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Paul Tonko's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (NY) - District 20, Democratic

On The Ballot: Running, Democratic, Working Families for U.S. House (NY) - District 20

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.

Paul Tonko 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.

  • Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? "Pro-Choice" (votesmart.org)
  • In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (votesmart.org)
  • "Social Security and Medicare represent a solemn promise to those who worked all their lives and paid into the system will retire with the dignity they deserve. While many in Congress believe we should cut benefits to save the system, I believe we should raise the cap at which the wealthiest among us stop paying into the system, and use those resources to increase the solvency of the system and increase benefits." (votesmart.org)
  • "Social Security is an important pillar of support for millions of Americans who have earned its benefits through a lifetime of work," said Tonko. "This critical safety net program has protected the financial security and personal dignity of millions of America's retirees, individuals with disabilities, and countless others for generations. Our legislation provides the opportunity to strengthen its benefits and put Social Security on the strongest possible footing for generations to come." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (votesmart.org)
  • "The #JusticeInPolicing Act will: - curb police brutality - end racial profiling - eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement Our nation needs this bold step forward to make a more just nation for every American. Time for the Senate to act!" (twitter.com)
  • "Today I joined in cosponsoring the #JusticeinPolicing Act. This legislation would, among other things: - Ban police chokeholds - Restrict "qualified immunity" - End no-knock warrants for drug crimes - Require police accountability & transparency". (twitter.com)
  • "While I remain deeply concerned by blockbuster military spending increases and broader budgetary issues less than a year after Republicans voted to add some $2 trillion to the deficit to give tax breaks to the wealthy, this bill avoids foolish, costly and unpopular spending on a border wall and other misguided priorities that would do little to address the major issues with our border or our immigration system. Overall, the other priorities represented in this bill will help millions of Americans who are still being largely ignored and forgotten by this President and Republican leaders in Congress." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Absent a bipartisan agreement to avoid sequestration, across the board cuts to defense and nondefense spending will disrupt the most essential functions of our government and drastically increase economic uncertainty." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 5515 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? "No" (votesmart.org)
  • "Our nation needs a response that puts money in the pockets of those who need it most and provides essential support for our health care workers on the frontlines of this pandemic. The supplemental offers stability and hope for the millions whose lives have changed in the blink of an eye. As our country continues to feel impacts of coronavirus, we in the House promise to continue working to ensure that, through every step of this public health emergency, we put the needs of American families, workers and small businesses first. With so much at stake, we cannot afford to fail." (votesmart.org)
  • "The historic House passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will provide Americans with the resources they need and ease the incredible burden they face fighting this public health crisis." (twitter.com)
  • Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • Do you generally support gun-control legislation? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? "No" (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border? "No" (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? "No" (votesmart.org)
  • "President Trump's regrettable decision to break the terms of that agreement ensures we will not fulfill commitments America made with other world powers and the government of Iran. It devastates America's credibility as a global leader. And it increases the likelihood of Iranian nuclear weapons development. The Iran nuclear agreement has made us and our allies in the Middle East safer. With this announcement, President Trump is singlehandedly putting that in jeopardy." (votesmart.org)
  • "Effectively blocking Iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon doesn't represent the whole of the challenges we have in the foreign policy arena -- and there are bad actors around the globe, both under a flag and without a country. In Congress, I will continue to support policies that first exhausts all diplomatic options and uses the declaration of war and putting American boots on the ground as the absolute last resort." (votesmart.org)
  • "I believe we have taken great strides in moving toward a more peaceful world with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the historic deal that blocks every pathway Iran has toward developing and employing a nuclear weapon." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "While Paul was encouraged that President Obama lived up to his promise to bring our troops home from Iraq, he continues to advocate for bringing the war in Afghanistan to a responsible end at the quickest possible pace." (votesmart.org)
  • "So whether it was NAFTA--the North America Free Trade Agreement--or the Korean Free Trade Agreement, supporters of our past FTAs have promised these deals would create a good outcome, create United States jobs, create a lesser trade deficit, and improve global labor and global environmental standards. Tragically, sadly, this has not been the outcome." (votesmart.org)
  • "Mr. Speaker, trade, absolutely critical to our economy, but fair trade, not free trade, a fair trade situation where our manufacturers, our businesses, are operating on a level playing field where they have an equal shot at being able to go forward and be productive and provide for jobs, the dignity of work for Americans from coast to coast." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Public Citizen. (votesmart.org)
  • "We have opposed the TPP in its current form. Certainly we are for trade. It is important for us to have that marketplace. We are 4.7 percent of the world's population. Of course we want to advance trade. It needs to be fair trade, and that is what we are asking here. This is the message that we have been resonating so as to make certain that there is progress made here for our communities, our neighborhoods, our workers, and our businesses." (votesmart.org)
This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.
Pro-choice Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Yes In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Yes In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
Yes. We spend more on defense than the next seven countries combined (China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, UK, Japan). Before we look to balance the budget on our most vulnerable citizens, Congress should cut wasteful, duplicative, or obsolete programs in the Defense Department. I support legislation that ensures the wealthiest and well-connected are paying their fair share. So-called �trickle-down� economics is a plan that has been tried, failed, and tried again with the recent GOP tax law.
Yes Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Yes. I have routinely sponsored legislation in Congress that overturns Citizens United and removes dark money from our politics.
Yes Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
No Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
No. Corporate taxes are already inappropriately low and the 2017 Republican tax law has shown that further tax cuts only benefit the already wealthy and well connected instead of the middle class, families struggling to put food on the table, or the unemployed.
Yes Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
Yes, we should hold our schools to high standards and ensure that every child in America, no matter where they are born, is provided with the solid foundation they need to succeed in a 21st century economy. There should also be sufficient flexibility to ensure that states can meet the needs of diverse student populations and recognition that students have individual needs that may differ from one another.
Yes Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
Yes Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Yes. There should also be a price on carbon.
Yes Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
Yes. I support gun violence prevention. I refuse to believe that we must choose between the safety of our citizens, schools, and public places � and 2nd Amendment rights for law abiding gun owners. Congress must get out of the pocket of the D.C. gun lobby and represent their constituents.
No Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
No. I want to work with both Republicans and Democrats to fix existing problems with the ACA and strengthen the law�s provisions that have already benefitted millions of Americans.
No Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
No Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Situations that bring immigrants here unlawfully or cause them to overstay a lawful visit are complex and difficult. Sometimes, individuals are fleeing homelands wrought in poverty and violence and, in these instances, it makes no sense to throw these individuals, often children, back into a dangerous and chaotic environment just to check a box. I support comprehensive immigration reform that ends unauthorized entry and effectively addresses the reality that 11 million undocumented immigrants are currently living here, many of whom hold jobs, make significant contributions to our economy, and have children who are American citizens without turning them away.
Yes Do you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes?
No Should the United States use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a nuclear weapon?
No Do you support increased American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support?
1) Investing in development of renewable energies. We can do this by closing loopholes for companies that pollute and perpetuate our dependency on foreign oil. 2) Upgrading our water infrastructure. Our pipes and water systems are older than the Rutherford B. Hayes administration in many communities. Every day we don�t address this issue, we will have to spend more on repairs in the future. Acting now on this little-talked about crisis saves us money in the long run. 3) Ensuring that we are able to address mental health problems, from suicide prevention to substance use disorder, in a meaningful way.

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