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John Yarmuth's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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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.

John Yarmuth has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2020 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Kentucky Congressional Election 2020 Political Courage Test

Pro-choice Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
As a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and a former board member of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, I have consistently supported legislation that ensures access to reproductive services. I am committed to supporting women's constitutionally protected right to reproductive health care and will continue to do all that I can to promote these efforts.
Yes In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Yes Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
I believe efforts to have a more balanced budget must not come at the expense of seniors, the middle class, or our nation's most vulnerable. Instead of relying solely on indiscriminate cuts to investments critical to the American people - including Social Security and Medicare, education, infrastructure, veterans' health care, and other key programs - we must take a more responsible approach that closes tax loopholes and asks the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share.
Yes Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and McCutcheon v. FEC have helped corporations and wealthy campaign contributors have undue influence over our elections, putting special interests ahead of the needs of everyday Americans and their families. That's why I introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the key provision of Citizens United by establishing that financial expenditures and in-kind contributions do not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment. This amendment enables Congress to establish a public financing system that would serve as a source of funding for federal elections.
No Do you support the protection of government officials, including law enforcement officers, from personal liability in civil lawsuits concerning alleged misconduct?
While a national conversation on ways to improve policing in America has certainly begun, it is increasingly clear that the change we need is not happening nearly fast enough. We must immediately begin the difficult work of eliminating excessive, deadly force, reforming qualified immunity, and improving the racial attitudes of our law enforcement. It's long past time for our nation to acknowledge, through word and action, that Black Lives Matter. Without structural change, our justice system will sadly continue to unfairly steal the lives and livelihoods of Black Americans.
No Do you support increasing defense spending?
We have a responsibility to provide necessary resources to defend this country, which includes maintaining a military that is second to none. However, our national security involves more than our military. We have long understood that an effective national security strategy requires a whole-of-government approach ? including diplomacy and foreign aid to prevent war and broker peace; oversight to protect our food supply, our air, and our water; innovation in science and technology to keep an edge over competitors; programs to mitigate destabilizing effects of climate change and prepare against pandemics; and education and infrastructure investments that grow the economy.
Yes Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
No Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
Yes Do you support providing financial relief to businesses AND/OR corporations negatively impacted by the state of national emergency for COVID-19?
I believe any efforts to reform our tax code must focus on growing our economy and strengthening American families. Last Congress, Congressional Republicans enacted massive tax cuts that overwhelming benefit the wealthy and large corporations at the expense of everyone else. These tax cuts for the wealthy must be rolled back and Congress must focus on reforming the tax code to seriously address the challenges facing American families.
Yes Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
I support federal education standards that provide equal access to education for all students, which includes fully funding IDEA, providing Civil Rights protections, and advocating programs for low-income students. I believe we need to have a comprehensive system that evaluates the success of our children in many areas, while also providing teachers the resources and feedback to help students improve during the school year. There should be flexibility to allow a creative learning environment that truly provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in life.
Yes Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
Yes Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
The federal government has a responsibility to ensure access to a healthy environment, and that must begin with aggressively tackling climate change and its consequences. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to find solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in new science and technology innovation, safeguard the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink, and strengthen environmental protections. We must do far more to ensure that future generations will have a more sustainable and healthier environment.
Yes Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
During my time in Congress, gun violence prevention has been a top priority of mine, and I am committed to passing commonsense reforms that fix our gun laws and protect our citizens from senseless acts of violence. I support legislative efforts that will reduce gun violence by strengthening background checks, closing loopholes that make it easier to buy a gun, banning bump stocks, limiting the size of magazines available for purchase, and allowing the federal government to fund and research gun violence prevention.
No Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Yes Do you support requiring businesses to provide paid medical leave during public health crises, such as COVID-19?
Every American should have access to high-quality, affordable health care. Since the Affordable Care Act became law, Americans have seen improved health outcomes, greater financial peace-of-mind, higher quality coverage, and a dramatic decrease in the growth rate of insurance premiums and overall health care costs. It is imperative that Congress continue to protect, strengthen, and expand provisions of the ACA that safeguard Americans with pre-existing conditions and eliminate health disparities, while working to fix the broken employer-based health insurance system, prevent surprise billing, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and address workforce shortages.
No Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
No Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Our immigration laws ought to reflect both our interest and values as Americans by expanding legal immigration, creating pathways to citizenship, and keeping families together. I support legislative efforts that provide protections for Dreamers, ensure safety for asylum seekers, remove threats of deportation, and prevent the Trump Administration from enacting their cruel, inhumane policies. I will continue fighting to maintain the integrity of our democratic institutions while working to enact solutions to our immigration system that ensure human rights and basic decency for those who come to our country and become valuable members of our communities.
Unknown Position Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
Yes Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
Diplomacy should always be exhausted before military force is even considered. I would only support the use of force if the possession of a nuclear weapon posed an imminent threat to the U.S. or our allies. There are numerous ongoing and complicated conflicts in the Middle East. Each requires an approach that responds to the unique circumstances of the conflict. We should partner with our allies to ensure that every effort is made to use diplomacy to resolve these conflicts. Ultimately, if the Administration wants to use military force, it must seek Congressional approval as required by law.
Yes Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
It depends. I generally support using all available options to end unfair trade practices which threaten our domestic manufacturers and hurt American workers. That said, we should not jeopardize other domestic producers and hard-working families by pursuing ill-advised and misdirected tariff attacks against our allies. We need to be focused on international agreements that not only advance our economic interests but also protect our workers, our economy, our environment, and other priorities.
The top priority for Congress is responding to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic fallout. As Louisville's Representative and Chairman of the House Budget Committee, I support national strategies that include comprehensive testing and contact tracing, data-driven action on treatments and vaccines, and economic stimulus for working families, small businesses, state and local governments, and those in the most need. We must be doing everything we can, so that Congress can continue working on issues like ensuring access to affordable health care, combating climate change, reducing gun violence, addressing racial inequality and injustice, and getting money out of politics.

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