Their Biographies, Issue Positions, Voting Records, Public Statements, Ratings and their Funders.
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Gregory Meeks' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (NY) - District 5, Democratic


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.

Gregory Meeks 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.

  • Signed a letter stating: "and that includes upholding a woman's right to make her own decision about whether to end a pregnancy." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America. (votesmart.org)
  • "The few tax breaks that middle-class Americans will receive are temporary, while the major tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations are permanent. The uppermost wage-earners in America have their top tax rates cut, further widening the income disparity between the wealthy and the rest of America." (votesmart.org)
  • "Before social security, half of all seniors lived and died in poverty. The GOP's platform is to gut our social safety nets like social security and privatize it. I am proud to join my fellow Democrats in the newly created #ExpandSocialSecurity Caucus to fight for what works." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 96% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - For the People Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "As negotiations over the omnibus agreement continue, we urge you to resist any attempt to include a controversial campaign finance provision relaxing political party coordination limits. This change would be a travesty coming on the heels of last year's erosion of the limits on big donor contributions to the parties." (votesmart.org)
  • "This is a turning point in American history, as our nation takes a hard and imaginative look at reforming law enforcement. The #JusticeInPolicing Act we unveiled yesterday says no to chokeholds, no to qualified immunity, and yes to accountability and transparency." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (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)
  • "My colleagues on both sides of the aisle have prioritized rebuilding our nation's crumbling infrastructure; we all agree it needs to happen. In fact, our President has pledged upwards of $1 trillion in spending towards those efforts. Increased spending will boost jobs, but we need workers with the skills required to fill those jobs," Congressman Meeks said." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "As the House and Senate work to finalize a long term surface transportation conference report, we urge you to support the higher funding levels needed to strengthen our surface transportation infrastructure and improve our competitiveness." (votesmart.org)
  • " Don't be misled. Trump and Republicans gave billionaires and their corporations a massive tax cut while the rest of us got scraps. The tax bill, like this administration, favored the wealthy. Wages won't increase. Groceries won't be cheaper. Companies won't hire more people." (twitter.com)
  • "The few tax breaks that middle-class Americans will receive are temporary, while the major tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations are permanent. The uppermost wage-earners in America have their top tax rates cut, further widening the income disparity between the wealthy and the rest of America." (votesmart.org)
  • "Congress must provide substantial relief to families and small businesses in need of help, making it as fair as possible while reducing time consuming red tape. We must create incentives for retired health care professionals we'll need to volunteer, encourage banks to offer forbearance and offer capital, and ensure that any government bailout of industry is conditioned on helping the workers hurt most by this crisis. Only through comprehensive and creative policy will we mitigate the worst health and economic consequences of coronavirus," (votesmart.org)
  • "Today I will cast my vote in DC to pass the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package. This bill is not perfect, but it will provide immediate relief for the many people hurting as a result of coronavirus, it will support for our health care workers, and will help small businesses." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by National Education Association. (votesmart.org)
  • "H.R. 5 perpetuates the same serious flaw with the accountability systems as in No Child Left Behind, which deters high-quality teachers from joining low-performing schools. We need to remediate this problem." (votesmart.org)
  • "While states would have the flexibility to devise their own standards and teacher evaluations, the Department of Education would maintain federal oversight to work collaboratively with states and hold bad actors accountable. The ESSA also gives states the freedom to reduce or alter testing, heeding concerns of over-testing. Through these significant enhancements, we have improved student’s college and post-secondary prospects." (www.facebook.com)
  • "Transitioning to 100% renewable energy coupled with a jobs initiative sounds like good policy to me. Proud cosponsor of bills to do just that." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 0% by American Energy Alliance. (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 - Climate Action Now Act. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "We write in strong opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recently proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, which would replace the 2015 Clean Power Plan (CPP) with a far weaker rule that poses direct threats to both human health and the environment and undermine U.S. efforts to combat climate change. This rule will undoubtedly have severe consequences for the health and well-being of the communities we represent, many of whom have long endured profound environmental injustice. In contrast, EPA's own assessment demonstrated that the CPP would have saved thousands of lives each year." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by the Gun Owners of America. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by National Rifle Association (votesmart.org)
  • "This country has suffered far too many deaths and tragedies because of gun violence. As we grieve with the families and friends of the more than 33,000 Americans killed by guns last year, Republican Leadership continually blocks any effort to reduce that number." (votesmart.org)
  • "Congress must also end the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a law that has brought healthcare to millions of Americans and already saved countless lives." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (votesmart.org)
  • "And Democrats made sure that funding for Trump's impractical border wall was excluded." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by NumbersUSA. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by NumbersUSA. (votesmart.org)
  • "I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues in Congress to pass legislation as soon as possible to restore those protections and grant a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "We remain hopeful that with astrong U.S. leadership, we can ensure vigorous enforcement of the JCPOA, as well as the implementation of non-nuclear and multilateral sanctions, including CAATSA, to keep the American people secure and safeguard American interests." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Rather than using reckless rhetoric and sending muddled messages to our allies, the U.S. should pursue a comprehensive strategy toward North Korea that consists of economic pressure, strong and steady diplomacy, and credible deterrence and defense." (votesmart.org)
  • "Grateful to the intelligence community and military for neutralizing al-Baghdadi, but it’s important to note that this operation risked being compromised because of the President’s Syria decision. We should all be concerned by the cascading effects of his abrupt withdrawal." (twitter.com)
  • "I support President Obama's four-step plan to build upon our successes to diminish, degrade and destroy this unprecedented terrorist threat with limited and targeted military action. The President reiterated that this is a controlled anti-terrorism campaign that will be dramatically different from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "We have seen that the consequences can be grave if the U.S. acts prematurely in its withdrawal in vulnerable countries that are susceptible to the rule of terrorist organizations." (votesmart.org)
  • "The announcement today of a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is an important and historic development. I commend the Obama Administration and Ambassador Froman in particular for his tireless effort to achieve a groundbreaking deal encompassing 40 percent of the global economy." (votesmart.org)
  • "In order for our economy to stay one step ahead of our competitors, Congress also must act increase access to foreign export markets" (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 19% by Public Citizen. (votesmart.org)
This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.
The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.

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

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

Slightly Increase a) AIDS programs
Maintain Status b) Arts funding
Greatly Increase c) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increase d) Environmental programs
Slightly Increase e) Foreign aid
Greatly Increase f) Housing projects
Greatly Increase g) Job training programs
Maintain Status h) Law enforcement
Maintain Status i) Medicaid
Slightly Increase j) Medicare
Maintain Status k) NASA
Greatly Increase l) Student loan programs
Slightly Decrease m) Welfare
p) Other
Maintain Status a) Armed Forces personnel training
Slightly Decrease b) CIA appropriations
Slightly Increase c) Defense plant conversion
Slightly Decrease d) Development of new weapons
Slightly Decrease e) Military hardware
f) Military space shuttle missions
Maintain Status g) National Missile Defense Program
Slightly Increase h) Pay for active duty personnel
i) Other
Undecided 3) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to require an annual balanced federal budget?
X a) Social Security
b) Medicare
c) Tax cuts
d) Federal debt reduction
e) Other
Small Bus. Dev. -- Greatly Increase
Defense -- Slightly Decrease

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

X a) Support national standards and testing in reading and math.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any publicly funded school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
d) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any publicly funded school.
e) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
f) Support creation of more charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
g) Give all federal education funding to states in the form of block grants and allow them to spend it as they see fit.
X h) Support voluntary teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
X i) Increase funding for block grants to states to help them hire additional teachers.
j) Other
Yes 2) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee the right to religious expression and voluntary prayer in public places, including schools?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.

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

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

Maintain Status a) Retiree income over $40,000
Slightly Decrease b) Family income less than $25,000
Slightly Decrease c) Family income $25-75,000
Slightly Decrease d) Family income $75-150,000
e) Family income over $150,000
f) Alcohol taxes
g) Capital gains taxes
h) Charitable deductions
Slightly Increase i) Child tax credit
j) Cigarette taxes
k) Corporate income taxes
l) Earned Income Tax Credit
m) Estate taxes
Greatly Increase n) Medical expense deductions
o) Mortgage deductions
p) Other
q) Other
Undecided 2) Do you support replacing the U.S. income tax structure with a flat income tax?
Undecided 3) Do you support eliminating the Internal Revenue Service?
Undecided 4) Do you support instituting a national sales tax?
Yes 5) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
Undecided 6) Do you support requiring a super-majority vote in both houses of Congress to raise taxes?
7) Other

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

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

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

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

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