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Patty Murray'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.

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Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Patty Murray has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

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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 2016.

  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood (
  • "Forty-two years ago today the Supreme Court issued a constitutional guarantee in Roe v. Wade to women across the country, affirming their fundamental right to make their own choices about their own bodies. Roe v. Wade was a critical step forward for equality and opportunity for women across America." (
  • "She has spearheaded efforts to invest in women's health, protect reproductive rights, close the pay gap, and increase access to child care." (
  • Signed a letter stating "Dear Senator Davis, thank you for your courage and determination in defeating S.B. 5, a bill that would have severely limited women's reproductive choices in Texas." (
  • "I am disappointed that the only way to protect middle class families from a tax hike in January was to support an extension of all the Bush tax cuts." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" (
  • "After a year spent crusading for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, today Republicans in Congress denied 160 million ordinary, hard-working Americans a break on their taxes. This action is nothing more than a thumb in the eye of middle-class families during the holiday season." (
  • "Senator Murray also feels very strongly that tax cuts should be directed at middle class families and small business owners, not millionaires, billionaires, and massive corporations. That is why she fought to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans." (
  • "For too long, one-size-fits-all punishments have put so many Americans behind bars for long periods of time for drug use when treatment and rehabilitation would better serve them and their communities. We should provide flexibility in sentencing for low-level offenders while maintaining tough sentences for those who deserve it, such as domestic abusers, drug cartel members, and other violent criminals, to help keep the most dangerous offenders off our streets." (
  • "Senator Murray has worked aggressively to help Washington state recover, create jobs and remain competitive for economic growth and new industries. Senator Murray has supported investments in education, health care, energy diversification, transportation and job training that will help spur job creation today and help pave the way for growth long-term." (
  • "Keeping up our investments in education, roads, bridges, mass transit, and other infrastructure is critical to our economic success over the long-term." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "One of the best ways to do that is through investment in transportation infrastructure. President-elect Obama has already announced that infrastructure investment will be a keystone of his economic recovery plan and as Chair of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I stand ready to help." (
  • "And while Republicans continue to call for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, I'm proud to introduce middle class tax cuts that will reward families for their hard work, deliver them some much-needed help to pay their bills, and help the economy grow from the middle out, not the top down." (
  • "At a time of crisis and change for our nation, Patty Murray is leading efforts to make the reforms she has worked for throughout her career a reality. She has already helped pass the biggest middle class tax cut in American history." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" (
  • "Mr. President, the current law – No Child Left Behind – is badly broken. And it's time to fix it." (
  • "[…] this agreement is a strong step in the right direction that helps students, educators, and schools, gives states and districts more flexibility while maintaining strong federal guardrails, and helps make sure all students get the opportunity to learn, no matter where they live, how they learn, or how much money their parents make." (
  • "I have been very glad to work with Chairman Alexander on our bipartisan bill called the Every Child Achieves Act. Our bipartisan bill gives States more flexibility while also including Federal guardrails to make sure all students have access to a quality public education." (
  • "Senator Murray also believes that strong education programs and workforce development are essential to promoting a healthy workforce and a sound economy. She has been a long-time proponent of of increasing education efforts that give our students the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century." (
  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
  • "So, Mr. President, with all we already know about the impacts of climate change, how can we possibly move this project forward before we have a thorough understanding of the environmental impacts that will result from building the Keystone Pipeline?" (
  • "How can we force a decision that could very possibly make the impacts of climate change even worse? We simply cannot put political expediency ahead of facts regarding climate change – because, as a country, we've done that for far too long." (
  • "During her time in the Senate, Senator Murray has also worked to secure funding for clean energy research projects and programs throughout the country and Washington state, including biofuels production, tidal energy, and other alternative energy projects." (
  • "Here in Washington state, we are a leader in renewable energy but in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, meet the growing global demand for energy, and reduce high energy prices, we must invest in ways to better utilize renewable energy sources for our future." (
  • Voted in favor of S.Amdt.4825 "Carbon Emissions Cap and Trade Plan" (
  • "The common-sense plan finalized today will limit dangerous pollution and help turn the tide on climate change - an environmental challenge that we owe to our children and grandchildren to address responsibly. Washington state is a leader on cutting harmful emissions and fighting climate change, and I am glad to see the Administration take these necessary steps to invest in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency improvements across the country that will benefit communities and the economy." (
  • "Here in the Senate we have a worthy plan that will cut greenhouse gas emissions. I want to applaud Senators Lieberman and McCain for presenting this meaningful and comprehensive plan. The McCain-Lieberman bill will require mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the United States from broad sectors of our economy." (
  • "While I fully respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, there are important, common-sense steps we must take to keep dangerous weapons away from criminals and the mentally ill. Those steps include strengthening background checks, closing loopholes that allow criminals to purchase deadly weapons, and keeping the weapons of war off our streets." (
  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "It makes no sense today that it is easier to get a weapon or a gun than it is to get an airplane ticket. No one should go through what these families have gone through." (
  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of S.Amdt.2910 "Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015" (
  • "Since its passage on March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act has allowed Washington state families and small business owners the ability to benefit from better access, more choices, and a health care system that no longer works only for those who can afford it." (
  • "It is not much of a stretch for me to say the Affordable Care Act is probably one of the most significant pieces of legislation for women in my lifetime." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (
  • "When the president does act, I have encouraged him to do several things: expand the already successful implementation of deferred action for DREAMers to include people with strong ties to the United States who have not committed serious crimes; to change implementation of our laws to make immigration and border enforcement humane, nondiscriminatory, and respectful of due process […]." (
  • "More than 500 days ago, the Senate passed real, bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that would provide these men and women with a path to citizenship, support our economy, and improve our national security, but since then, Speaker Boehner has refused to bring up the Senate bill that we know would also pass in the House of Representatives." (
  • Voted in favor of S.744 "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act" (
  • "After decades of fighting for equal rights, LGBT couples finally have the guarantee of marriage equality nationwide and the protections that all married couples enjoy. I am so proud of how far our country has come, and it is because of the dedication of the LGBT and allied communities that we have seen the tide turn." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "My Priorities Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)" (
  • "I am so proud that Washington state has been a leader in advancing LGBT equality and ensuring that all loving couples have the right to marry, but for far too many Americans, inequality remains." (
  • "I voted today to allow the President to begin implementing his comprehensive plan to aggressively fight the brutal terrorist group ISIL without sending American combat troops back to the region." (
  • "There is no decision more serious or impactful for our nation and the global community than authorizing the use of American military force. As the recent past reminds all of us, when making these decisions we must be exceedingly cautious because they hold the potential to entangle our nation in conflicts that can cost us dearly." (
  • "We also know that Social Security isn't just a retirement program. It protects disabled workers and their families. If Social Security is privatized, what happens to a worker who is disabled and can't contribute to her account?" (
  • "Murray joined with her Democratic women colleagues in opposing the Social Security privatization plan because it would actually cut benefits for widows and survivors." (
  • Rated 95% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
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.

1. Which of the following tax measures, if any, will you support if elected to the Congress in 1992?

Reducing the capital gains tax rate on profits from the sale of stocks, bonds and real estate.
Permitting tax-free withdrawals from IRAs in limited circumstances.
Providing some kind of middle-class tax break.
Increasing the income taxes of those with incomes over $100,000.
Providing a tax credit for first-time home buyers.
Repealing luxury taxes on limited items.
Providing a temporary investment tax credit.
X Other
Supporting a tax policy that ensures that all levels are paying their fair share of the tax burden.

Please evaluate the following general program areas and indicate the level of federal funding that you will support if you are elected to Congress.

Keep Spending The Same Health Care
Keep Spending The Same Unemployment
Increase Spending AIDS Research
Increase Spending Environment
Keep Spending The Same Defense
Increase Spending Education
Increase Spending National Debt Payments
Keep Spending The Same Drugs

If you are elected to Congress, how will you confront the issue of the national debt?

X Reduce governmental defense spending.
Reduce governmental domestic spending.
Raise personal income taxes for all citizens.
Raise personal income taxes for citizens with incomes over $100,000.
Raise corporate taxes.
Do nothing at the present time.
X Other
Re-examine social programs and fight for a long-term econmic plan that puts people back to work.

Which of the following measures designed to address the issue of unemployment do you support or oppose?

Support Extending unemployment compensation further.
Strongly Support Federal support of job retraining programs.
Strongly Support Federal grants to states for creating jobs in inner cities.
Oppose Mandating workfare for welfare recipients.
Oppose Minimizing governmental intervention and letting the market take a more natural course.
Strongly Support Federal investment in America's infrastructure.

Which of the following policies, if any, should be pursued by the federal government in the area of the United States/Japenese trade?

Restricting the overall volume of goods entering the United States from Japan.
Imposing tariffs on goods entering the United States from Japan.
Requiring Japan to eliminate its trade surplus with the United States over a period of five years.
Requiring reciprocal trade agreements between the United States and Japan based on equal dollar values.
Imposing no restrictions on trade between the United States and Japan.
X Other
Working on breaking down illegal trade barriers in Japan.

Which of the following defense proposals do you support or oppose?

Support Reduction of the number of American military troops.
Oppose Continued funding of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

Do you consider the fact that many Americans do not have health insurance to be a problem, and if so, please note which of the following proposals you favor?

Elimination of private insurance in favor of a program administered and paid for by the federal government and run by the states, similar to the health care system in Canada.
Offering tax incentives to all small employers in return for guaranteed health insurance coverage of all employees and their families.
Implementation of a "play or pay" program where employers must enroll their employees and families in a basic health plan or contribute to a public fund that will provide health care for everyone without coverage.
Creation of a fund designed to provide health insurance to the unemployed and supported by additional tax levies on large employers.
A system of tax credits and vouchers to provide health insurance for the working poor and people of moderate income.
No reform necessary at this time.
X Other
Implement federal oversight of health care system, w/strict cost-containment mechanisms, while increasing access and maintaining choice of...

If elected to Congress, which of the following proposals designed to change our nations' public education system will you support?

X Increased federal funding.
Increased state and local funding.
X Improved teacher recruitment and training.
National curricula and standards.
X Smaller classes.
Increased national testing.
A "choice" or "vouchers" program.
No major changes are necessary at this time.
X Other
Use the Department of Education as aresource center for local school districts.

If elected to Congress, how will you confront the War on Drugs?"

X Provide federal funds to educate people about the dangers of drugs.
X Provide federal funds to help drug addicts overcome their addictions.
X Work with foreign governments to stop the export of drugs to this country.
Impose mandatory federal jail sentences for drug dealers.
Impose mandatory federal jail sentences for drug users.
Legalize the possession and use of drugs.

What is your opinion on the following environmental proposals?

Strongly Oppose Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.
Strongly Oppose Amending the Clean Water Act's section on wetlands to provide landowners with greater rights.
Strongly Support Reauthorization of The Endangered Species Act in its current form.

Please indicate which of the following positions you support or oppose.

Strongly Oppose Parental or spousal notification prior to permitting an abortion.
Strongly Oppose Abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.
Strongly Support Federally funded abortions should be permitted.
Support Women should be able to get abortions if they want no matter what the reason.
Strongly Oppose Abortion should be legal only in limited circumstances, for example, when the life of the mother is endangered or in the case of rape or incest.

Which of the following anti-crime measures do you support or oppose?

Strongly Oppose Expansion of the number of federal crimes punishable by death.
Strongly Support A mandatory waiting period before the purchase of a handgun.
Support Increased federal spending for state and local police programs.
Strongly Support A ban on the sale and possession of assault-style semiautomatic weapons.
Oppose A limitation on habeas corpus appeals for death row inmates.

['Whare are your two top priorities if elected to the Congress?']

Implementing a long-term economic strategy to provide jobs and reduce the $4 trillion debt. we must shift R&D funding from military to civilian technologies to stimulate economic growth and investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, and job training. We must finally have a national education policy. I advocate reducing the military budget by at leats an additional $100 billion over the next five years and dividing the funds between the deficit reduction and investment in a long-term economic plan.
THe federal government must implement health care reform. I will work to provide strict cost-containment mechanisms and increase access. At leats $200 billion a year is spent on excessive administrative costs and unnecessary procedures--this must be eliminated. A federal plan must include freedom for consumers to choose their physician, hospital, and other health care providers. Health care decisions must be taken out of the hands of insurance companies and returned to individuals and their health care providers.

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