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Bennie Thompson's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for U.S. House (MS) - District 2

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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.

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 2022.

  • "As Congress continues to respond to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we must reject any further provisions that harm access to abortion care, restrict abortion coverage, or contribute to clinics shutting their doors. These restrictions on abortion access will only further exacerbate the impact this pandemic is already placing on our most vulnerable communities. We must reject any and all efforts to undermine comprehensive reproductive health care access." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 3755 - Women's Health Protection Act of 2021 (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 5377 - Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by FreedomWorks. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Signed Letter to Speaker Pelosi: "In addition to pushing corporate handouts in the form of tax credits, President Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow proposed slashing the already record-low corporate tax rate in half for companies that bring jobs home. Unfortunately, the Trump tax law already allows companies to pay half the U.S. rate on offshore investments and in some cases even zero. No tax break, however well targeted can beat the zero rate current loopholes already allow. Multinationals with armies of tax lawyers would be able to game such provisions to reap further windfalls." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1425 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act - (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Congressman Thompson believes that protecting the promise of Social Security is an absolute. He feels that the hard working people of this nation deserve the right to a retirement which lends to a sense of dignity. Pension reform should support the best interest of laborers, saving incentives should offer room for expansion and social security should not be made susceptible to the "income over individual" pitfalls of the private industry." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Signed Letter to Speaker Pelosi: "As you consider legislative priorities in any upcoming stimulus packages to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, we urge you to incorporate provisions that will address the needs of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants. SNAP is one of our country's most vital social safety nets, and it will continue to play a critical role in reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty throughout the COVID-19 health crisis. In light of this significance, we urge you to incorporate provisions that will: (1) boost the maximum SNAP benefit by 15 percent; (2) increase the monthly minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30; and (3) place a hold on harmful rules proposed by the Executive Branch that weaken SNAP eligibility and benefits." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 1 "For the People Act of 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • "I'm looking forward to voting for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act this week. This bill bans chokeholds, stops no-knock warrants, ends the qualified immunity doctrine, combats racial profiling, mandates data collection, and establishes new standards for policing." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1280 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 5376 "Build Back Better Act." (votesmart.org)
  • "Today, United States Representative Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) announced The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded $99,943 in funds through the Rural Business Development Grant Program to WAREHOUSES4GOOD located in Moorhead, Mississippi. This Rural Development investment will be used to conduct a business feasibility study, statement of facility requirements, an operating team, an outline food products distribution plan and a baseline architectural plan for planning a food warehouse with dry and cold storage in Sunflower County, Mississippi." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 3684 "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed Letter to Speaker Pelosi: "In addition to pushing corporate handouts in the form of tax credits, President Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow proposed slashing the already record-low corporate tax rate in half for companies that bring jobs home. Unfortunately, the Trump tax law already allows companies to pay half the U.S. rate on offshore investments and in some cases even zero. No tax break, however well targeted can beat the zero rate current loopholes already allow. Multinationals with armies of tax lawyers would be able to game such provisions to reap further windfalls." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by FreedomWorks. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 266 "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act" (votesmart.org)
  • ""I commend the passage of the CARES Act, which will help our nation's workers and families, including the more than 200,000 Department of Homeland Security employees on the frontlines of this national emergency, during this unprecedented crisis. As the number of coronavirus cases in our country approaches 100,000, it is critical that Congress continues to provide vital support to our communities, address the shortfalls in the Administration's response, and provide the stability and support our nation needs. As this bill is enacted, I will continue to hold this Administration accountable and ensure that our ongoing response efforts equitably serve the needs of all in the country who are impacted by this global pandemic."" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • ""I understand that this bill does not fix all of our problems," said Rep. Thompson. "I support it because the people of Mississippi's Second Congressional District need help now. This legislation guarantees more money and longer eligibility for the unemployed, checks for the vast majority of working and middle-class families, assistance for renters and landlords, significant money for COVID-19 testing, tracing and vaccines, and so much more. I will continue to work with my congressional colleagues to deliver more assistance for the American people."" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Signed Letter to Speaker Pelosi: "You have fought for the clean energy industry time and time again, and your work has ensured that this industry has become a cornerstone of the American economy. Now this industry needs economic relief, and Congress must act soon. Investments in clean energy pay back dividends because of the breadth and geography that are impacted -- either job losses will devastate the communities we represent, or economic relief for this sector will help them weather this crisis." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 4447 - Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019 (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Signed Letter to Speaker Pelosi: "We can avoid these problems by crafting a bold recovery plan that accelerates the creation of a clean energy economy that is less prone to crisis. Several climate and environmental policy experts shared a plan in March with members of Congress for a $2 trillion Green Stimulus that would create millions of shovel ready jobs. There are also several recent proposals by organized labor, environmental organizations, business coalitions, climate policy experts, and environmental justice groups that Congress can look towards in creating such a stimulus." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 83% by League of Conservation Voters. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Signed Letter to Speaker Pelosi: "While we have an incredible opportunity now to support the growth of pollution-free clean energy, we must confront the risk of an economic recovery that restores or even further entrenches our reliance on fossil fuels. We have already seen the Trump administration use this pandemic to try and prop up the fossil fuel industry through waiving environmental enforcement, amending the Main Street Lending Program in ways that directly benefit oil and gas companies, and selling oil and gas leases at record low prices. There is also a risk that a traditional infrastructure bill could be filled with funding for projects that expand and subsidize high-emission transportation and energy infrastructure, failing to prepare our communities for the emerging risks and uncertainty posed by climate change. This response would not only hasten the climate crisis, but would worsen the air and water pollution that is exacerbating the impacts of COVID-19, particularly for communities of color that have borne the brunt of environmental racism We would once again be delaying the necessary transition off fossil fuels that must accelerate once the pandemic recedes." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 1119 - SENSE Act (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "What we saw in Florida, it was absolutely tragic. Errors occurred. We need to fix it. But I dare to say--and I absolutely hope I am wrong-- when the comments subside, I doubt that we will have any legislation brought forward to address this assault weapon problem we have in this country. I doubt that we will have any legislation brought forward to look at the loopholes associated with purchasing guns. I doubt that we will have the age limit raised on individuals purchasing guns. The will is not here. I wish my colleagues could man up, or woman up, and do the right thing." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted yes on HR 1446 - Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1425 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act - (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "I’m glad to know the Supreme Court of the United States understand the necessity of the #Obamacare." (twitter.com)
  • Voted against HR 1628 "American Health Care Act of 2017." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 6% by NumbersUSA. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "On a day that military assets are positioning to protect this country against a national disaster, President Trump continues to show disregard for the American people and the rule of law. President Trump will go to any length to get what he wants, no matter the harm to the country. To be clear, diverting these funds for more unnecessary miles of border wall will have serious consequences for the people who live and work in our military facilities. Denied funding from Congress for years, President Trump is taking billions from our national security and defense to pay for his continued obsession so he can get a win leading up to an election year. Military bases around the country -- and the world -- will now have their funding cut short and projects canceled. This is unacceptable and Democrats will work to stop him." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1333 - NO BAN Act (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1333 - NO BAN Act (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Make no mistake, today's announcement is a brazen step to begin dismantling the Diversity Visa program. This has been a longstanding political priority for the President and is consistent with what has been widely reported about his thoughts on immigration from countries with predominately black and brown populations. The fact that he has couched this political decision in homeland or national security terms is grotesque. Both the timing and the focus of these new restrictions represent a shameful political maneuver that hurts thousands of people and families. Using our national security structure for political benefit will not make America great." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "The senior leadership at the Department must stop blatantly ignoring the Supreme Court's very clear ruling and stop wasting time coming up with new and cruel ways to throw Dreamers' lives into chaos. From day one, this Administration has made it clear that they would like nothing more than to end the program. Multiple courts -- including our highest court -- have not allowed it. It should not be difficult for DHS to do the right thing and restore the DACA program fully immediately. Dreamers are part of this country and nothing will change that. We will not allow them to be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations -- or as a pawn in the President's reelection campaign." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 550 "No War Against Iran Act." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of S J Res 68 - A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 256 - To Repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "The turmoil and unrest in Iraq and Syria have created a welcomed vacuum for al Qaeda. Some would argue that ISIS pioneered a new narrative and more accessible terrorist recruitment messages. However, our committee has known that for decades that the al Qaeda extremist ideologies and communications are just as accessible and widespread. It is clear that al Qaeda's leadership has been weakened by enhanced intelligence and covert operations." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of S J Res 68 - A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 5430 - United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act - (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 83% by Public Citizen (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Signed Letter to Ambassador Lighthizer: "Taiwan has already expressed strong interest in negotiating a fair, reciprocal, and high-standard bilateral trade agreement with the United States….As the trade and investment relationship with Taiwan already supports an estimated 373,000 U.S. jobs, working toward the negotiation of a high-standard and comprehensive U.S.-Taiwan bilateral trade agreement would further enhance our shared goal of enhancing the global competitiveness of U.S. industries while spurring American job creation." (justfacts.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.
Pro-life a) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Yes 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.

Maintain Status a) Agriculture
Maintain Status 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
Maintain Status 5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status 6) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increase d) Education
Slightly Increase e) Environment
Greatly Increase f) Homeland security
Maintain Status g) International aid
Greatly Increase h) Medical research
Greatly Increase i) Scientific research
Slightly Decrease j) Space exploration
Maintain Status k) United Nations
Greatly Increase 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
Slightly Decrease e) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Status f) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decrease g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increase h) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
No 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?
Yes 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
6) Other or expanded principles
No a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
No 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 increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yes b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
No c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Yes d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
No e) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
No 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?
Yes 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
No 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?
No 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
Yes a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yes b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yes 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?
No 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
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?
No c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Yes d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles
Yes 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?
No d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yes e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Yes 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?
Yes h) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
No 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?
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?
No d) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
Priorities for emphasis in my next term relate to economic development. I plan to concentrate on measures designed to strengthen the economy, provide economic incentives to stimulate growth in employment opportunities and to propose legislation designed to provide safety nets for employers, as well as employees. I envision accomplishing these priorities without the need for additional funds. Reevaluating current methodology and refocusing monies already budgeted for economic development should suffice.

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