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Eliot Engel's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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.

Eliot Engel 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.

  • "I join in solidarity today with women in New York 16 and across the country who are taking a stand against the wave of shameful, regressive abortion bans we are currently seeing at the state level." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood. (votesmart.org)
  • "So, @POTUS blows up the deficit with a tax cut for the rich, then says "In light of our nation's fiscal situation" he can't give raises to federal workers. Fleece working-class Americans in order to give to the wealthy. This is conservative, #GOP economics in a nutshell." (twitter.com)
  • "The tax bill the #GOP just passed without a single @HouseDemocrats vote is one of the worst bills I have ever seen brought to the House floor. Thanks to this bill, the middle-class will be directly paying for an upper-class and big corporation tax cut. " (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (votesmart.org)
  • "Eliot has consistently opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare, fighting Republican attempts to weaken these programs. For his dedication to these issues, he has received a 100% for his voting record from the Alliance for Retired Americans." (votesmart.org)
  • "We've also passed bills to lower the cost of prescription drugs and held the first hearings on Medicare For All. This is the progressive vision of health care I have long championed and will continue to fight for as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - For the People Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • "I strongly support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and have cosponsored three different resolutions to accomplish that." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 80% by Common Cause. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Preserving the agreement in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that required increased spending to be spread evenly between defense spending and non-defense discretionary accounts which have both been harmed by the ongoing sequester;" (votesmart.org)
  • "Congress has the power of the purse, and that's why we were able to come together to pass this legislation to fund our military and national security priorities abroad despite the Administration's word. We must continue working through the appropriations process to ensure that defense spending continues to reflect America's best interests abroad and does not overshadow other important domestic and diplomatic priorities." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 11% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "Investing in #NY infrastructure creates jobs and keeps our state on top. I applaud @NYGovCuomo for this commitment: " (7ny.tv)
  • Voted in favor of HR 22 - Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. (votesmart.org)
  • "The tax bill the #GOP just passed without a single @HouseDemocrats vote is one of the worst bills I have ever seen brought to the House floor. Thanks to this bill, the middle-class will be directly paying for an upper-class and big corporation tax cut. " (twitter.com)
  • "My priority for the phase 3 coronavirus aid package is simple: Put the American people first, not big corporations. Here’s what I want in phase 3: Direct payments to Americans. As early as next month, the IRS would send checks to Americans to help out during the crisis." (www.facebook.com)
  • "I believe if we are to set high standards for schools, but not provide them the resources needed to achieve those goals, we are setting our schools up to fail. We must first fully fund NCLB and address and fix the difficulties schools are having with it before we expand the current law." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by National Education Association. (votesmart.org)
  • "I am working to help unleash America's clean energy revolution, and the jobs that accompany it, by supporting investments in alternative sources of energy like wind, solar and geothermal power." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by League of Conservation Voters. (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 - Climate Action Now Act. (votesmart.org)
  • "The Climate Action Now Act keeps the United States in the Paris Climate Accord, renewing our country's pledge to address climate change head-on." (votesmart.org)
  • "It is beyond unacceptable for Senator McConnell to continue to prevent action on common-sense gun legislation that will save lives," Engel said. "As we all know, the House overwhelming passed H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, legislation to close dangerous background check loopholes, nearly 7 months ago with bipartisan support. Since the passage of these necessary gun control bills, Senator McConnell has refused to bring them up for a vote, let alone for debate. As we saw in the recent Midland/Odessa shooting in Texas, the gunman was prevented from purchasing a firearm in 2014, but was able to obtain a gun through a private sale, which does not require the check. In this exact instance, H.R. 8 could have prevented this shooting." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by National Rifle Association. (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1112 - Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • "It was my privilege to help craft the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vote for its passage. In the eight years since it was signed into law, we've seen millions gain insurance coverage, new consumer protections codified, and essential services guaranteed for the first time, ensuring Americans get premium value for their dollars." (votesmart.org)
  • "The ACA is not perfect, but it makes significant and necessary improvements to our health care system." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 6% by NumbersUSA. (votesmart.org)
  • "This entire concept of a wall is ridiculous, and will do nothing to fix our immigration system. #NoBanNoWall" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 6% by NumbersUSA. (votesmart.org)
  • "At the very least, any immigration reform measures would have to secure the border while also offering some sort of path to legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants inside the U.S." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 11% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "Iran must never have a nuclear weapon. To ensure that, we must strictly enforce the nuclear deal, work to lengthen its sunset provisions, and hold Iran's feet to the fire on the regime's other bad behavior." (votesmart.org)
  • "We do need to be tough on Iran, but we've given up the assurances that Iran will abide by the limits and strict monitoring of the nuclear agreement. At the same time, adversaries around the world may rightly wonder whether American sanctions should be taken seriously, or if they're just tough talk. Today's announcement weakens our position on Iran and reduces the effectiveness of American sanctions all over the world." (votesmart.org)
  • "At the same time, the United States needs to stand with our Iraqi partners to stop the violent extremism that is raining terror down upon the people of Iraq and further destabilizing the entire region." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 11% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "Slapping massive tariffs on Canada, Europe, and Mexico will only serve to push them closer to China and the Kremlin. The Trump Trade War is going to hurt American security and American workers." (votesmart.org)
  • "The President never saw an unwinnable trade war he didn't like, but this latest move to hit Mexico with tariffs goes beyond foolish economic policy." (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) regarding abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
X 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.
f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles

Using the key, indicate what federal funding levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.Budget Priorities

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

Defense Spending

Slightly Increase a) Armed forces personnel training
Slightly Increase b) Intelligence operations
Maintain Status c) Military hardware
Slightly Increase d) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Greatly Decrease e) National missile defense
Greatly Increase f) Pay for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase g) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Slightly Increase h) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increase 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:

Greatly Decrease a) Less than $25,000
Slightly Decrease b) $25,000-$75,000
Slightly Decrease c) $75,000-$150,000
Slightly Increase d) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status f) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increase b) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increase d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Charitable contributions
Maintain Status 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
No 4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
No 5) Do you support making President Bush's tax cuts permanent?
7) Other or expanded principles
I believe that any plan to balance the budget must include holding the line on spending as well as ensuring that we have enough money coming in to meet our obligations. I also support a "pay-as-you-go" rule which prevents enactment of any tax cuts or spending increases that are not paid for while rolling back some of the reckless tax cuts for the rich.

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

X 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) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
f) Require Section 527 organizations to register with the Federal Election Commission as Political Action Committees.
Undecided g) Do you support instant run-off voting?
Yes h) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
No i) Do you support a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman?
j) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
X b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
X c) Support programs to provide prison inmates with educational, vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
e) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
X f) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
X g) Impose stricter penalties for those convicted of corporate crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
i) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
X b) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
X c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
X d) Allow doctors to recommend 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."
X g) Support a federal law to standardize testing and penalties for steroid use in professional sports.
I have introduced the Drug Testing Integrity Act of 2005, which would make it unlawful to knowingly manufacture, market, sell, ship or otherwise provide an individual with any product designed for the purpose of assisting in defeating a drug test. This law, to be implemented and enforced by the Federal Trade Commisssion (FTC), would prevent the growing traffic in these deceptive and fraudulent drug test subversion products, and would subject violators to stiff civil penalties and fines.

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

X a) Support national standards for and testing of public school students.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers, (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any public school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers, (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any private or religious school.
d) Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
X e) Reward teachers with merit pay for working in low-income schools.
X f) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
X g) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
X h) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
X i) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
When I voted for the No Child Left Behind law in 2001, I was assured that the law would be fully funded. However, since NCLB was enacted, the law has never been fully funded. I believe that if we are gong to set high standards for schools but not give them the resources to achieve those goals, then we are setting up our schools to fail.

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

X 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.
X f) Increase the federal minimum wage.
X g) Support the right of workers to strike without fear of being permanently replaced.
X h) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
i) Other or expanded principles
X a) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
X c) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
d) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
X b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
c) Support Clear Skies Act to reduce power plant emissions by setting a national cap on pollutants.
d) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
e) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
f) Relax standards on federal lands to allow increased recreational usage.
g) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
X h) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
i) Support opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
X j) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
X k) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
l) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
X m) Support the Kyoto Protocol to limit global warming.
I have introduced H.R. 4409, the bi-partisan Fuel for American Security Act. This bill sets goals to reduce dependence on imported oil by 2.5 million barrels per day by 2015 and 5 million barrels per day by 2025. It encourages production and consumer purchase of oil saving technologies and fuels nationwide, without adversely impacting air quality. The most effective means to achieve these goals is by providing incentives to encourage manufacturers, distributors and consumers to utilize domestic resources to bring to the market a full range of 21st Century vehicles and fuels based on clean, renewable, non-oil based technologties.

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

X a) Reauthorize the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
X b) Maintain and strengthen the current level of enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
X f) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
X g) Require a license for gun possession.
h) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
X b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
d) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X e) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
X f) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
X g) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
X h) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
X i) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
j) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Establish English as the official national language.
X c) Support a temporary worker program that would enable illegal immigrants to work in the United States legally.
X d) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using government funded social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
X e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
f) 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) International 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?
Undecided b) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
c) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
No d) Should the United States send more troops to Iraq?
f) 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 dismantle the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
No c) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
Yes d) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
Yes e) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
Yes a) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
No b) Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations?
Yes 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 programs fund abstinence education?
I think we have to work our way out of Iraq because our troops are caught in the middle of what is rapidly becoming a civil war. Our troops cannot stay in Iraq forever, and this war must end in the foreseeable future, but I don't believe we can leave immediately. We should have an exit strategy with goals and a timeline that can lead us to withdrawal, but we should avoid an arbitrary deadline so that those who oppose us hold their attacks until the day after we depart.
I would not advocate military action in North Korea. We should give diplomacy a chance to work. We are not at the point where military action should be considered.
Our policy to reduce the global AIDS crisis must include comprehensive science-based, effective prevention and teatment programs.

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

No 1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No 2) Do you support the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)?
Undecided 3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Undecided 4) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes 5) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) status with the United States?
Yes 6) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
Yes 7) Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?
8) Other or expanded principles

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

Undecided a) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
No b) 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 c) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Yes d) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
Yes e) Do you support the prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in U.S. custody?
Undecided f) Do you support a policy of pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to U.S. 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.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
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 individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
The Social Security program was created to ensure that those who worked all their lives to make this country great would not fall into poverty late in life. As such, the program has been extremely successful. Please be assured that I will oppose any plans to privatize the Social Security system and will do all in my power to protect Social Security for you and for future generations.

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

a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
b) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement government regulation of Internet content.
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).
X 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.
h) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
X b) Increase funding for child care programs.
c) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
d) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
e) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
X f) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
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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