funds for a C-5M maintenance hangar for several years," said Senator Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Air Force Caucus. "I'm glad that its construction will soon be underway. The men and women who serve and work at Dover Air Force Base deserve all the support and resources they need, and I'm proud to fight for those resources on the Senate Appropriations Committee." (votesmart.org)
  • "As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I have always believed that the U.S. position in the world is strongest when there is bipartisan support not only for our troops, but also for our overall foreign policy and national security goals," said Senator Coons. "This year's NDAA, which once again garnered broad bipartisan support, recognizes that as the United States addresses ongoing public health and economic crises at home, we must also provide our service members with the tools they need to ensure the United States can deter conflict and protect the American people." (votesmart.org)
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "The federal government has a critical role to play in ensuring that all students are held to the same high standards and partnering with states and localities to find new ways to better serve their students. While I still have concerns that the accountability provisions in this bill could allow some states and school districts to ignore certain groups of students, I believe this bill is an improvement from current law and that the accountability provisions have been strengthened from the Senate bill that was passed earlier this year." (votesmart.org)
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Signed a letter stating: "For instance, the North Korean nuclear crisis presents one of the gravest threats to our national security. The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo recently asserted that North Korea could be capable of striking the United States with a nuclear weapon in a "handful of months." In this perilous moment, the United States must urgently work with our regional allies to exert the pressure needed to get North Korea to the negotiating table. However, the administration has not nominated a U.S. Ambassador to South Korea." (votesmart.org)
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
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-choice a) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
No b) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yes c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yes d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
No e) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles

1) SpendingIndicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.2) TaxesIndicate 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.

a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
1) Intelligence operations
2) Military hardware
3) National missile defense
4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
6) Research and development of new weapons
d) Education
e) Environment
f) Homeland security
g) International aid
h) Medical research
i) Scientific research
j) Space exploration
k) United Nations
l) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Gasoline taxes
f) Income taxes (low-income families)
g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
h) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
Unknown Position 3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
Yes 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
Chris understands the importance and challenges of balancing a budget. As County Executive, he inherited a mess of corruption and out-of-control government spending. He cut $100 million in spending and balanced six budgets by demanding more accountability and cracking down on wasteful spending. Chris will continue this leadership in the United States Senate.
No a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yes c) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yes d) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
Yes e) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles
a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
e) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
f) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
Chris opposes the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United case. He believes we must reform our campaign finance laws but that true reform will only come once the judicial system finds that campaign spending is not a form of speech. Chris believes that Senators should never become lobbyists.
b) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
c) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
d) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
e) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
Unknown Position a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yes a) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yes b) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
Yes c) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
No d) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yes e) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
c) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
d) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
e) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
f) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
Yes a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Chris believes we should be doing more to be good environmental stewards. We should work to reduce our emissions and supports a cap and trade program that will unleash the creativity of American ingenuity to help solve the increasing effects of greenhouse gases on the environment. Chris believes our dependence on foreign oil is a national security concern. Chris has long supported innovation and research in alternative energy sources, and although transitioning from oil to alternative energies will not be quick or easy, now is the time to forge ahead with serious commitments to wind, solar, biofuels, and other options.
Yes a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yes b) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
Chris respects that the 2nd Amendment guarantees a person's right to keep and bear arms, subject to a few common sense limitations. Government should focus on strictly enforcing existing laws to protect public safety, rather than expanding gun regulations.
b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
c) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
Unknown Position a) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
While not perfect, Chris supports the Affordable Care Act that will guarantee quality, affordable health care to all, and he looks forward to working with members of the Senate and House to implement, defend and sustain it.
b) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
c) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
Unknown Position a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Chris strongly believes in the need for comprehensive federal immigration reform.
b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
c) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
Yes d) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yes e) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
f) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yes g) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yes h) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
i) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
Unknown Position a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
Chris supports international free and fair trade agreements that include labor and other environmental protections and enforcement.
No a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yes b) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yes c) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
d) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
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.

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