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John Lewis' 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.

John Lewis 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.

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 2020.

  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "we believe that each of us should be able to make decisions about pregnancy and parenting that are best for our families without political interference." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 8% by National Tax Limitation Committee. (votesmart.org)
  • "Away from the cameras, Congressional Republicans will quietly begin to cut safety net programs to pay for their massive, corporate tax cut. The record should be clear. This is not about tax reform. These are tax cuts for the super rich. This bill turns a blind eye to the middle class and a deaf ear to working families." (votesmart.org)
  • "Seniors with fixed incomes have been making terrible sacrifices and choosing between rent and medication, food and doctor visits. This cost of living adjustment is welcome news for 63 million seniors and people with disabilities and the fulfillment of our sacred trust between the government and seniors and the disabled." (votesmart.org)
  • "Chairman Larson, my friend, my brother, your bill, the Social Security 2100 Act, helps our country keep that promise, and it frees Americans, young and old, to fulfill their dreams. This bill ensures that they can thank you, and they must thank you, for all that you're doing to get us on the right track. Rep. Larson, I'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (votesmart.org)
  • "Social Security is more than a right. It is a promise, a promise people pay into to secure their future. We can do better. We can do much better." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Since Citizens United, investor demand has greatly--and justifiably--intensified, as the magnitude of the problem and the potential for abuse has skyrocketed." (votesmart.org)
  • "Today the Supreme Court has declared that the federal government is up for sale to the highest bidder. To suggest, as the Chief Justice did that, political campaign contributions can be likened to newspaper subscriptions, is an unfortunate comparison. This decision tilts the balance of electoral power toward individuals with the deepest pockets, who after today have the power to influence as many elections across the country as they would like." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "Today, Rep. John Lewis denounced the President's unlawful national emergency declaration, which could divert over $224 million worth of urgently needed Georgia Department of Defense military construction funds critical to the security of our nation and the well-being of men and women in uniform and military families." (votesmart.org)
  • "Over the years, I have successfully secured millions of dollars in funding to improve and expand Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Smart Card and Clean Bus programs, the Georgia North Line extension, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and the Metro Atlanta water and sewer initiatives. Much work remains at the local level to secure adequate funding for these key modes of our transportation and infrastructure." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 22 - Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. (votesmart.org)
  • "Away from the cameras, Congressional Republicans will quietly begin to cut safety net programs to pay for their massive, corporate tax cut. The record should be clear. This is not about tax reform. These are tax cuts for the super rich. This bill turns a blind eye to the middle class and a deaf ear to working families." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 8% by National Tax Limitation Committee. (votesmart.org)
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "While I appreciate the intent of No Child Left Behind, the time has come to improve the law. I support fixing NCLB in a way that balances accountability and flexibility. We must have measures that truly capture achievement gaps and evaluate teachers fairly. I support multiple assessment measures to form a broad view of student learning and programs which give teachers and administrators opportunities for professional development, training, and collaboration." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by American Energy Alliance. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "we write to express our support for robust funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and its critical programs that partner the federal government with industry, academia, and research facilities to secure america's energy future." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 - Climate Action Now Act. (votesmart.org)
  • "The decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord is a threat to the planet. A great nation should lead and be unafraid." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1112 - Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • "We have a moral obligation to do all that we can to end gun violence in America." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 0% by National Rifle Association. (votesmart.org)
  • "The Affordable Care Act is working. I will continue to fight against Republican efforts to repeal the law. Along with my fellow Democrats, I'll fight to ensure the law is protected and fully implemented." (votesmart.org)
  • "We must continue building on the progress of the Affordable Care Act and ensure no American is turned away at the doors of a hospital for lack of coverage." (www.johnlewisforcongress.com)
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "There is no crisis at the border that a wall would fix," (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 3% by NumbersUSA. (votesmart.org)
  • "We are all connected. We can't just build a wall or a fence and say no more. This is America. Our doors are open." (twitter.com)
  • Signed a letter stating: "The undersigned Members of Congress respectfully request that you suspend any further deportations and expand the successful deferred action program to all those who would be potential citizens under immigration reform." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 3% by NumbersUSA. (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • "To this very day, experts and allies agree that the agreement was working to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. As we face challenges and uncertainty around the globe, it makes no sense to turn your back to progress, to ignore the pleas of our allies, and to disregard wise counsel and hard core facts. The price of peace is persistence, but the cost of war is always too high." (votesmart.org)
  • "It is a sad and dark hour for our nation and the global family. This administration's decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a major blow to all those working to bring peace to the world community. Never before has the credibility of the United States been so undermined by a gross failure to honor our commitments." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "We support your restraint to date in resisting the calls for a "quick" and "easy" military intervention, and for your commitment not to send combat troops back to Iraq." (votesmart.org)
  • "For 14 long years, our Nation has been at war. Our people are sick and tired of war. This resolution simply opens the door to bring American soldiers home." (votesmart.org)
  • "In addition to being a founding Member of the Out of Iraq Caucus, I am also a Member of the following foreign affairs Congressional organizations - The Out of Afghanistan Caucus" (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Such opportunity for input from Congress is critical as the TPP FTA will include binding obligations that touch upon a wide swath of policy matters under the authority of Congress. Beyond traditional tariff issues, these include policies related to labor, patent and copyright, land use, food, agriculture and product standards, natural resources, the environment, professional licensing, competition, state-owned enterprises and government procurement policies, as well as financial, healthcare, energy, e-commerce, telecommunications and other service sector regulations." (votesmart.org)
  • "It is our duty to make sure that there is a fair, level playing field, but we must also ensure that our trade policy seeks to establish better standards and is not a race to the bottom. Presently, the U.S. has free trade agreements (FTAs) with over 20 countries. Each FTA must be reviewed on its own merit. In each case, however, labor, human rights, environmental standards, access to medicines, and rule of law, must be upheld at all costs." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating "Reducing trade barriers into India is an opportunity to strengthen the economy of rural America." (votesmart.org)
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) concerning abortion.

X a) Abortions should always be legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
c) Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should always be illegal.
f) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and notification requirements as decided by each state government.
g) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.
h) Prohibit public funding of abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
i) Other

1) Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following categories. Select one number (level) only.2) Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following defense-related categories. Select one number (level) only.4) Indicate how you would apply the expected federal budget surplus.

Slightly Increase a) AIDS programs
Slightly Increase b) Arts funding
Greatly Increase c) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increase d) Environmental programs
Slightly Increase e) Foreign aid
Slightly Increase f) Housing projects
Slightly Increase g) Job training programs
Maintain Status h) Law enforcement
Maintain Status i) Medicaid
Maintain Status j) Medicare
Maintain Status k) NASA
Maintain Status l) Student loan programs
Slightly Increase m) Welfare
n) Other
o) Other
p) Other
Maintain Status a) Armed Forces personnel training
Slightly Decrease b) CIA appropriations
Slightly Increase c) Defense plant conversion
Slightly Decrease d) Development of new weapons
Slightly Decrease e) Military hardware
Maintain Status f) Military space shuttle missions
Slightly Decrease g) National Missile Defense Program
Slightly Increase h) Pay for active duty personnel
No 3) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to require an annual balanced federal budget?
X a) Social Security
b) Medicare
c) Tax cuts
d) Federal debt reduction
e) Other
Nuclear Weapons -- Greatly Decrease

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

a) Remove all legislative limits on campaign financing.
X b) Establish spending limits on congressional campaigns.
X c) Provide public funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
d) Support legislation that would increase the federal limits on individual contributions.
X e) Strengthen and enforce legislation that encourages full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information.
f) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
X g) Provide free or low-cost television advertising to candidates who agree to voluntary campaign spending limits.
X h) Ban the unregulated campaign contributions known as soft money.
X i) Pass legislation banning issue advocacy commercials by outside groups within 60 days of an election.
j) Prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making contributions to federal campaigns.
k) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.

a) Broaden use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Increase spending to build more federal prisons.
c) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
X d) Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X e) Expand funding for community policing programs.
X f) Increase penalties for the possession of any illegal firearms.
g) Prosecute youths accused of a felony as adults.
X h) Increase funding for local Boys & Girls Clubs and other independent organizations in communities with at-risk youth.
X i) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
j) Deport all permanent resident aliens convicted of a felony.
k) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning illegal drugs.

a) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
b) Impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
c) Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers.
d) Strengthen current laws dealing with non-controlled substances, including inhalants and commercially available pills.
X e) Increase funding of federally-sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
f) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
g) Increase funding for border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
h) Other

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

X a) Provide tax credits for companies that move job-creating industries into areas with high unemployment.
X b) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
c) Reduce government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X d) Establish empowerment zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.
e) Eliminate any federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
X f) Increase the minimum wage.
X g) Pass legislation that encourages employers to offer their employees the options of flex-time scheduling, comp-time and unpaid leave to attend to their family responsibilities.
X h) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide on-site child care.
a) The federal government should consider race and sex in making government contracting decisions.
X b) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs only if such programs do not include quotas.
c) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
X d) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the public sector.
X e) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the private sector.
X f) The federal government should include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination laws.
g) Other

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning education.

a) Support national standards and testing in reading and math.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any publicly funded school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
d) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any publicly funded school.
e) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
X f) Support creation of more charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
g) Give all federal education funding to states in the form of block grants and allow them to spend it as they see fit.
h) Support voluntary teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
i) Increase funding for block grants to states to help them hire additional teachers.
j) Other
No 2) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee the right to religious expression and voluntary prayer in public places, including schools?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding America's environment and natural resources.

a) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.
X b) Strengthen the Clean Water Act.
c) Change the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to limit the number of habitats eligible to be designated as endangered.
X d) Increase fees charged to ranchers who graze cattle on federal lands.
X e) Revise the 1872 mining law to increase the fees charged to mining companies using federal lands.
X f) Encourage development of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
X g) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel powered engines, including cars and trucks.
X h) Increase federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels to promote conservation and alternative fuel development.
i) Promote the selling of pollution credits between nations to encourage industries to decrease pollution levels.
X j) Impose stricter national air quality standards.
X k) Adhere to the United Nations treaty regarding global climate change.
X l) Strengthen the restrictions on clear-cutting on federal lands.
m) Other

Indicate which level of government that should have primary responsibility for the following services. Select one level only.

Federal a) Border security
Federal b) Civil rights enforcement
State c) Education
Federal d) Environmental cleanup
State e) Job training
Local f) Law enforcement
Federal g) Low-income housing
Federal h) Medicaid
Federal i) Medicare
Local j) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)
Federal k) Welfare
l) Other

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Bosnia/former Yugoslavia.2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United States-United Nations relationship.

a) The U.S. should lift the arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
b) The U.S. should maintain a military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina with a certain deadline for withdrawal.
X c) The U.S. should maintain a military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina without a certain deadline for withdrawal.
d) Other
a) The U.S. should resolve future disputes with Iraq through diplomatic means.
b) The U.S. should take unilateral military action if Iraq does not comply with all accepted UN resolutions.
c) The U.S. should take military action against Iraq only as part of an international effort.
d) The U.S. should not continue to play a prominent leadership role in the peace process between Israel and Palestine.
X e) Other
X a) The U.S. should contribute more funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
b) The U.S. should contribute less funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
c) The U.S. should participate in UN peacekeeping missions only when vital U.S. interests are involved.
d) The U.S. should not commit military troops to UN peacekeeping missions.
e) The U.S. should withdraw from the UN completely.
X f) The U.S. should pay its debt to the United Nations.
g) Other
Yes 4) Should the U.S. have diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba?
Undecided 5) Should the U.S. recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?
Force against Iraq may be justified under certain circumstances

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.

a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
X b) Increase federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
X c) Maintain federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
d) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
e) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.
f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.
X g) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
h) Other

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues in America.

a) The federal government has no responsibility in providing health care.
X b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
X c) Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to that of Canada.
X d) Support health care strategies focused on prevention, including health education and natural medicines and remedies.
X e) Support legislation to define and enforce the rights of insured patients, including greater access to specialists and emergency rooms, wider choice of health care providers, and appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
X f) Allow small business owners, the self-employed and workers whose employers do not provide health insurance to have the same deductibility for health costs as corporations and large employers.
g) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts, which would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.
h) Establish limits on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X i) Allow states and local communities to use federal funds for needle-exchange programs to combat the spread of HIV.
X j) Classify nicotine as a drug and cigarettes as drug delivery devices, which should be regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.
X k) Provide citizens age 55-65 the option of purchasing Medicare health coverage.
Other

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

a) Decrease the number of immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Increase the eligibility of legal immigrants for certain social programs (i.e. HUD housing, food stamps).
X c) Require the Immigration and Naturalization Service to reduce to six months the time between applying for citizenship and taking the oath of allegiance.
X d) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.
e) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.
f) Children of illegal immigrants, born in the United States, should not automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
g) Increase the immigration quota for computer scientists and other information technology workers.
h) Establish English as the official and recognized language of the United States government.
i) Other
The American people have consistently mentioned the decline of morals and ethics in America as a major problem facing the country. On an attached page, in fifty words or less, explain what you will do as a member of Congress to address this concern.

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.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which are managed by the government.
c) Invest Social Security's assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of U.S. Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to finance the program in its current form.
X e) Invest a portion of the budget surplus into the Social Security trust fund.
f) Increase the minimum age that determines when retirees are able to receive full Social Security benefits.
g) Lower Social Security's annual cost-of-living increases.
h) Limit Social Security benefits based on recipients' other income and assets.
i) Require individuals to pay the Social Security tax on income above $68,400, which is currently exempt.
j) Other

1) Indicate the levels you support concerning taxes in the following categories. Select one number (level) only.Income Taxes:Other Tax Issues:

Maintain Status a) Retiree income over $40,000
Slightly Decrease b) Family income less than $25,000
Maintain Status c) Family income $25-75,000
Maintain Status d) Family income $75-150,000
Maintain Status e) Family income over $150,000
Maintain Status f) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status g) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status h) Charitable deductions
Maintain Status i) Child tax credit
Greatly Increase j) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status k) Corporate income taxes
Maintain Status l) Earned Income Tax Credit
Maintain Status m) Estate taxes
Maintain Status n) Medical expense deductions
Maintain Status o) Mortgage deductions
p) Other
q) Other
No 2) Do you support replacing the U.S. income tax structure with a flat income tax?
No 3) Do you support eliminating the Internal Revenue Service?
No 4) Do you support instituting a national sales tax?
Yes 5) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
No 6) Do you support requiring a super-majority vote in both houses of Congress to raise taxes?
7) Other

If you support term limits, how many terms should each serve?

No 1) Do you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms which members of Congress can serve?
Senator (# of 6 yr. terms)
Representatives (# of 2 yr. terms)
No 1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No 2) Do you support broadening NAFTA to include other countries in the western hemisphere?
No 3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Yes 4) Do you support the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes 5) Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?
Yes 6) Should a nation's human rights record affect its "most favored nation" trading status with the United States?
No 7) Do you support granting the President "fast-track" authority?

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

X a) Provide tax incentives for companies to hire and train homeless people who want to work.
b) Increase funding of homeless shelters and low income housing projects.
c) Increase funds for housing assistance for welfare recipients who need housing to get or keep a job.
d) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment.
e) Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through block grants.
f) Eliminate federal funds for welfare programs at the federal, state or local levels.
g) Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants.
h) Convert government-funded low-income housing projects into private housing, managed and owned by the residents.
i) Require that unwed teenage mothers live with a parent or guardian (if possible) and attend school to receive benefits.
j) Other
Please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.

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