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Kathy Castor'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.

Kathy Castor 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.

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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 2020.

  • Rated 100% by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. (
  • "This Republican bill is an unprecedented, radical assault on a woman's right to make her own health and health insurance decisions. It interferes with the relationship between a patient and doctor." (
  • "Women and their health care providers across the country can breathe easier today after the Supreme Court struck down an outrageous Texas law that closed clinics and blocked medical access to women's health services. The Supreme Court has clearly reaffirmed the constitutional right of women to make their own health care decisions, including access to the full range of medical services. Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature should take note, reverse course on laws they passed that clearly are unconstitutional "undue burdens' on women and their health clinics and doctors."" (
  • "The GOP proposed a tax bill that Ebenezer Scrooge would love. It is a big bah-hum-bug for America," U.S. Rep. Castor said. "They're in essence giving the middle-class a lump of coal for Christmas, while showering tax breaks and new loopholes on the super-rich and big corporations. It is fundamentally unfair, and the GOP does this with a massive increase to our national debt of about $2.3 trillion. Their bill mortgages the future for our kids and grandkids, and squeezes out our ability to invest in medical research and modern infrastructure. To pay for it, they admit they will look to cut benefits and raise costs on families who depend on Medicaid and Medicare. In this bill, they even go so far as to rip health coverage away from 13 million Americans -- another attack on affordable health care coverage." (
  • Rated 5% by the National Tax Limitation Committee. (
  • "Republicans missed an opportunity to work on a bipartisan bill that would boost wages, create jobs, rebuild America's infrastructure and keep jobs from moving overseas," U.S. Rep. Castor said. "Instead, the super rich and big corporations will enjoy a massive tax windfall at the expense of our kids and grandkids who will shoulder the enormous $1.5 Trillion debt. This is the height of fiscal irresponsibility." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "In addition to the looming $25 billion Medicare cut next month, enacting your tax bill will result in widespread chaos to the health insurance market. The Senate bill's elimination of the individual mandate, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will increase premiums and 13 million Americans will lose their health insurance coverage. Likewise, seniors and those preparing for retirement are rightly nervous that your recent pronouncement that "we're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit" means that cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits are the necessary next step to pay for the added deficits your tax cuts would produce." (
  • Endorsed by National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "As the fiscal year 2017 budget process begins, we urge you to reject proposals that would harm Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or domestic discretionary programs that protect the financial and health well-being of American seniors and their families." (
  • "The U.S. Senate should scrap the outrageous American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill passed by the House and work with Democrats and anyone who cares about keeping their neighbors' healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and expanding that coverage." (
  • "The FEC ruled that a former congressman has to personally repay misspent funds but they should've gone further. The Senate needs to take up my bipartisan bill to end #ZombieCampaigns, reduce dark money in politics, protect our elections & restore ethics & integrity in Washington." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "Each of these changes would have dramatic implications for our nation's campaign finance system, widening the channels of influence for wealthy and well-connected campaign donors and further exacerbating the flood of undisclosed and unaccountable "secret money" into our political system.[2] Yet, the 115th Congress has not held one hearing, commissioned a single study, nor investigated in any serious way the ramifications of these ill-conceived policy riders. Put simply, it is irresponsible for Congress to advance these campaign finance changes without due deliberation and public debate." (
  • "The For the People Act represents the most important ethics reform in a generation. Following the chaos and corruption that has dominated Florida elections, especially last year and Washington under Republican leadership, the first order of business for me and my colleagues in the new majority is to make critical reforms to fight back against special interests and restore responsible governance that reflects the priorities of my neighbors -- middle-class, hardworking families," (
  • "The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and begin to build trust between law enforcement and our communities" (
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (
  • "U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced passage of robust appropriations bills to fund America's national defense and support military families at MacDill Air Force Base and across the country. H.R. 2740 and H.R. 3055 passed this week and include a boost in pay for our service members as well as provisions to correct substandard on-base housing and strengthen the care our veterans have earned and deserve. U.S. Rep. Castor also insisted that funds meant for investments in our troops and national security are not diverted to the President's border wall." (
  • "My House Democratic colleagues and I worked hard to ensure that the NDAA supports our service members and their families, builds a strong and smart national defense that promotes American values and importantly ensures accountability. This NDAA authorizes the most robust defense budget in history," said U.S. Rep. Castor. "The Democratic Defense bill takes care of the single most valuable asset in national defense, our service members." (
  • Rated 77% by Council for a Livable World. (
  • 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;" (
  • Signed a letter stating: "As you continue your work on the fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Department of Defense (DoD), we urge you to include the funding necessary to complete the U.S. Navy's stated requirements for strategic dispersal of capital ships by making Naval Station Mayport capable of homeporting a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN). While we understand the realities of the fiscal environment, our Navy overleverages risk to our carrier fleet by having only one CVN homeport on the Eastern seaboard. Not only are our operational CVN in jeopardy, but our future capital ships under construction are practically co-located, risking tens of billions of dollars of assets as well as our ability to project power abroad now and in the future." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 - Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. (
  • "I also worked to secure more than $340 million in federal grants this year to create jobs, invest in education and infrastructure, and bolster the important work of local partners." (
  • "Investments in jobs, education & infrastructure for #TampaBay! In 2016, this community secured more than $300M in federal grants!" (
  • "Infrastructure investments are not limited to roads and bridges, but include our ports, transit and water plants and pipes. @PortTampaBay is the largest port in the state and needs our federal support to keep things moving." (
  • "The GOP proposed a tax bill that Ebenezer Scrooge would love. It is a big bah-hum-bug for America," U.S. Rep. Castor said. "They're in essence giving the middle-class a lump of coal for Christmas, while showering tax breaks and new loopholes on the super-rich and big corporations. It is fundamentally unfair, and the GOP does this with a massive increase to our national debt of about $2.3 trillion. Their bill mortgages the future for our kids and grandkids, and squeezes out our ability to invest in medical research and modern infrastructure. To pay for it, they admit they will look to cut benefits and raise costs on families who depend on Medicaid and Medicare. In this bill, they even go so far as to rip health coverage away from 13 million Americans -- another attack on affordable health care coverage." (
  • Rated 5% by National Tax Limitation Committee. (
  • "Curious about #GOPtaxbill? READ this: "massive corporate tax cut, with uneven — and temporary — benefits for the middle class that could end up increasing taxes for many working families in future years." (
  • "In times of challenge and adversity, America responds to support each other. That is what I intend to do today to ensure that American families and workers have the help they need to weather the COVID-19 pandemic." (
  • "In times of challenge and adversity, America responds to support each other. That's why I was proud to pass the #CARESAct today." (
  • "Tampa Bay schools are facing substantial challenges. Too many of our St. Pete schools are low-performing and require immediate, targeted attention. In addition, a Harvard study earlier this year ranked Hillsborough County third worst place for poor children to be able to climb the ladder of success and escape poverty. Our public schools are central to lifting students and preparing them for future success in life," U.S. Rep. Castor said. "Primary responsibility for student achievement remains with students, parents, local schools, districts and states, but I am pleased to report that federal policies will be more encouraging." (
  • Rated 100% by National Education Association. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 - Climate Action Now Act. (
  • "Mr. Chairman, my amendment increases the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy account by $266 million, to simply restore it to last year's levels, with an offset from the fossil energy account. My amendment will boost energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives across America that have a proven return on investment for taxpayers." (
  • Signed a letter stating "As public officials, we are writing to express our support for clean energy and urge your company to deepen its investment in energy efficiency and solar power in Florida." (
  • "The appropriation in the bill for energy efficiency and renewable energy is $112 million below the 2014 appropriated level, and it is $528 million below the budget request. Now, I wish we could meet the budget request this year, but, colleagues, we should at least restore the money back to last year's levels, which is still a very modest investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy for America.The funds tied to energy efficiency and renewable energy fuel jobs across America in advanced manufacturing and clean energy." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "Many communities that we represent are already feeling the effects of power sector pollution and climate disruption. Putting Florida on a path to homegrown clean energy and decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels is the best way for our state to safeguard public health and the environment while mitigating the worst impacts of climate disruption." (
  • Rated 87% by Environment America. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "As of May 24, 2017, one hundred forty-seven parties of the one hundred ninety-five signatories to the Paris Agreement have ratified, accepted, or approved the Paris Agreement, including the United States. The Paris Agreement creates a framework for nations to pledge to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions. Further, the agreement recognizes climate change as a concern of humankind, which effect human health, food sustainability, and economic development. A large majority of scientists and governments acknowledge that stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases and avoiding further climate degradation will require a unified plan by all major emitters. This is an opportunity for the United States to expand and lead in new low-carbon energy technologies." (
  • "The newly appointed Democratic members of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis are ready to stand up to corporate polluters and special interests as we press for urgent action to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move toward a clean energy economy with a qualified workforce and a just transition. Climate deniers, fossil fuel companies and other special interests have had an outsized influence in promoting outdated, dirty policies and we will stand up to these forces -- we have no choice. We do not have the time for distractions or delay. Our moral obligation to act includes a responsibility to ensure that Americans who suffer disproportionately from climate change -- workers, communities of color and low-income Americans -- enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as the wealthy." (
  • Signed a letter stating "Our nation has suffered at least 74 school shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre. The factors allowing these rampages are no mystery: loopholes in the background check laws, straw purchases, restrictions on law enforcement, and gaps in our mental health system." (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. (
  • Rated 0% by National Rifle Association. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "This inaction must stop. We know background checks save lives. Every day background checks stop more than 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers from getting a gun. Any delay to pass commonsense gun violence prevention legislation only increases the chances that more innocent people in America may suffer from the tragic and needless loss caused by gun violence." (
  • "On the eight year anniversary week of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL) urged policy makers to work together to protect consumer protections, lower costs and end Republican sabotage. The ACA ended discrimination of preexisting conditions in insurance, allowed children to stay on parents plans until age 26, ended lifetime insurance caps and improved Medicare. In addition, the ACA brought lifesaving coverage to millions of Americans particularly Floridians. Yet, eight years later, all of the progress is at risk due to ongoing sabotage by President Trump and Republicans in Congress. Republican's failure to act on sensible bipartisan proposals to stabilize health insurance markets in yesterday's Omnibus funding bill will lead to higher premiums for families across Florida and the country. It is crystal clear that Trump and the Republican Congress are responsible for higher health care costs due to the ongoing Republican sabotage of the Affordable Care Act." (
  • "The ACA has extended the life of the #Medicare Trust Fund by 11 years, giving health insurance to millions. We can’t turn back." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • "When you're sick, you shouldn’t have to choose between a paycheck &staying home to safeguard yourself + others. #Coronavirus makes it very clear: United States needs guaranteed, paid sick leave for all, that's why I’m cosponsoring @rosadelauro’s #PaidSickLeave bill." (
  • "I strongly oppose Trump’s raid of funds to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base after it was devastated by #HurricaneMichael to fund his wasteful border wall (Wasn’t Mexico suppose to pay for it⁉)" (
  • "President Trump could not convince Mexico to build his wall as he promised, so he turned to the American taxpayers to pay billions of dollars for it and then shut down the government when he did not get his way. A bipartisan majority in Congress also rejected funding for the ineffective and wasteful border wall." (
  • "Republicans in Congress and President Trump should be focused on helping hardworking families across the country keep their affordable health coverage rather than threatening to shut down the government over controversial border wall funding." (
  • "While Republicans did not allow it, I voted on the floor early this morning to proceed to take up Rep. Roybal-Allard's (D-CA) H.R. 3440, the Dream Act of 2017. Republicans have continually refused to take up this legislation to reform our nation's broken immigration system. Pres. Trump's September announcement to end DACA makes it necessary for Congress to act now. It is vital that the focus shift now to provide a pathway to citizenship for our DREAMers and Republicans must stop blocking debate and a vote." (
  • "Today is the 7th Anniversary of action to protect #Dreamers and #DACA. As I fight to #ProtectTheDream in Congress, all #DACA recipients must keep their status up to date. " (
  • "Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) continued her work championing neighbors who seek the American Dream through passage of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, in the U.S. House. U.S. Rep. Castor is an original cosponsor of the legislation that offers a tough but fair pathway to citizenship for neighbors who meet the standards of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) -- up to 2.5 million immigrants, many who know no other country but the United States." (
  • "It has been a long-standing goal of the United States and our allies to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The United States enacted economic sanctions on Iran and successfully led the international community to adopt additional restrictions with the goal of bringing Iran to the negotiating table and halting nuclear weapon development. Sanctions worked and produced an agreement that appears to halt Iran's nuclear weapon development." (
  • "After careful review and discussions, I believe the Iran deal is in the national security interest of the US." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "We are writing to urge that you do not withhold certification on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) absent credible evidence of a material breach with Iran. Nonetheless, we are united in our belief that enforcing this agreement to the fullest extent will provide the United States with more leverage to stop a potential Iranian nuclear weapons program and push back on Iran's destabilizing activities." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "We support your restraint to date in resisting the calls for a "quick" and "easy" military intervention, and for your commitment not to send combat troops back to Iraq." (
  • "Military efforts alone will not defeat IS. The movements of foreign fighters must be detected and stopped, especially by the Europeans. The coalition must cut off access to financing, disrupt and expose terrorist messaging, and stabilize vulnerable communities that have been liberated from IS control. In the wake of horrendous terrorist attacks, some are calling for "boots on the ground" in Iraq and Syria. Most of us agree that deploying long-term combat forces like America previously did in Iraq and Afghanistan would not work unless we were committed to being a permanent occupying force in the Middle East. I know from listening to my neighbors and military experts that such a ground force is not in our national interest, nor does it solve the underlying dynamics that allow violent extremist groups to flourish in areas of poor governance." (
  • Rated 80% by Peace Action. (
  • "The Tomahawk missile strike on the Syrian air base was an important and targeted response to Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons. Russia and Iran should be held accountable as well for their support of Assad and his war on the Syrian people. The U.S. Constitution vests the responsibility to declare war in the Congress. Congressional leaders, the Trump Administration and Obama Administration have been derelict in following the requirements of the Constitution and law for a formal Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The military strike on Syria and ongoing war on ISIS should prod policymakers to return to Washington and adopt a new AUMF." (
  • "Unfortunately, Pres. Trump's shortsighted aluminum tariffs threaten the progress on sustainability for @BallCorpHQ & others. These tariffs are endangering our economic security & sustainability efforts." (
  • "Today’s #DDay observance should be a reminder to Pres. Trump of the value of our alliances, especially as he embarks on his trade war with Canada. @CanEmbUSA, @CanCGMiami, @CGMiamiHarper" (

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