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Kevin McCarthy's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


On The Ballot: Running, Republican for U.S. House (CA) - District 20


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.

Kevin McCarthy did not provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2022 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 2022.

  • Voted in favor of HR 36 "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act." (
  • "Protecting life is fundamental to our character as a nation. No one should be forced to support abortion providers with their tax dollars. @POTUS' #ProtectLife rule is another clear indication that we are committed to defending life, not destroying it. #TitleX" (
  • Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee. (
  • "Year after year, month after month, reports roll in that premiums continue to go up, co-ops are closing down, and some insurers are backing out of the exchanges altogether. These are the results of Obamacare. At the beginning of this year, Congress put an Obamacare repeal on the President's desk, which he vetoed--consigning Americans to the status quo of rising health care costs and fewer choices. But Republicans have a better way. Today, we're showing the American people our positive vision with the House's A Better Way initiative on Health Care Reform. This plan would provide more choice, greater flexibility for consumers, protect the most vulnerable, spur innovation of new medicines and therapies, and preserve Medicare for future generations. Obamacare is failing, but Republicans are ready with a plan to increase access to affordable, high-quality care for more Americans." (
  • "Congress can make the needed reforms to Social Security to give our children and grandchildren a brighter retirement future. Under current law, our children will pay Social Security, but when they retire, the Social Security Trustees estimate that our children will not receive their fair share. Leadership is needed now to reform this unsustainable system in order to prevent dramatic tax increases or benefit cuts in the future. American workers should have access to the best information available when planning for retirement; that is why it is necessary to keep social security fund information transparent and honest." (
  • Rated 0% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (
  • "We laid out that we would protect Medicare, we would protect Social Security, because if you do nothing, it cannot sustain itself into future generations. And we laid our budget out, where the Democrats attacked us, but the American people supported." (
  • "Today, the Senate wisely rejected to move forward on a bill that would use taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns, weaken our election security, and have elections dictated by Washington bureaucrats. Our democracy is stronger because of it. This bill was never "For the People,' and always "For the Politicians' who demanded greater control over our lives. For too long, the focus of Democrats in Washington has shifted away from the people we represent and the challenges they face. Now that H.R. 1 has been stopped, Congress should start prioritizing real people and the challenges they face: the highest inflation in 13 years, energy shortages, a border crisis that continues to get worse, soaring consumer prices, national security threats, and rising crime rates." (
  • "First, they defunded the police. Next, they're going to come for your guns. And with HR 1, they want to use federal money to fund their campaigns so they can stay in power--permanently. The Democrat agenda, ladies and gentlemen." (
  • Rated 0% by Common Cause. (
  • Voted against HR 1 "For the People Act of 2021." (
  • "President @realDonaldTrump has done more to bring justice for families and accountability for police than Basement Biden ever did." (
  • "Democrats just blocked police reform. They would rather keep the radical left mob stirred up and angry than lift a finger to fix the problem. Pure politics." (
  • "I fully support our police officers who put on their uniforms every day to carry out the oath to protect and serve their communities." (
  • Voted against HR 1280 "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021." (
  • Voted in favor of S 1605 "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022." (
  • "In recent years we did not invest enough in defense, and it is only by our good fortune and the superior skill of our men and women in uniform that we have remained as secure as we have. But our soldiers are stretched too thin and the challenges we face are only getting more difficult. This legislation significantly increases defense funding because there is nothing more important our government can do than to protect the American people" (
  • "Through the NDAA, Republicans were able to secure critical provisions important to America, California, and our community. On a local level, the NDAA secures the authorization of $9.12 million to construct the Solar Energy Storage System at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, bolstering the installation's energy resiliency. The NDAA also enhances our region by including some bases, like NAWS China Lake and Edwards Air Force Base, as eligible locations for waiving the waiting period for certain military retirees. This will allow our defense partners to retain vital expertise and knowledge of military missions and capabilities." (
  • "We will allocate additional funding on top of the base defense spending included in the package to rebuild our aging equipment, upgrade our outdated defense systems, and give our servicemen and women a raise. Finally, we have an Administration that understands that national defense can't take a back seat to growing government at home." (
  • "There's a very interesting infrastructure deal called the #GAIINact. Do you know who supports it? The Congressional Black Caucus and the Freedom Caucus. Now THAT is bipartisan. Could be a good start!" (
  • ""By modernizing and supporting our airport #infrastructure -- a more efficient and reliable transportation of people and commerce will keep our economy growing. #FAA" (
  • "The California high-speed rail project has been inherently flawed from the very beginning -- timelines have not been met, ridership projections have been exaggerated, and the budget has ballooned by tens of billions of dollars," said Congressman McCarthy. "Today's announcement ensures that we move on from the failed boondoggle and focus on actual solutions that help Californians, like desperately-needed water storage and infrastructure projects. With this decision, I urge Speaker Pelosi and the entire California delegation to help schedule the RAILWAY Act for a vote on the House Floor, so that we can ensure this federal money can come back to California and strengthen our water storage infrastructure." (
  • Voted against HR 3684 "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act." (
  • "Responsive to an economy and workforce on the edge, the intent of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help small businesses and 501(c)3 nonprofits to retain their employees, so that they are able to pick back up where they left off, with government relief." (
  • "Our job in Congress should be to reinforce their efforts and that is what the CAREs ACT will accomplish. [It] will directly assist--the American family--the American worker… healthcare workers and hospitals… and businesses, especially small businesses." (
  • "If you are a small business owner, I know you are sitting around a kitchen table right now trying to make decisions. Help is on the way. With the #CARESact, you will be able to get a loan, and if you keep paying your employees and your rent, that portion of the loan is forgiven." (
  • "An historic avalanche of layoffs is crushing American families. But yesterday, Leader Schumer and Senate Democrats blocked a clean funding increase for the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that has already saved millions of jobs and may be depleted in just a few days." (
  • "Energy is one of the foundations of modern life and our 21st century economy, and as America ventures into the future, developing innovative sources of energy and better storage will complement the amazing success of the American energy industry today. The House's Innovation Initiative is embracing our energy future with two bills to increase research into solar fuels and improved electricity storage. America is the global leader in energy. The power of American innovation can keep us on top for decades to come." (
  • "A balanced approach that expands energy exploration can help fuel our economic engine, and opportunities to utilize alternative and renewable energy sources reflect the reality that we need to continue American prosperity with cutting edge technology and environmental advances." (
  • "America needs a national energy policy that focuses on more renewable resources, environmentally sound development of fossil fuels, and incentives for conservation. Becoming less reliant on foreign sources of energy will make America safer and stronger economically." (
  • Rated 100% by Independent Petroleum Association of America. (
  • "America is leading the way in energy production while also leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through our continued innovation and technological development. But even amongst this American leadership, there's still more to do to make sure we leave future generations with a cleaner, healthier world. Republicans are focused on realistic, fact-based solutions that rely on and support American innovation, while maintaining our country's competitive edge." (
  • "President Trump is taking action to keep the lights on in our homes, our factories, and throughout our economy's supply chain. America will have a stronger future by developing, not neglecting, the abundant energy resources our land offers. The rationale behind this action is what Republicans have been arguing for years: environmental protections and economic growth are not mutually exclusive," said Congressman McCarthy. "Innovation and technological changes have proven our ability to advance energy development in a cleaner and safer way. We are a resilient people who power a resilient economy. Unleashing our energy potential will strongly support jobs and healthier lives for everyone." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1119 "SENSE Act." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 38 "Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017." (
  • "American citizens should not have their right to keep and bear arms restricted simply because they travel out of state. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act protects every American's Second Amendment rights by ensuring that those who are allowed to possess a concealed handgun in one state can carry in other states that permit concealed carry, as long as they observe all laws in the state that they're in. If opponents of the Second Amendment want to take people's rights away, they should do it the old fashioned way: convince a supermajority of the American people and amend the Constitution. Otherwise, we have a duty to defend the Constitution as it is--all of it." (
  • Rated 100% by the National Rifle Association. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 3003 "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act." (
  • "Before it could even be implemented, the President's executive order granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants was put on hold in court. The court system took the President's own words into account that such an action would "violate our laws' and be "very difficult to defend legally.' Today, the Supreme Court made the right call. When Congress doesn't give the President what he wants, the President doesn't all the sudden gain the right to legislate all by himself. This ruling protects the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution--a foundational principle that has defended and continues to defend the American people from unchecked executive abuses." (
  • "This is not amnesty, this is dealing with the DACA issue by keeping with the rule of law and not giving a special path for them. Most importantly, it is building the wall and protecting the border. No longer will we have catch and release, we stopped that. Another interesting thing is we tie and make sure full funding is there for the wall. We make sure the accountability and border security are there so we do not have this problem in the future." (
  • "President Trump and the leaders of Canada and Mexico announced the most significant trade deal in a generation a year ago this week. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is unambiguously a win for America. It would create new jobs, expand export markets, strengthen protections for workers, and generate billions of dollars in new prosperity. The USMCA would also help keep North American partners close while the U.S. hangs tough with China." (
  • "Today's announcement marks another major milestone that gets us one step closer to ratifying the USMCA. This administration continues to follow through on their commitment to looking out for the best interests of American companies and consumers. Studies are predicting passage of the USMCA would boost our already booming economy by billions of dollars and would add nearly 200,000 jobs to the U.S. labor market. A significant roadblock was removed and there is no reason to delay; Congress should take up the USMCA immediately, so we can reap the economic benefits that will touch communities nationwide." (
  • "The Trump Administration has once again secured a critical deal for our nation, and the benefits of this agreement will be realized by Americans in Kern County, Tulare County, and across the country. This initial trade pact will reduce tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, expanding market access and providing new opportunities for California's farmers and ranchers to increase exports to Japan. This agreement will immediately eliminate Japanese tariffs on U.S. almonds, walnuts, broccoli, and other produce, as well as zero-out tariffs over time on U.S. oranges, certain types of pork, poultry, and beef products, and wine, among other things. As our two countries continue good-faith conversations, I encourage the Administration to ensure that all future negotiations also contain policies that will further lift our economy and protect the American people." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 5430 "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act." (
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.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legally available.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
X d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
X e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
X f) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
X g) Prohibit the dilation and extraction procedure, also known as partial birth abortion.
h) Support amending the California Civil Code to state that human life begins at conception.
i) Other or expanded principles

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories.State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels you will support.

Slightly Increase Funding a) Education (Higher)
Slightly Increase Funding b) Education (K-12)
Slightly Decrease Funding c) Environment
Maintain Funding Status d) Health care
Slightly Increase Funding e) Law enforcement
Greatly Increase Funding f) Transportation and Highway infrastructure
Slightly Decrease Funding g) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Eliminate b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Greatly Decrease d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Greatly Decrease F) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Greatly Decrease g) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Eliminate h) Inheritance taxes
Greatly Decrease i) Property taxes
Slightly Decrease j) Sales taxes
Slightly Decrease k) Vehicle taxes
l) Other or expanded categories
No m) Should Internet sales be taxed?
Yes n) Would you support placing any operating surplus into a "rainy day" fund?
No o) Should California legalize gambling in specific cities in order to generate tax revenue?
p) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and governmental reform.e) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?

Yes a) Do you support the current two term, eight year limit for California governors?
Yes b) Do you support the current two term, eight year limit for California state senators?
Yes c) Do you support the current three term, six year limit for California assembly members?
No d) Do you support amending the term limit law to allow voters to place a current legislator on the ballot who would otherwise be ineligible to run for re-election?
Yes 1) Individual
Yes 2) PAC
Yes 3) Corporate
Yes 4) Political Parties
Yes f) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
No g) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
No h) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Undecided i) Do you support voting on-line?
Yes j) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yes k) Do you support prohibiting media exit polling of voters until all polling locations in California are closed?
No l) Do you support allowing voter registration on Election day?
No m) Should California recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Yes n) Should California restrict marriage to a relationship only between a man and a woman?
o) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
X b) Increase state funds for the construction, renovation, and expansion of local jails and juvenile detention centers.
c) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
X d) Support the use of the death penalty in California.
e) Support placing a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in California.
X f) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X g) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
h) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
X i) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
X j) Support .08 blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
X k) Prosecute as adults, youths accused of a felony.
X l) Support funding for alternative sentencing programs for juvenile offenders.
m) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, or disability be prosecuted as hate crimes.
X n) Ban the use of racial profiling by law enforcement officers.
X o) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
X p) Increase state funding for additional security of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks.
q) Amend the "three-strikes" law so that it is applied only when the third offense is a serious or violent felony.
r) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
X b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
c) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
X d) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
X e) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
X f) Support posting the Ten Commandments in public schools.
g) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
X h) Support public schools administering high school exit exams.
X i) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
X j) Increase state funding for Head Start programs.
X k) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
l) Support age-appropriate sexual education programs that teach about abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
X m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
X n) Increase the length of the public school year to provide additional hours of classroom instruction.
o) Other or expanded principles

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning employment.Affirmative Action: Should the following state agencies take race and sex into account when making employment decisions?

X a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
X b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X c) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
X d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
X e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
f) Include sexual orientation in California's anti-discrimination laws.
g) Create a state "living wage" standard.
h) Other or expanded principles
No a) College and university admissions
No b) Public employment
No c) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
c) Support a bond for clean air, parks, and water conservation programs.
Yes d) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
No e) Should state environmental regulations be stricter than federal law?
No f) Should California purchase the utility lines of power companies?
No g) Should California sell state bonds to create an emergency fund for the purchase of energy?
h) Other or expanded principles

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

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

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

a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care where necessary.
b) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
X c) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
d) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
X e) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
X f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician-assisted suicide in California.
X h) Increase state funding for training health workers to recognize and respond to the release of biological agents.
i) Require labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered products.
X j) Eliminate the requirement that health care facilities must provide non-emergency medical assistance to illegal immigrants.
k) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Support current time limits on welfare benefits.
b) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
X c) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
X d) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
e) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
f) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
X g) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
h) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to expand state services to include the working poor.
X i) Support tax credits to developers for the construction of low income housing.
j) Other or expanded principles
On an attached page, in a total of seventy-five (75) words or less, 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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