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Marsha Blackburn's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Key


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.

Marsha Blackburn 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.

  • "Congressman Blackburn is a committed advocate for pro-life policy in the U.S. House, and is dedicating to preserving the traditional institution of marriage." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "Specifically in the Senate, Marsha will: Fight to protect the unborn." (www.marshablackburn.com)
  • "Throughout her career, Congressman Blackburn has been a passionate supporter of the right to life. She believes every life is precious and that we must work to build a culture that respects the right to life." (votesmart.org)
  • "Congressman Blackburn believes the use of taxpayer money to fund big abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood is both morally indefensible and fiscally irresponsible, which is why she introduced the first pro-life bill of the 113th Congress." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "I, _________________, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of ________________, and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." (votesmart.org)
  • "Specifically in the Senate, Marsha will: Fight to bring significant tax relief to hard-working Tennesseans." (www.marshablackburn.com)
  • "The taxes that are in place should be fair for all Americans." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "We have a profound obligation to provide for the common defense. It is our job to ensure those who selflessly serve have the tools and resources they need to keep Americans safe." (votesmart.org)
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "As she has in every Congress in which she has served, Congressman Blackburn is offering her colleagues a choice of spending reduction bills. Blackburn agrees with Speaker Boehner that federal funding levels should immediately return to 2008 levels." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "As she has in every Congress in which she has served, Congressman Blackburn is offering her colleagues a choice of spending reduction bills." (votesmart.org)
  • "Specifically in the Senate, Marsha will: Fight to cut wasteful spending." (www.marshablackburn.com)
  • "As stewards of the taxpayer dollar, we have a duty to make responsible decisions with these funds. Reducing spending by just 1% would save taxpayers approximately $4 billion in 2015." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "Small business optimism is at a 30+ year high thanks to #TaxCuts and pro-growth reforms championed by @realDonaldTrump. These are the reforms that are unleashing America's potential. In the Senate, I’ll work to continue this success. #PromisesKept" (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (votesmart.org)
  • "The feedback I have received from my constituents in Tennessee over the years from No Child Left Behind is that one-size-fits-all does not work. People do not want these decisions being made in Washington and the Student Success Act would fix this by repealing the federal accountability system and restoring much needed local control." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "Cheap and reliable energy is crucial to restoring our economic strength. Congressman Blackburn knows we need to pursue clean, economical and responsible energy options that ensure we have access to the energy we need -- including natural gas, nuclear, and coal. We should not allow ourselves to be hamstrung by the environmental lobby that pushes winners and losers at the expense of the American people." (votesmart.org)
  • "Congressman Blackburn opposes the Cap & Trade scheme that institutes billions in new taxes but does not do much to create more energy or help the environment.  She knows that the EPA is willing to implement this scheme without the consent of Congresss and with little regard for the economic impact by restricting carbon dioxide emissions through the Clean Air Act.  To stop this bureaucratic overreach and preserve Congressional authority (not to mention your wallet) Marsha Blackburn has sponsored H.R. 97 which will prohibit the EPA from regulating carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.  She supports efforts Senator Inhofe and Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, are making to roll back the EPA." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "Specifically in the Senate, Marsha will: Fight to protect our Second Amendment rights" (www.marshablackburn.com)
  • "I am not going to allow this administration to trample on the Second Amendment or put new restrictions on the rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms and ammunition." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "To that end, Marsha has reintroduced her legislation, H.R. 543, the Healthcare Choice Act, that would repeal Obamacare and allow Americans to shop for health care insurance across state lines, allowing insurance companies to compete for your business. She has supported other moves by House Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare, including H.R. 2653, the American Healthcare Reform Act." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "She also knows that Obamacare has left too many Americans without the care they need at a price they can afford. She believes that market based reforms, that put patients and not Federal bureaucrats in the driver’s seat, are the best means to expand access at a lower cost." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "The law has failed to provide affordable healthcare to Americans. It is nothing more than a broken promise – an insurance card but not actual health care. The law is fundamentally flawed, and the court’s decision does not change our resolve to repeal it and replace it with patient-centered solutions that will increase access to affordable healthcare for all Americans." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • "Fentanyl, Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth. 168 kilograms of drugs smuggled into the U.S. because Chuck Schumer and the Democrats refuse to do their job and secure the southern border. We need to build the wall!" (twitter.com)
  • "Specifically in the Senate, Marsha will: And support President Trump's immigration ban." (www.marshablackburn.com)
  • "DACA has provided deportation deferrals and work permits to illegal aliens, which has served as a magnet to encourage more illegal aliens to cross our Southern border. The President's decision to expand amnesty for over five million unlawful entrants is a gross abuse of power." (votesmart.org)
  • "She is also the sponsor of the CLEAR act which gives law enforcement the tools they need to help the federal government deport criminal aliens from our country." (blackburn.house.gov)
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "As the new axis of evil (Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea) presents an ever-growing threat, the United States and our allies sent a clear message last night. We will always fight to protect innocent civilians and defend the free world." (twitter.com)
  • "This is the right thing to do. President Obama put our security at risk and compromised years of foreign intelligence work. And for what? The disastrous and failing Iran Deal." (twitter.com)
  • "Half-measures will not ‘destroy and degrade’ ISIL. We must take the fight to the enemy before they come to our shores." (blackburn.house.gov)
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.
The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
X d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
X e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
X f) Prohibit the dilation and extraction procedure, also known as "partial-birth" abortion.
X g) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
h) Other or expanded principles

Using the key, indicate what federal funding levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.Budget Priorities

Slightly Decrease a) Agriculture
Slightly Decrease b) Arts
Maintain Status c) Defense
Slightly Decrease d) Education
Slightly Decrease e) Environment
Maintain Status f) Homeland security
Greatly Decrease g) International aid
Maintain Status h) Law enforcement
Maintain Status i) Medical research
Maintain Status j) National parks
Slightly Decrease k) Public health services
Maintain Status l) Scientific research
Maintain Status m) Space exploration programs
Maintain Status n) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Slightly Decrease o) Welfare
p) Other or expanded categories

Defense Spending

Maintain Status a) Armed Forces personnel training
Slightly Increase b) Intelligence operations
Maintain Status c) Military hardware
Maintain Status d) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Maintain Status e) National missile defense
Slightly Increase f) Pay for active duty personnel
Maintain Status g) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status h) Research and development of new weapons
Maintain Status i) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories

Using the key above, indicate what federal tax levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.TaxesIncome Taxes:Family IncomeRetiree IncomeOther Taxes:Deductions/Credits:

Maintain Status a) Less than $25,000
Maintain Status b) $25,000-$75,000
Maintain Status c) $75,000-$150,000
Maintain Status d) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories
f) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Decrease b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decrease d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Charitable contributions
Slightly Increase b) Child tax credit
Maintain Status c) Earned income tax credit
Maintain Status d) Medical expense deduction
Maintain Status e) Mortgage deduction
Slightly Increase f) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories
Yes 4) Do you support permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
Yes 5) Do you support eliminating taxes on dividends paid to individual investors?
Yes 6) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
7) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.

a) Support public taxpayer funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
X b) Increase the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
c) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
e) Allow ads paid for by soft money that support or attack a candidate for federal office.
X f) Allow issue advocacy commercials by corporations, labor unions, and non-profit groups which appear within 60 days of a general election and within 30 days of a primary election.
g) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
Undecided h) Do you support instant run-off voting (IRV)?
Undecided i) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
Yes j) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?
k) Should marriage be restricted to a union only between a man and a woman?
l) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.

X a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
X c) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
e) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
f) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
X g) Support additional criminal penalties if a fetus is killed in the commission of a federal crime against a pregnant woman.
h) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
X i) Support programs that provide job training and placement services for at-risk youth.
X j) Impose stricter penalties for those convicted of white-collar crimes.
k) Enforcement of civil rights should primarily be the responsibility of the federal government.
X l) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
m) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding drugs.

X a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
b) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
d) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
X e) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.
f) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the "war on drugs."
g) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

a) Support national standards for and testing of public school students.
X b) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any public school.
X c) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any private or religious school.
X d) Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
e) Increase funding for block grants to states to aid in the hiring of additional teachers.
X f) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
g) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
X h) Support granting states limited control over Head Start programs.
i) Support changing the mission of Head Start to emphasize improving the math and reading skills of disadvantaged children.
j) Providing education is not a responsibility of the federal government.
k) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
l) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
X m) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
n) Other or expanded principles

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding affirmative action.

a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
X b) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X c) Provide tax credits or grants to businesses that offer child care services to employees.
X d) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
e) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
f) Increase the federal minimum wage.
g) Support the right of workers to strike without fear of being permanently replaced.
h) Allow workers to sell company stock and to diversify their company retirement funds into other investment options.
i) Other or expanded principles
a) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
X b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
c) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
d) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
e) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
c) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
d) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
X e) Relax standards on federal lands to allow increased recreational usage.
X f) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
g) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
X h) Support opening a select portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
X i) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
j) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
k) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
l) Support the U.S. re-entering the Kyoto treaty process to limit global warming.
m) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.

a) Renew the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
b) Maintain and strengthen the current level of enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
X c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
X e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
h) Require a license for gun possession.
i) Establish a national database of ballistic "fingerprints" to track guns used in criminal activities.
X j) Support legislation that would protect manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms from civil lawsuits by crime victims.
k) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health care.

X a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
d) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to sue when claims are denied.
X e) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
f) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
g) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
h) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under private managed care plans.
X i) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
j) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
k) Allow 55-65 year-olds to buy into Medicare.
X l) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
m) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
n) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.

a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
X b) Establish English as the official national language.
c) Increase the number of visas issued for agricultural workers.
d) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
e) Support amnesty for certain illegal immigrants who already reside in the United States.
f) Support the detention of asylum seekers from countries known to sponsor terrorism.
g) Other or expanded principles

International AidIndicate which principles you support (if any) regarding United States economic assistance.

X a) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
X b) Aid should be granted to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Aid should be eliminated for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

International Policy1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Central and East Asia.3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United Nations.

Yes a) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
b) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Undecided c) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
e) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Should the United States use diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
Undecided b) Should the United States use military force to destroy the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
Undecided c) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
Undecided d) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
Undecided e) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
f) Other or expanded principles
a) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
Yes b) Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations?
c) Should the United States commit troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions?
d) Other or expanded principles
No 4) Should the United States lift the travel ban to Cuba?
No 5) Should the United States increase its financial support to Colombia to combat "the war on drugs"?
Yes 6) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund distribution of contraceptives?
Yes 7) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention fund abstinence education?
8) Other or expanded principles
Continue and implement the current plan. More aid from allies and sale of Iraq oil.

International TradeIndicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international trade.

Yes 1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
Yes 2) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Yes 3) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes 4) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) status with the United States?
Yes 5) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
Yes 6) Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?
7) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.

Yes a) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
Yes b) Should the United States adopt stricter rules for student visa applications from nations known to sponsor terrorism?
No c) Should the United States grant law enforcement agencies greater discretion to read mail and email, tap phones, and conduct random searches to prevent future terrorist attacks?
Yes d) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Yes e) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
Yes f) Do you support a policy of pre-emptive strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to national security?
g) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.

a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves.
X b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
X c) Invest a portion of Social Security assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of United States Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to better finance Social Security in its current form.
e) Lower the annual cost-of-living increases.
f) Raise the retirement age for when individuals are eligible to receive full Social Security benefits.
g) Other of expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding technology and communication.

a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
X b) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement regulation of Internet content.
X d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
X e) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
f) Support legislation to detail how personal information can be collected and used on the Internet.
g) Regulating the Internet is not a responsibility of the federal government.
X h) Impose regulations on "spam" emails.
i) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.

X a) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
b) Increase funding for child care programs.
X c) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
X d) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
e) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
f) Support housing assistance for low-income families.
g) Other or expanded principles
On an attached page, disk, or via email, please explain in a total of 75 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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