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Sherrod Brown'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.

Sherrod Brown 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.

  • "Healthcare decisions should be between you and your doctor, not the government and your boss." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood Action Fund (votesmart.org)
  • "Brown is a strong advocate for women's rights and access to health care." (votesmart.org)
  • "This tax bill will force Ohioans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and corporations by taking away their healthcare, driving up insurance premiums and forcing cuts to Medicare." (twitter.com)
  • "On the way to the Senate floor to speak about who really benefits from this tax bill: millionaires and corporations." (twitter.com)
  • "Tax reform should have been an opportunity to work together to cut taxes for working people. Instead Washington chose to cut taxes for millionaires and corporations and pay for it by cutting Medicare and kicking people off their health insurance." (twitter.com)
  • "Supporting our troops and their families is an responsibility we all share. This means we must do what it takes to ensure that our troops and their families receive the tools and support they deserve to defend our freedom and security, especially during these times of budget austerity. " (www.brown.senate.gov)
  • "Special interests should not have a louder voice in our democracy than middle-class families" (votesmart.org)
  • "Citizens United and McCutcheon make clear there is now an entry fee for participating in our democracy. That is why I support the constitutional amendment proposed by Senator Udall that curbs unlimited campaign spending: one man, one woman, one American" (votesmart.org)
  • "Today's Supreme Court decision rolls back bipartisan campaign finance reform efforts and extends the assault on our democracy started by Citizens United. Congress must reassert its authority to ensure that elections cannot be bought by a bunch of billionaires." (votesmart.org)
  • "Rebuilding bridges across the U.S. will create new jobs and make the country more competitive. But states and cities can’t do it alone – they need real investment to help fix these outdated bridges that clog up our roads and leave drivers at greater risk of an accident." (twitter.com)
  • "Investing in our infrastructure creates jobs while ensuring safer roads, railways, and bridges; and upgrades to water, sewer, and broadband systems. It means expanding commerce across our state and creating jobs in our communities." (votesmart.org)
  • "To create jobs and keep America on top of the global economy, Congress must pass a long-term bill that invests in a world-class infrastructure." (votesmart.org)
  • "This tax bill will force Ohioans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and corporations by taking away their healthcare, driving up insurance premiums and forcing cuts to Medicare." (twitter.com)
  • "Bank of America is reportedly raking in $3.5 billion a YEAR thanks to the GOP tax bill – in response, they're charging customers $12/month for checking accounts that used to be free. Breaking news: trickle-down economics doesn't work." (twitter.com)
  • "On the way to the Senate floor to speak about who really benefits from this tax bill: millionaires and corporations." (twitter.com)
  • "Strengthening our economy starts in our classrooms and extends into our workplaces. By improving the delivery and alignment of early childhood education, K-12 education, and postsecondary education, we can better prepare Ohioans to compete in a global economy. " (www.brown.senate.gov)
  • "From our growing clean energy industry and redevelopment of former nuclear sites, to our renowned universities and cutting-edge manufacturers, I will continue to help Ohio lead the way to our nation's economic prosperity and energy-independent future." (votesmart.org)
  • "To promote wind energy, Sherrod introduced The Program for Offshore Wind Energy Research and Development (POWERED) Act of 2010 to encourage the development of the offshore wind energy sector. This legislation would spur research on potential offshore wind projects […]" (votesmart.org)
  • "From our growing clean energy industry and redevelopment of former nuclear sites, to our renowned universities and cutting-edge manufacturers, I will continue to help Ohio lead the way to our nation's economic prosperity and energy-independent future." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by American Energy Alliance (votesmart.org)
  • "Clean energy is the future of American manufacturing […] (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Environment America (votesmart.org)
  • "We cannot say we are doing what it takes to keep Americans safe until we are finally willing to pass commonsense laws to protect people from gun violence." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (votesmart.org)
  • "I have always respected the rights of hunters, collectors, and other law-abiding gun owners, and no one intends to take away their guns. But when our children are not safe in their schools, it’s clear something has to be done to protect against gun violence." (twitter.com)
  • "It is […] past time to finally muster the political courage to say enough is enough and pass commonsense laws to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and violent criminals." (votesmart.org)
  • "Ohioans across the state are calling my office to share their stories of struggling with pre-existing conditions like Crohn's disease or battling opioid addiction. Instead of kicking them off of their health insurance and causing premiums to skyrocket for everyone, let's work together to bring down costs by adding choice and competition to the market […]" (votesmart.org)
  • "Brown has also offered legislation to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act by adding a public option to the individual marketplaces so all consumers can access an affordable plan no matter where they live […]" (votesmart.org)
  • "U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) voted against so-called tax legislation in the Senate Finance Committee tonight that would actually dismantle the Affordable Care Act and force cuts to Medicare." (votesmart.org)
  • "Dreamers were brought here as children, through no fault of their own, and they are American in every sense but the paperwork." (votesmart.org)
  • "Brown supports the DREAM Act." (votesmart.org)
  • "We owe it to all the #Dreamers […] who contribute so much to our state and to our country. It’s time for us to come together and pass a bipartisan, commonsense solution that protects these kids, and upholds our American values." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 17% by National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (votesmart.org)
  • "[...] we are pushing back on North Korea for its nuclear missile testing and its relentless human rights abuses, including those that took the life of Otto Warmbier." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security Policy (votesmart.org)
  • "We have recently offered another tough, new sanctions package that makes it clear we are serious about ramping up pressure on North Korea, to force its leaders to end its nuclear weapons program and halt its continuing human rights abuses […]" (votesmart.org)
  • "Last night's missile strike appears to be a proportional response for Assad's brutal killing of innocent civilians, but there are still unanswered questions, including how the strike will impact American forces on the ground fighting ISIS and what this means for long-term military engagement in Syria." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security 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.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Prohibit the dilation and extraction procedure, also known as "partial-birth" abortion.
g) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
X h) Other or expanded principles
Abortions should be legal when performed by a licensed physician after a pregnant woman is made aware of all her options.

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

a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
d) Education
e) Environment
f) Homeland security
g) International aid
h) Law enforcement
i) Medical research
j) National parks
k) Public health services
l) Scientific research
m) Space exploration programs
n) Transportation and highway infrastructure
o) Welfare
Budget needs are too specific to be defined by these six categories.

Defense Spending

a) Armed Forces personnel training
b) Intelligence operations
c) Military hardware
d) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
e) National missile defense
f) Pay for active duty personnel
g) Programs to improve troop retention rates
h) Research and development of new weapons
i) Troop and equipment readiness
see above

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:

a) Less than $25,000
b) $25,000-$75,000
c) $75,000-$150,000
d) Over $150,000
f) Over $40,000
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Gasoline taxes
f) Inheritance taxes
a) Charitable contributions
b) Child tax credit
c) Earned income tax credit
d) Medical expense deduction
e) Mortgage deduction
f) Student loan credit
increase taxes on people earning over $1 million.
Reduce taxes for low income seniors
Increase corporate and capital gains tax.
Increase child tax credit for low income families and EITC.
No 4) Do you support permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
No 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?
Yes 7) Other or expanded principles
Opose Bush plan, which excludes low income couples from marriage penalty relief.

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.
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.
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.
h) Do you support instant run-off voting (IRV)?
Yes i) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
Yes j) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?
No k) Should marriage be restricted to a union only between a man and a woman?
Yes l) Other or expanded principles
h) Bush, do you know the answer to this?

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

a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
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.
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.
i) Support programs that provide job training and placement services for at-risk youth.
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.
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.

a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
X 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.
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.
e) Increase funding for block grants to states to aid in the hiring of additional teachers.
f) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
X g) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
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.
X k) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
X 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.

X a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
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.
h) Allow workers to sell company stock and to diversify their company retirement funds into other investment options.
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.
X 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.

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) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
d) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
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).
X g) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
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.
X j) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
k) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
X 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.

X a) Renew 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 manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
X g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
X h) Require a license for gun possession.
X i) Establish a national database of ballistic "fingerprints" to track guns used in criminal activities.
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.

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.
X 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.
e) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
f) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X g) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
h) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under private managed care plans.
i) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
X j) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
X k) Allow 55-65 year-olds to buy into Medicare.
X l) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
X m) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
X n) Other or expanded principles
Support efforts to bring down U.S. prescription drug prices, including the commerical importation of lower priced medicines from Canada. Oppose privatization of Medicare.

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.
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.

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?
c) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
d) Discuss your proposals for the reconstruction of Iraq. What funding sources would you use to implement these proposals? (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)
e) Other or expanded principles
a) Should the United States use diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
b) Should the United States use military force to destroy the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
c) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
d) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
e) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
f) Other or expanded principles
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
4) Should the United States lift the travel ban to Cuba?
5) Should the United States increase its financial support to Colombia to combat "the war on drugs"?
6) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund distribution of contraceptives?
7) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention fund abstinence education?
8) Other or expanded principles

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 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Undecided 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?
No 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.

a) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
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?
No 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.
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.
X 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.
b) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement regulation of Internet content.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
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.
h) Impose regulations on "spam" emails.
i) 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 low-income families.
g) Other or expanded principles
1) We must ensure every American access to basic health coverage. Funding for this effort can be obtained by securing reasonable prices for prescription drugs, identifying and utilizing only the most cost-effective health services and supplies, and achieving system-wide administrative efficiencies. 2) We must overhaul U.S. trade policy to promote U.S. values, including the fair treatment of workers, environmental security, and sustained economic progress here and abroad. Trade policy should not export US jobs and import lower labor and environmental standards; it should advance the economic well-being of the US and its trading partners.

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