Card image cap

Jim McGovern'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.

Jim McGovern 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.

  • "Today on the 47th anniversary of #RoevWade, we know abortion access is under attack: states blatantly passing unconstitutional bans, courts being stacked against us, threats to overturn Roe. I won’t stop fighting to protect access to safe, legal abortion — we refuse to go back!" (
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood. (
  • "Politicians in DC have no business denying women access to abortion. Who the hell do members of Congress think they are? #BeBoldEndHyde" (
  • Signed a letter stating: "Every person should be treated with dignity, compassion and respect - and that includes upholding a woman's right to make her own decisions about whether to end a pregnancy." (
  • "President Trump, his family, and their wealthy friends got an early Christmas gift this year. This Republican tax bill will line their pockets and the pockets of their donors -- giving the vast majority of tax breaks to those at the top and corporations shipping American jobs overseas, all the while exploding the deficit and raising taxes on hardworking Massachusetts families. 86% of the tax cuts contained in this bill go to the wealthiest 1%" (
  • "Jim has voted to provide tax relief and incentives to small businesses, and will continue to push for additional tax relief and to reduce red tape. Jim advocates reforming our outdated tax code so that it is fairer to middle class families and helps our small businesses and entrepreneurs compete." (
  • "Just weeks after @realDonaldTrump gave huge tax cuts to billionaires, #TrumpBudget slashes #Medicare, #Medicaid, #SNAP, and many other programs that help American families get healthcare & put food on table.This @WhiteHouse is immoral and this budget proves it." (
  • "The evidence continues to grow: @realDonaldTrump’s #GOPTaxScam was a giveaway to his greedy friends on Wall Street — and a disaster for middle class families." (
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (
  • "America’s #seniors have given so much to our country. We need to make sure we're standing up for them. Protecting #SocialSecurity, #Medicare and so many programs that help our #CentralMA seniors is essential. Wonderful to hear from everyone at #Millbury Senior Center today." (
  • "Trump promised he wouldn't cut Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security. Another broken promise from a broken Administration." (
  • "Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, it has been 4 long years since the Supreme Court's awful Citizens United decision; and, sadly, this Republican leadership has failed to take action to address the increasing influence of big corporations and big money in our elections and our political discourse." (
  • Endorsed by End Citizens United. (
  • "Jim has been one of Washington's loudest and most consistent voices in the fight to overturn the Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court rulings." (
  • Rated 100% by Common Cause. (
  • "Americans of all backgrounds have been taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers with a single refrain: Black lives matter. People are demanding an end to police brutality. Not encouraging an end to it, not recommending an end to it, but finally demanding an end to it once and for all." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (
  • "Thank you @AmericasVetDogs or all you do to help veterans in need. So glad we secured another $10M in this year’s House defense funding bill!" (
  • "America spent nearly $600 BILLION on defense in 2015 more than next 10 countries COMBINED. We don't need to spend more. #JointSession" (
  • "GOP pushing #TrumpCuts to families in need to fund more defense spending is shameful. Americans deserve better." (
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "Jim believes that we must invest in our economy to ensure that everyone in Massachusetts can find a good-paying job. This means investing in our local infrastructure to ensure that businesses have the tools they need to grow and thrive. It also means investing in our workforce to ensure that workers have the training and education they need to succeed in the 21st Century economy." (
  • "Congressman McGovern also recognizes how important improving our local infrastructure is to our economic development. He has secured millions of dollars for road and bridge projects, wastewater system improvements, and commuter rail service throughout Massachusetts." (
  • "He supports investments in early childhood development, providing funds for school construction and modernization, and is working to strengthen the school lunch program. The Congressman has also fought to improve classrooms by adding high-speed internet access and other cutting-edge technology." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 22 - Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. (
  • "Shame on you. This bill hurts working families to pay for a huge tax break for corporate America. The American people are watching & will not forget your #GOPTaxScam." (
  • "I would argue that the problem of hunger in America is actually increasing our deficit and our debt; but I would also argue, if you want to find ways to balance the budget, maybe go after some of those corporate tax breaks, instead of going after poor people." (
  • "Jim knows that economic growth must mean growth for everyone not just those at the top. He believes that the measure of our success must be how much incomes rise for working families. To do this, Jim has co-sponsored legislation in Congress to ensure a living wage for all working families instead of tax breaks for those at the top. Jim has also co-sponsored legislation like the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which would level the playing field between small businesses and large corporations that take advantage of tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share." (
  • "Sky-high corporate profits while the rest of America struggles to get by. @realDonaldTrump's tax cuts were a huge giveaway to those at the top, paid for by working families. Time to reject his tax disaster & get our economy working #ForThePeople." (
  • "Minority-owned businesses are often overlooked and face unique challenges. The #CARES Act provided $10 million for the Minority Business Development Agency & I'm proud to join @RepBobbyRush's letter to @SecretaryRoss to ensure these funds are used in the way Congress intended." (
  • "I just voted in support of a bipartisan Coronavirus relief package to help get Americans the relief they need during this emergency. I know this bill is not perfect. But we're far from done & I promise I’ll keep fighting #ForThePeople as we continue to address this crisis." (
  • "It's not a perfect bill, but it will provide direct payments to families that are struggling, expanded unemployment for those who have lost their jobs, assistance for small businesses who are struggling right now, and help for our state governments who are straining to cope with this crisis." (
  • "Clean, sustainable energy will be the key to our country becoming energy independent. Jim knows we must invest in new clean energy technologies and look to renewable energies like wind, solar, and hydroelectric as we move away from the fossil fuels of the past. As new investments are made into our energy infrastructure, those investments must not ignore the effects they will have on climate change. That’s why Jim introduced a bill that would require new natural gas pipelines to publish the greenhouse gas emissions of the natural gas they transport -- from extraction all the way to final use." (
  • "The Congressman McGovern believes that our future economic security and environmental sustainability depend on reducing our dependence on foreign oil, improving energy efficiency, and creating new, green jobs here at home." (
  • "I stand with @MassAGO Maura Healy in calling for stronger environmental justice protections, increased investments in clean energy, and an end to the Trump Administration’s dangerous attempts to dismantle air quality standards." (
  • "As a proud member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition in the House, Jim has worked to advance policies to combat global climate change and was a proud supporter of the Paris Climate Agreement." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 - Climate Action Now Act. (
  • "Air pollution is shortening lives, and the #ToxicTrump Admin is only making it worse by increasing emissions of toxins like arsenic, cyanide, and benzene. Americans deserve a Congress that will fight #ForThePeople, not for the polluters!" (
  • "Our families need a strong @EPA to stop corporate polluters. RT to say we must stop #BigOil puppet #PollutingPruitt." (
  • "Since 2008, the U.S. has doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas by 2025 and significantly increased the power we generate from wind and solar. Thanks in part to America's leadership, more than 150 countries representing close to 90 percent of global emissions, have announced plans to help cut global pollution. We owe it to the next generation to do all we can to combat climate change and strengthen our investment in clean, renewable energy sources." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1112 - Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. (
  • ""In the aftermath of the tragic attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, we must continue to strengthen our efforts to protect the American people," McGovern added. "Americans are looking to Congress for real leadership and this is a clear opportunity for us to do something that will help to make our country safer. We must close the exceedingly dangerous terrorist gun loophole, and ensure that no suspected terrorist can walk into a gun store and legally purchase a deadly weapon." (
  • "Universal background checks are a vital component of comprehensive gun violence prevention efforts, and Congress must act now." (
  • Rated 0% by National Rifle Association (
  • "Congressman McGovern has been a strong proponent of increasing access to affordable health care for our families and small businesses. Jim voted to prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions or raising their premiums when someone gets sick. He supported improving Medicare benefits by closing the "donut hole" in the prescription drug benefit; allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26; and extending coverage to the uninsured. Congressman McGovern will continue to work hard to make health care more affordable for all by cutting costs for small businesses and investing in new technologies." (
  • "Mr. Speaker, it is time for us to appreciate that this Congress did something positive in passing the Affordable Care Act, and we ought not to let extremists on the other side take the protections away from the American people." (
  • "Update: @HouseDemocrats have introduced a #FamiliesFirst #Coronavirus Response. We need swift, decisive action. Our bill: -Expands food assistance -Establishes free testing - Provides paid leave -Supports strong unemployment benefits - Protects front-line health workers" (
  • "This is good news. Thank you @SpeakerPelosi for your leadership on this. As a reminder, our #COVID19 response package provides for: - Free testing. - Paid emergency leave. - Increased federal funds for Medicaid. - Enhanced food security & unemployment insurance." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • "The President's budget asks the American people to pay billions for the construction of a border wall while decimating America's investments in jobs, education, clean energy and lifesaving medical research." (
  • "President Trump wants to spend $2 BILLION on his useless border wall. Meanwhile, the #TrumpBudget proposes cuts to education, Medicaid, SNAP, & other programs that help Americans secure their future. This Administration has its priorities backward." (
  • Rated 6% by NumbersUSA. (
  • "This President has now thrown the longest political temper tantrum in U.S. history. We are on week three, day twenty-five of this shutdown, all for a wall we know won't work. The prototype was demolished using a common saw. So he wants to spend tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on a wall that could be destroyed by something we could buy at the hardware store. It doesn't make sense." (
  • "Third, we must develop a common-sense approach to people who are already here illegally, to bring them out of the shadows and onto a path to citizenship." (
  • "Congressman McGovern feels that immigration laws need to be tough at the border, and that American workers and immigrants who came to the country legally should not be punished for businesses' exploitation of cheap and illegal labor. However, the Congressman also feels that there needs to be a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already here, and the federal government should take bold steps to require them to pass background checks, learn English, and pay a fine." (
  • Rated 6% by NumbersUSA. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "U.S. and international economic sanctions on North Korea should be calibrated to make it harder for North Korea to import the technology and acquire the hard currency necessary to advance its nuclear and missile programs." (
  • "It’s time for us to eliminate nuclear weapons before nuclear weapons eliminate us. Today I was proud to be the first voting member of Congress to pledge support for the International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. #NuclearBan". (
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "With this agreement, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to block Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and significantly strengthen global security. When this agreement comes before Congress I will support it because it will help to keep Americans safe. I urge my colleagues to join me." (
  • "Today's announcement by the White House is just the latest in a series of alarming signs that the U.S. war against ISIS will continue to accelerate in the absence of Congressional action. The deployment of U.S. special operations forces to Northern Syria is especially concerning because it comes just days after the Pentagon announced that they are considering sending combat forces into Iraq as well." (
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • 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." (
  • "It's been 19 years of devastation, Mr. Speaker. No one can assert that it would be a hasty or untimely moment to consider withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan. In fact, I believe that it is well past time for the United States to withdraw its forces, close the chapter on this war, and take meaningful steps to secure a stable peace." (
  • "Trade deals should strengthen American jobs and make our economy stronger. We need a real debate". (
  • "FACT CHECK: @realDonaldTrump’s trade policies have been a disaster for small businesses & farmers across America." (
  • Rated 86% by Public Citizen. (
  • "Americans are ready for a 21st century approach to #Cuba. It's time to end the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba" (
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?
No e) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
Please note that federal funds currently are prohibited from being used for abortion procedures.

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.

Slightly Decrease a) Agriculture
Maintain Status b) Arts
Greatly Decrease c) Defense
Maintain Status 1) Intelligence operations
Slightly Increase 2) Military hardware
Eliminate 3) National missile defense
Slightly Increase 4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Maintain Status 5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status 6) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increase d) Education
Slightly Increase e) Environment
Maintain Status f) Homeland security
Slightly Increase g) International aid
Greatly Increase h) Medical research
Greatly Increase i) Scientific research
Maintain Status j) Space exploration
Maintain Status k) United Nations
Maintain Status l) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
Slightly Increase a) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status b) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status 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?
No 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?
Bush policies created an economic and federal budget crisis. We need to move as quickly as possible to bring the budget into balance, but it cannot be done immediately.
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?
We should not over-regulate or place onerous restrictions on the private sector. But lax regulation and oversight have, in the past, harmed America�s economy and average American consumers.
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?
No 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
No 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?
No e) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
�Non-violent offender� covers a great deal of criminal acts, such as theft, embezzlement, bank fraud, �white collar� crime, etc. All such convicted criminals should go to prison and serve sentences appropriate to the crime and the harm they caused.
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?
The majority of federal K-12 education funds should support public schools, where over 90% of America�s children go to school.
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?
No g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
We should focus on creating the �green jobs� of the future.
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?
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?
Yes e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
On �c�, it depends on who benefits from the expansion: yes for middle-class families; no for the wealthy, who don�t need additional tax shelters. On malpractice, I don�t support frivolous lawsuits or extortionate medical malpractice insurance rates, but I can�t see how to make a �one size fits all� law. Cases vary widely, as do damages.
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?
Illegal immigrants should be required to pay a fine, pay their taxes, learn English and only then go to the �back of the line� for citizenship.
No a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
No b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
No 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?
No i) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
We should trade with all countries, unless they are internationally sanctioned. FTAs need to include labor & environmental standards and stop being cookie-cutter copies. I support maintaining, not increasing, economic and development assistance to Afghanistan. We should aid countries that serve U.S. security interests, but not at the sacrifice or exclusion of other interests. Balance is required.
No 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?
Massachusetts allows gay couples to legally marry, with all the rights and responsibilities that accompany such a legal contract.
We must do everything we can to lower the unemployment rate and put people back to work. We should extend tax cuts for middle-class families, increase small businesses? ability to obtain capital, invest in medical research, medical technology, and the ?green jobs? of the future. I also believe we need to bring our military involvement in Afghanistan to an end. Instead of nation-building in Afghanistan, we should be doing more nation-building here at home. Finally, we must address our nation?s long-term budget crisis. Everything must be on the table ? domestic spending, military spending, tax policy, and entitlements.

Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.