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Brendan Boyle's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)



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.

Brendan Boyle 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.

  • "In Congress, I will fight efforts to infringe upon the reproductive rights of women, and work to ratchet down the heated rhetoric on this emotional issue." (
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates. (
  • "Close Tax Loopholes -- A billionaire hedge fund manager should not pay a lower tax rate than a police officer or a nurse. Yet, under our unfair tax code, this is exactly what happens. We need to reform the tax code and end this unfair treatment of the middle class and workers." (
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (
  • "One of the greatest strengths of Social Security is that it is financed by a dedicated revenue stream and is self-funding. Social Security has not contributed to this nation's deficit and we can't look to the program to solve our budget crisis." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - For the People Act of 2019. (
  • "As long as campaign spending is protected like free speech and unlimited, undisclosed dark money is allowed to fund our elections, our democratic system will remain rigged to amplify the voice and influence of wealthy donors. We must commit to reengaging all citizens, making sure our doors are open and their voices are heard. I am proud of the solutions the Task Force, and the Democratic Party, are working hard for." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (
  • 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;" (
  • Rated 17% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "First, on the National Defense Authorization Act itself, I voted AGAINST this bill. I was one of only forty-two Democrats to oppose it. It authorized over $700 billion in Defense spending. Since the beginning of the Trump administration, US military spending has increased by more than $100,000,000,000, almost 20 percent. I do not believe this increase in military spending can be justified, especially given the trillions of dollars of needs we now have combatting COVID-19." (
  • "Second, on the Pocan Amendment, this would have cut the Defense budget by 10% across the board. While I favor reducing military spending, I strongly believe across the board cuts to every program is a poor approach." (
  • "Invest in Infrastructure and Transportation. In Washington I will fight to ensure that changes. We can make smart investments that create good construction jobs and also make sure we have the infrastructure needs to compete in the growing global economy." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 22 - Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. (
  • "Meanwhile, the Republican tax plan eliminates the corporate alternative minimum tax and cuts the corporate tax rate without closing loopholes -- despite candidate Trump's assurances that he knew best how to do so." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 266 - Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "The United states should be leading the world in the search for better, safer, more affordable energy. For these reasons, we urge you to maintain at least FY 2017 level of $2.036 billion for EERE in FY 2019." (
  • "I will continue to fight to promote alternative energy sources that reduce pollution and create American jobs." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 - Climate Action Now Act. (
  • "Democrats believe that Congress should work together to create a better, stronger, healthier world for our children by embracing our shared stewardship of this planet and creating policies that preserve our environment. It's our turn to lead." (
  • "I will wear this "F' from the NRA as a badge of honor. The NRA's dangerous agenda, promoting unfettered access to weapons of war for even the most violent among us, has cost countless Americans their lives." (
  • Voted in favor HR 1112 - Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. (
  • "I am proud to join my fellow House Democrats on the floor to demand that Republicans end their indefensible obstruction of commonsense gun legislation,' added Boyle. 'We will not rest until Congress shows the courage to act to strengthen background checks and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and suspected terrorists. No Bill, No Break." (
  • "When I saw that the previous Congress had voted 55 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I was a little concerned that I would miss all the fun. So I am very happy that we now have a 56th vote on this issue, and it gives me an opportunity to say what a strong supporter I am of the Affordable Care Act." (
  • "Over the last five years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, millions of Americans have been seeing the benefits of the law, including lower costs and better coverage. This includes hundreds of thousands of people right here in Pennsylvania." (
  • "I'm so glad to finally see the GOP finally supports paid family leave! #JointSession" (
  • "Time for Congress to #LeadOnLeave. Paid parental leave should be U.S. law — not just a company perk" (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • Rated 1% by NumbersUSA. (
  • "Here's what the President didn't tell the American people about the proposed border wall in his address: It would be incredibly expensive, most Americans don't want it, and experts say it wouldn't even help curb undocumented immigration or address the greatest threats at the border. The President needs to get his facts straight, put aside his erratic demands, stop abusing his office for political gain, and reopen the government immediately." (
  • Rated 1% by NumbersUSA. (
  • "As the proud son of an immigrant myself, I am appalled by this shameless and irrational disavowal of our nation's immigrant youth who contribute so much to our country every day. DACA has empowered 800,000 bright, promising young people, who were brought to this country through no choice of their own as children, to come forward out of the shadows and pursue higher education, work legally, pay taxes, and have a real place in the only country they call home. Dreamers are our nurses, our teachers, our local business owners. They are Americans in every way but on paper. This heartless, illogical action is not part of any coherent plan to improve immigration or fight crime." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. (
  • "The nuclear agreement with Iran doesn't make war less likely. It makes war more likely." (
  • "I support President Obama's declaration this morning that he will continue to work with the U.N. Security Council and international community to impose additional penalties and sanctions upon North Korea as a result of this and previous actions." (
  • Rated 17% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "Today, our alternative is not a "better deal"; it's no deal. Unilaterally withdrawing now means undermining U.S. credibility on this and other related matters of world order, like denuclearizing North Korea; losing all access to international inspections of Iran's nuclear activities; and giving the Iranians an excuse to race towards a nuclear bomb, this time with a large cash flow in hand." (
  • "The single worst foreign policy decision in my lifetime was the decision to invade Iraq. We are still paying for the Iraq War disaster today. So I will be damned if I support a similarly disastrous decision to attack Iran." (
  • Rated 17% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • Voted in favor of H J Res 37 - Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "There can be no doubt that China has engaged in unfair trade practices, particularly when comes to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation, as your March 2018 report makes clear. We were encouraged that your office took a transparent and deliberate approach in developing the three lists of tarrifs, including a notice and committment period and public hearings. We also appreciate that an exclusion process was set up to further refine the two lists. However, the lack of such a process for the most recent list is a glaring omission, particularly given its size relative to the first two lists. An exclusion protocol is vital to ensuring that US companies can seek relief in the event that there are no alternative suppliers or if special circumstances exist that could harm their ability to compete in the global marketplace." (
  • "For years, we've seen unfair trade practices cost foreign workers their rights and dignity, and cost U.S. workers their jobs," said Congressman Boyle. "We've seen CEO pay skyrocket while wages are stagnant, as firms struggle to compete with low foreign costs. And we've seen businesses and factories -- like the Nabisco plant right here in Philadelphia -- shut their doors. If United States businesses and workers are going to have a chance to compete, we must level the playing field and bring unfair trade practices to an end." (
  • Rated 100% by Public Citizen. (
  • 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) 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.
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) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.

Greatly Increase a) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increase b) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increase c) Environment
Greatly Increase d) Health care
Slightly Increase e) Law enforcement
Maintain Status f) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Status g) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Maintain Status g) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Maintain Status h) Inheritance taxes
Greatly Decrease i) Property taxes
Maintain Status j) Sales taxes
Maintain Status k) Vehicle taxes
Greatly Decrease l) Other or expanded categories
No m) Should Internet sales be taxed?
Yes n) Do you support legalizing slot machines at racetracks?
No o) Do you support an increase in income taxes in order to lower property taxes and increase aid to education?
X p) Other or expanded principles
City Wage tax
The best way to lower property taxes is to use some of the revenue expected from the tax on slot machines at racetracks.

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

Yes a) Do you support the current limit of two four-year terms for Pennsylvania governors?
No b) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Pennsylvania state senators and representatives?
Yes 1) Individual
Yes 2) PAC
Yes 3) Corporate
Yes 4) Political Parties
Yes d) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
No e) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yes f) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying, and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yes g) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in Pennsylvania are closed?
h) Should Pennsylvania recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
i) Should Pennsylvania restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
Yes j) Do you support requiring telecommunications firms to offer broadband services to all of Pennsylvania by 2010?
Undecided k) Do you support reauthorizing Pennsylvania's current telecommunications regulations (Chapter 30)?
l) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support the death penalty in Pennsylvania.
X c) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X d) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
e) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
f) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
X g) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
X h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
i) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
X j) Increase funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent and to respond to terrorist attacks.
k) Allow the use of radar and LIDAR by local police departments.
l) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
X d) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
X e) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
f) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
h) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
X i) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
X j) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
X k) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
l) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
X n) Other or expanded principles
Support enacting the HOPE Scholarship in Pennsylvania, which would make college tuition-free for middle class families.

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity, or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on:

X a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order 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 children in low-income working families.
e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
X f) Include sexual orientation in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination laws.
X g) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Other or expanded principles
a) Public employment
b) State college and university admissions
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.
X b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
X c) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
X d) Support funding for open space preservation.
X e) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
f) Support the $800 million Growing Greener bond.
X g) Support waiving sales taxes on the purchase of energy efficient appliances during twice-annual "tax holidays."
h) Other or expanded principles

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

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

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

X 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.
c) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X 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.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Pennsylvania.
h) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
i) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
X b) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
c) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
d) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
e) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
f) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
g) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
h) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
i) Other or expanded principles
As the first person in my family to attend college, I care deeply about helping middle-class families afford college. I will fight for the HOPE Scholarship, which allows all students to attend college tuition-free, provided they maintain a "B" average. I will also fight for enactment of the Prescription Plus Plan. This plan has already cut the cost of drugs by 60% in Maine. PA residents need help paying for the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.

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