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Bill Pascrell, Jr.'s Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for U.S. House (NJ) - District 9


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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.

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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.

  • ""While America was sleeping, in the dead of last night, the Supreme Court for all intents and purposes overruled Roe v. Wade. In one cowardly, silent action the rightwing justices took a hacksaw to 48 years of precedent," said Rep. Pascrell. "A woman's right to choose is protected by the United States Constitution. A handful of unelected judges, several of whom occupy seats stolen by Mitch McConnell, have no right to impose their radical agenda on hundreds of millions of Americans."" (
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 3755 "Women's Health Protection Act of 2021." (
  • ""We can finally see text in black and white and one of our top priorities is close," said Rep. Pascrell, who led the fight against the GOP Tax Scam. "That our Build Back Better bill will offer meaningful tax relief to our neighbors cruelly crushed by the Republican Tax Scam of 2017 is welcome news. Republicans raised taxes on the middle-class and we are lowering them. From day one this issue has been about lifting up our middle-class and reinstating centuries-old tax policy. As SALT aid being considered by the Rules Committee today shows, we've never lost sight of that goal. Nearly every New Jersey family will see relief from our plan. The House should quickly take up and enact our Build Back Better bill so the Senate can pass it expeditiously and we can sign these historic investments into law." (
  • Rated 0% by FreedomWorks. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 5377 "Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act." (
  • "We must have courage to act in the face of challenges. Social Security is this insurance program which we want to protect and expand and help senior citizens and younger people and the disabled." (
  • Rated 99% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (
  • Signed Letter to President Trump: "We write to express our strong support for extending the unemployment supports established through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These benefits are critical to continuing to support hardworking American families and businesses impacted by the coronavirus." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1425 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act." (
  • "U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today voted in favor of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a massive civil and voting rights package put forth by Democrats to restore American democracy. Among other important provisions, the bill would block voter suppression laws, ban partisan gerrymandering, establish automatic voter registration, expand voting access, overhaul the campaign finance system, and make Election Day a national holiday. Rep. Pascrell and House Democrats originally passed H.R. 1 in March 2019, but the bill was blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate." (
  • Rated 93% by Common Cause. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 "For the People Act of 2021." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1280 "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021." (
  • ""When enshrined in law, the Justice in Policing Act will create the most comprehensive federal reform of law enforcement that have been passed in many decades," said Rep. Pascrell. "We have engaged with stakeholders and approached this issue with both thoughtfulness and urgency. Any divide between our police and the public they are sworn to protect is unhealthy for public safety and untenable for democracy. Far from the absurd claim that it defunds police, this watershed bill provides needed reforms that can lead to systemic changes while making community policing better. Throughout my career I have sought to build bridges between people and their police. This legislation continues that hard work of making a better, safer America. Now that it has passed the House, I look forward to continuing to work with communities, colleagues and cops to finally enact a strong and smart police reform law."" (
  • Signed Letter to Chairman Smith: "Additional funding is needed to address readiness, enhance aircraft availability, and most importantly accelerate compliance with the DoD 80% Mission Capable Mandate. Specifically, additional funding is needed for spare parts and depot level repair capability to meet the required availability rates and accelerate the stand-up of mandated, organic government repair capabilities. In addition, adequate investments in the Reliability and Maintainability Improvement Program will not only increase readiness but also bring costs down for years to come over the life of the aircraft. Lastly, we believe a long-term, outcome-based sustainment contract will guarantee performance metrics at a fixed-price -- a win-win for our men and women in uniform and the American taxpayers." (
  • Rated 5% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • Voted in favor of S 1605 "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 3684 "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act." (
  • "It will be the largest investment ever in our public transit system, as well as our passenger rail service, and provide the funding needed for the Gateway Project. Communities will benefit from massive funding to upgrade our sewer systems, and public health will improve thanks to funds for clean and safe drinking water. The Democratic Congress will pay down our country's largest investment in new infrastructure that we have seen in decades. This is a titanic win for the United States of America. This is what building back better looks like." (
  • ""This week, our committee did nothing less than move forward the central elements of a historic plan to rebuild and reinvigorate America," said Rep. Pascrell. "A successful nation in the 21st Century makes a down payment on its future. Our legislation will make that deposit with gigantic investments in health care, infrastructure, family support, and environmental protections to fight climate change. Additionally, our action today will have a titanic impact on tax fairness in the United States. It has been generations since a single piece of congressional action leveled the playing field to make the rich pay their fair share. Simply put: this bill, once law, will remake America for the better." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 5376 "Build Back Better Act." (
  • "Three-quarters of the $1.1 trillion in individual cuts go to the wealthiest 5 percent of taxpayers, while by 2027, 86 million families will see their taxes go up. Conversely, the corporate cuts will be permanently enshrined. And did I mention that the tax scam adds over $2 trillion to our national debt,according to tax analysts at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania?" (
  • Rated 0% by FreedomWorks. (
  • "The Republican tax proposal will hurt working families in New Jersey while piling on giveaways to a small number of extremely wealthy individuals. Right now, a hedge fund manager making $10 million is taxed at a lower rate than a middle class teacher or a doctor. Small businesses on Main Street pay all their taxes, while multinational corporations hide their profits in offshore tax havens to reduce their tax rates to single digits. This giveaway to the wealthiest and most powerful is outrageous and has got to stop. But instead of putting forward a proposal that makes sure everyone pays their fair share, Republicans are choosing to raise taxes on working Americans and give huge breaks to those at the top, especially the President himself and many of his cabinet members." (
  • Voted against HR 1 "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act" (
  • "These grim figures are the direct fruit of a catastrophic response that has failed America. We have felt that failure in my state. The other side has used this crisis to hold a gun to the head of the American economy and the American people and has prioritized big business and corporate greed above all other urgencies. Our unemployed neighbors, shuttered small businesses, state and local governments, and even our hospitals and first responders have been treated as afterthoughts by this administration and forced to fight over crumbs that fell off the table. There are reports that life-saving equipment is being seized and routed to states favored by the administration. Yesterday the Senate Majority Leader openly bragged about denying aid to my state." (
  • ""For our children and grandchildren, America must lead the world in the fight against climate change," said Rep. Pascrell. "Our bipartisan legislation today will help boost our production of renewable chemicals and clean energy and decrease our dependence on the fossil fuel industry. Critically, the Renewable Chemicals Act focuses on job creation and innovation in these burgeoning industries to protect American workers. This bill can be a game-changer in our quest for a cleaner environment and the fight against climate change."" (
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 "Climate Action Now Act." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 4447 "Expanding Access to Sustainable energy Act of 2019." (
  • ""Investing in zero-emission energy production is essential to boosting American energy independence while preserving and creating local jobs across the country. This bipartisan legislation will provide nuclear power plants with federal tax credits to promote energy efficiency and reduce fossil fuel emissions," said Rep. Fitzpatrick. "Through the Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit Act of 2021, we can also assist communities across our nation in diversifying our energy supplies by providing financial incentives to promote the use of cleaner sources of energy."" (
  • ""Investing in zero-emission energy production is essential to boosting American energy independence while preserving and creating local jobs across the country. This bipartisan legislation will provide nuclear power plants with federal tax credits to promote energy efficiency and reduce fossil fuel emissions," said Rep. Fitzpatrick. "Through the Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit Act of 2021, we can also assist communities across our nation in diversifying our energy supplies by providing financial incentives to promote the use of cleaner sources of energy."" (
  • Rated 100% by League of Conservation Voters. (
  • ""Too many New Jersey communities have suffered beside Superfund sites that have languished without attention for decades. Just because the Congress hasn't been able to reauthorize the Superfund tax is no excuse for asking our Garden State neighbors to carry on their shoulders the health and financial burdens of this catastrophe," said Congressman Bill Pascrell. "It's time right now to fund the Superfund cleanup program -- and make the polluting industries, not the general public, pick up the tab. I am proud to support Chairman Pallone and Senator Booker's legislation so our taxpayers don't have to face the added indignity of cleaning up after polluters who have harmed our cities and towns with their poison."" (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1446 "Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021." (
  • ""America's gun violence epidemic has claimed far too many victims. Its tragic resilience is one of the worst stains on American life. Today House Democrats are saying: no more. Our legislation will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and make our communities safer," said Rep. Pascrell, a longtime advocate for stricter gun safety laws and unrelenting enemy of the NRA. "For decades Republicans have offered nothing more than "thoughts and prayers' while countless American lives have been lost to gun violence. Inaction is unforgivable. The American people elected Democrats to act and that's what we're doing today."" (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. (
  • ""Americans' health care is under assault by Republicans and today House Democrats moved urgently to protect it," said Rep. Pascrell, who voted to enact the Affordable Care Act and is a longtime supporter of the landmark law and expanding it with a public option. "Even during a deadly pandemic that has killed 128,000 Americans, infections shooting up like a rocket ship into orbit, and a growing economic depression, Donald Trump and Republicans are in court, right this minute, seeking to destroy the protections provided by Affordable Care Act. Their fanatical cruelty is hard to stomach, but our legislation today would protect and bolster the Affordable Care Act against their depraved scheme." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1425 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act." (
  • ""Amid the current outbreak of COVID-19, this grant will allow Paterson Community Health to provide high-quality health care services to our neighbors who need it most," said Rep. Pascrell. "Paterson Community Health has offered cost-effective and accessible care to Patersonians for decades. As coronavirus continues to spread, I am confident that Paterson Community Health will play a pivotal role in protecting our community. While the Trump Administration continues to block Medicaid from helping with costs associated with coronavirus treatment, this federal funding will help alleviate costs and potentially save lives."" (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 "Families First Coronavirus Response Act." (
  • "But I would be remiss if I did not mention the reckless priorities of my Republican colleagues. Leveraging federal support for our police and firefighters with funding for Trump's vanity project on the Southern border is a betrayal of our first responders and their service to our communities." (
  • "The #TrumpShutdown has brought misery to millions of Americans. It‘s lasted so long bc Trump and republicans placed the importance of a make-believe border wall over the well-being of Americans." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1333 "NO BAN Act." (
  • ""Donald Trump's closing the golden door of the United States has rendered America a pariah state and done nothing to make us safer," said Rep. Pascrell, a cosponsor of the NO BAN Act. "This legislation will revoke the Muslim Ban, limit Trump's power to block immigrants from entering our shores and prohibit the use of bigotry and discrimination for immigration policymaking. The Statue of Liberty promised generations of immigrants that our land embraces "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.' The overturning of Trump's hateful agenda will give meaning to those words once more."" (
  • ""For far too long America's Dreamers have suffered under a cloud of fear and uncertainty. Today House Democrats are saying: No more. Our legislation will protect these young Americans and keep families together," said Rep. Pascrell, a cosponsor of the DREAM Act and of its earlier iterations. "For years under Republican leadership, I demanded that the House be allowed to vote on this common-sense legislation. House Democrats approved a similar version of this bill in 2019, only to have it blocked by Senate Republicans. Today we are re-approving our legislation to safeguard the futures of America's Dreamers. I urge my Senate colleagues to move quickly on this bill. There can be no further delay."" (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 "American Dream and Promise Act of 2021." (
  • "Speaks volumes that first major bipartisan bill coming out of Congress - Russia, Iran & North Korea sanctions - reins in @POTUS authority." (
  • Signed Letter to Joe Biden: "We know preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through diplomacy will be a top priority of your administration, and we strongly believe that the JCPOA provides a critical framework to achieve this goal effectively. We strongly endorse your call for Iran to return to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States to rejoin the agreement, and subsequent follow-on negotiations. We understand that returning to the agreement will require the selective lifting of some sanctions and rigorous implementation to verifiably ensure Iranian compliance." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 550 "No War Against Iran Act." (
  • ""War powers is an issue that transcends partisan squabbles of the moment because it speaks to the separation of powers that underlies our democratic system. Our generations-long failure to constrain the imperial executive has created a constitutional asymmetry, opening the door for America to be dragged into repeated wars. Today the House is reasserting the proper constitutional balance and seeking to prevent another damned war. I call on the House to also advance legislation that will deny funding for war with Iran and repeal the authorization for war in Iraq."" (
  • ""Twenty years is long time. Millions of Americans have lived their entire lives with America at war. The time to leave has arrived," said Rep. Pascrell. "Whether because of tactical inferiority, poor planning, lack of troop pay, or even outright corruption and treachery, the utter disintegration of the Afghanistan army in the face of the Taliban makes clear that there would never have been a "right moment' to depart the battlefield. What we are seeing in Afghanistan is a historic tragedy for the Afghan peoples. I weep for them. But America's initial mission, to root out Al-Qaeda and eliminate a haven for international terrorism, had long past ended. Just as we did not enter Afghanistan alone, we cannot carry the burden by ourselves. We relied on allies to step up and it appears they failed to do so. It is time to leave Afghanistan." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 256 "To Repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002" (
  • 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" (
  • Rated 86% by Public Citizen. (
  • "I have just introduced a Resolution of Inquiry demanding the Trump White House provide answers on its chaotic tariffs and trade policy. While @HouseGOP has zero interest in any oversight, Americans deserve to know what direction Trump is steering our country." (
  • "Last week, I led 48 of my colleagues urging the the US Trade Rep to create an open process for US companies to apply for exclusions from tariffs. We must have better trade transparency — and not set our policy through Trump’s tweets." (
  • Voted against 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.
Pro-choice a) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
No b) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yes c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yes d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Yes e) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
I support a woman's right to make a personal medical decision about her reproductive rights. These personal decisions should involve a woman, her family, her faith and her physician. If an abortion is a personal decision, the government should not interfere nor should taxpayers fund such procedures. I do support some limitations in federal policy, including parental notification and late term abortions.

1) SpendingIndicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.2) TaxesIndicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.

Maintain Status a) Agriculture
Slightly Increase b) Arts
Maintain Status c) Defense
Slightly Increase 1) Intelligence operations
Maintain Status 2) Military hardware
Slightly Decrease 3) National missile defense
Slightly Increase 4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase 5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status 6) Research and development of new weapons
Slightly Increase d) Education
Slightly Increase e) Environment
Slightly Increase f) Homeland security
Maintain Status g) International aid
Maintain Status h) Medical research
Slightly Increase i) Scientific research
Maintain Status j) Space exploration
Maintain Status k) United Nations
Maintain Status l) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Decrease b) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decrease d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decrease g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increase h) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
No 3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
Yes 4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
Yes 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
As New Jersey's only member on the Ways & Means Committee, I support a fair tax system for the citizens I represent. That is why I would like to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, I have introduced legislation to expand the EITC, and I support tax cuts for the middle class. I am also a strong supporter of pay-as-you-go principles, and I believe that they should be maintained within the budget process for both taxes and spending.
No a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
No b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yes c) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yes d) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
Yes e) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles
No a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yes b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
No c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Yes d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
No e) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Yes f) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yes b) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yes c) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
Yes d) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
Yes e) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
There has been a precipitous rise in both gang activity and violence in urban areas. That is why it is vital that the federal government provide the appropriate resources to help our local and state law enforcement, as well as the federal law enforcement, to take on these problems. A specific program that I have supported in the past and believe should be fully funded in the future, is the COPS program. We need a comprehensive approach to combating the scourge of illicit narcotics.
Yes a) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yes b) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
Yes c) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
No d) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yes e) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yes b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yes c) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yes d) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
No e) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yes f) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
Yes g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yes b) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
No c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Yes d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yes b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
No c) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
No d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
No e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
I believe we must do more to help physicians with the rising cost of malpractice insurance, which Congress has failed to act upon. I am pleased that health care reform included funding for demonstration projects on malpractice. While I do not support caps on malpractice awards for victims, I am open to looking at proposals that will bring liability premiums down for physicians and will decrease costs for all by reducing the practice of defensive medicine in the health care industry.
Yes a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
No b) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
No c) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
No d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
I support actions like those taken by the State of New Jersey to notify federal immigration officials of undocumented individuals who are arrested in connection with an indictable crime. However, I don't support racial and ethnic profiling and believe such actions create mistrust in the local community and are counter productive. In the end comprehensive immigration reform is the only answer to reversing the number of undocumented individuals in our nation. Reform should also include my legislation to reform the H1-B and L-1 visa program in order to prevent abuse and ensure that jobs are offered first to American workers.
Yes a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
Yes b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
Yes c) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
Yes d) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yes e) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yes f) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yes g) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yes h) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Yes i) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
The United States should only enter into trade agreements that will create equitable, broad-based growth for all Americans and raise living standards here and abroad. Trade must create a level playing field so that our works can compete, and in order to do this we must insist on protections for workers rights and the environment.
Yes a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yes b) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yes c) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
No d) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
I support the right of same sex couples to form civil unions. Within these civil unions I believe that these same sex couples should have all the same rights as married couples do.
Jobs: We must continue making investments in our aging national infrastructure and help incentivize the new green energy economy that will create new manufacturing jobs for American workers - we need to make things in America again. Tax Reform: As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I believe in scrutinizing the federal tax structure to continue closing offshore tax loopholes, repeal the AMT and provide more tax relief for working-class Americans. Deficit: We must make deficit reduction a priority by continuing Pay-Go principles and examining the expiration of Bush tax cuts for the top two percent of Americans.

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