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John Shimkus' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


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.

John Shimkus has failed to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2018 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

What is the Political Courage Test?

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 2018.

  • Cosponsored and Voted in favor of H.R.4712 "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act" (
  • "John is an outspoken defender of the right to life, opposing abortion except in the rare case the mother's life is in danger." (
  • Rated 0% by Planned Parenthood Action Fund (
  • "He has supported efforts to reduce the number of tax brackets to reduce rates and end the federal estate tax." (
  • "As a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a U.S. Army Veteran, John understands the need for a strong, well-funded military. President Obama has decimated our armed forces. This is unacceptable and it is essential that our military has the necessary funding to handle the numerous threats the U.S. faces both at home and abroad." (
  • "The Budget Control Act calls for equal cuts to defense and other programs, since the super-committee was unable to reach an agreement. Secretary of Defense Panetta has called these cuts 'devastating' to the military, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has called them a 'very high risk' to national security […] The House has taken action today to reduce the effect on our defense and security forces by finding ways to save money elsewhere." (
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "Government spending is out of control. In Washington, both Republicans and Democrats continue to present overblown budgets. Enough is enough, its time for Washington to live within its means and not spend more than it take in. American families have played by these rules, balancing a family budget and not spending more than they take in, its time for Washington to do the same. John has been an advocate for reeling in government overspending. He voted for the Balanced Budget Act, the Budget Control Act, as well as voting to reduce congressional office budgets and to freeze Members of Congress' pay." (
  • "With this highway bill, it's great to be back working to build infrastructure and grow jobs […] From the heavy equipment to the men and women who operate them, this helps bring certainty." (
  • Cosponsored and voted in favor for H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "In Congress, John has been a consistent advocate for businesses by voting to halt the implementation of job killing rules and advocating for lowers taxes." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.1 "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (
  • "This Administration has coerced states into Common Core by throwing money at them […] The states, and particularly local school districts, should be determining the curriculum for students. Federal funds should not be awarded based on the implementation of Common Core or any other national education standard." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5 "Student Success Act" (
  • "John is a leading voice in Washington for an "All of the Above" energy policy. He supports coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear as essential components of America's energy infrastructure while we allow the free-market to foster the growth in wind, solar and other renewables." (
  • Rated 100% by American Energy Alliance (
  • "Let's continue to move on a renewable fuel portfolio, use our agricultural resources in ethanol and soy diesel and beef tallow to ensure that there is a diversified portfolio, so that if any one sector is stressed, you have other sectors in the liquid transportation arena that can pick up the slack and make sure that we are never held hostage again by these foreign regimes." (
  • "[…] unilateral, job-killing proposals like this rule, or cap and trade, do nothing more than increase the cost of doing business in America and reduce our competitiveness in the global economy." (
  • Voted in favor of S.J.Res.23 "A Joint Resolution Providing for Congressional Disapproval Under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of a Rule Submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency Relating to 'Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units' " (
  • "The committee has a long record of conducting oversight of EPA's overreach under the Clean Air Act. Our work showcased how the Clean Power Plan stood on shaky legal ground and the Supreme Court agreed. The previous administration's top-down approach out of the EPA exceeded the bounds of its statutory authority and placed an Agency with no track record of regulating the electric grid or states' resource mix squarely in the driver's seat on these issues." (
  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R.38 "Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017" (
  • Rated 92% by the National Rifle Association (
  • "The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (HR 38) is a common sense solution and I am proud to be a cosponsor of the bill […] If you can legally carry in Illinois, you should be allowed to carry in other states." (
  • "For seven years, I've fought to repeal all of Obamacare's mandates, middle class taxes, abortion subsidies, insurance company bailouts, and unaffordable, one-size-fits-all health insurance plans. I also assured my constituents that our replacement would include protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. My vote today does all of the above." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.1628 "American Health Care Act of 2017" (
  • "President Trump will talk immigration policy during tonight's #SOTU. In my district there is significant support for the wall." (
  • "At home, John believes we must take a more aggressive approach to illegal immigration. He has voted numerous times to build a fence along our southern border to ensure the safety of our homeland and has supported deploying the National Guard troops to our borders, if necessary." (
  • WSIL "I would like to have at least some physical structure that you have to climb over or scale to come into our country." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5759 "Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014" (
  • "He does not support amnesty or access to taxpayer-funded social welfare programs for illegal immigrants." (
  • "Halting illegal immigration by strengthening our borders and ports as well as an effective system that addresses individuals overstaying their visas is a top priority of John's in Congress." (
  • Rated 0% by Americans for Safe Access (
  • Rated 17% by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (
  • "John believes America's extraordinary economic, cultural, and military influence around the world is fundamentally a good thing for all mankind" (
  • "The Iranians want the bomb as badly as they ever have; and the Obama Administration's concessions, on everything from inspections to breakout capacity and ballistic missiles to terrorism, will turn the Ayatollah's dream of Iran as a nuclear power into America and Israel's worst nightmare. When Congress gets the opportunity to vote on it, I will stand with Israel and against this bad deal." (
  • "Obama's bad deal with Iran has emboldened and enriched the world's biggest state of terrorism. It is time for a more robust and aggressive strategy to defeat Islamic radicals in their safe havens abroad." (
  • "In 2013 I cautioned President Obama about military intervention in Syria. I also questioned why we are always the ones to respond, and why the international community may come late, but never early or on time, to these situations. Russia should have enforced the agreement struck in 2013 to remove all chemical weapons from Syria. After another attack on innocent civilians, it is clear this did not happen, and a war crime was committed. I hope President Trump will seek legislative support for any possible future actions." (
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-life a) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
b) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
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?
Yes 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.

Maintain Status a) Agriculture
Slightly Decrease b) Arts
Maintain Status c) Defense
Slightly Increase 1) Intelligence operations
Maintain Status 2) Military hardware
Maintain Status 3) National missile defense
Slightly Increase 4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase 5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status 6) Research and development of new weapons
Maintain Status d) Education
Maintain Status e) Environment
Maintain Status f) Homeland security
Slightly Decrease g) International aid
Maintain Status h) Medical research
Maintain Status i) Scientific research
Slightly Decrease j) Space exploration
Slightly Decrease k) United Nations
Slightly Decrease l) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decrease g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Maintain Status h) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
Yes 3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
Yes 4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
No 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
6) Other or expanded principles
Yes 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
Yes a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
Yes a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
No b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
No c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
No d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yes e) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Yes f) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yes b) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yes c) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
No d) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
Yes e) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
b) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
c) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
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
No a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
No b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
No c) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yes d) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
Yes e) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yes f) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
Yes g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles
No 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?
Yes c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
No d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles
No a) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yes b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yes c) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
Yes d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
No e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
No a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
No b) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
Yes c) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
Yes d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
Yes b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
Yes 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?
Yes 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?
No h) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Yes i) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
No b) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
No c) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
No d) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
The main priority must be getting our fiscal house in order. Both parties are culpable in bringing us to this brink and must work together to find common sense ways to cut the deficit and rein in uncontrolled spending. In addition, we must repeal and replace the most onerous parts of the health care law that will negatively impact our economy and our health care choices. Also, I will continue to provide top notch service to my constituents in need of assistance from their federal government--after all, I remember who I work for--and that's you.

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