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Beto O'Rourke's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for Governor (TX)


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.

Beto O'Rourke is currently being tested through the 2022 Political Courage Test.

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What is the Political Courage Test?
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.

Presidential Election 2020 Political Courage Test

Pro-choice Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
At a time of unprecedented attacks on women and their health care, an O'Rourke Administration will call upon all three branches of the federal government to protect Roe v. Wade and defend a woman's right to make her own decisions about her body. At the executive level, Beto will increase funding for women's health care and put no restrictions on the use of funds for abortions. At the judicial level, Beto will appoint judges who recognize Roe as settled precedent. At the legislative level, Beto will repeal Hyde and work to pass legislation protecting the full spectrum of reproductive health.
Yes Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
Yes In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Social Security works. Yet today, the GOP's borrowing from our kids, to cut checks to corporations, and then threatening our parents and grandparents with cuts to Medicare and Social Security they've earned. Beto rejects those cuts. As president, he would work to enact Medicare for America, giving all Americans the option to join Medicare; and supports the Social Security 2100 Act, which will not only increase benefits, but guarantees the long-term viability of Social Security by, for example, ensuring that millionaires and billionaires no longer pay less in Social Security taxes than truck drivers and nurses.
Yes Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
We must be responsive to people, not PACs and corporations. To ensure that politicians are always putting the interests of their constituents above the interests of corporations, Beto will call for legislation that ends the influence of PACs; provides matching contributions for low dollar donors; brings transparency to donations made by corporations and other large donors and imposes term limits on Members of Congress.
Yes Do you support increasing defense spending?
Our power rests in our unyielding commitment to our values and our leadership at home and abroad. And as the world creeps towards authoritarianism, we need to defend those values---now more than ever---with bold leadership on the international stage. We need to be smarter about defense spending. As President, Beto will go line by line to ensure spending is necessary and, more importantly, to ensure we are preparing for current threats to our national security (eg, cybersecurity). We also need to ensure that we're shifting funds we're saving from ending forever wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to supporting veterans.
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?
President Trump has already cut corporate tax cuts, draining federal revenue which will prevent us from making the investments we need to ensure America stays competitive. We need to make sure that wealthy investors and corporations face the same set of rules as workers by ending tax preferences for capital gains and reversing the Trump tax cuts, restoring the top marginal tax rate and increasing the corporate tax rate to at least the mid 20s. Beto also favors efforts to simplify the tax code for small business owners by establishing a standard deduction for small businesses.
No Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
We need to ensure that each and every child, regardless of their zip code, has a chance to reach their potential. All students should have access to instruction based on college and career ready standards. But standards are just one critical building block. We must ensure that our children and teachers have access to the resources they need to succeed. As President, Beto would create a permanent fund for equity and excellence to ensure families have access to high-quality public schools, closing gaps in funding based on race and income.
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?
Climate change is the greatest threat we face, one which will test our country, our democracy, and every single one of us. Our longstanding inaction has not only impacted our climate but led to a growing emergency that has already started to sap our economic prosperity and public health, worsening inequality and threatening our safety and security. Climate change will be Beto's top priority as president. As President, he'll leverage a multitude of resources and invest $5 trillion into combating climate change, guaranteeing that we reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and get halfway there by 2030.
Yes Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
As President, Beto will directly address the gun violence epidemic by working with Congress to implement a national licensing system and universal background checks, ban assault weapons, and institute a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons and a voluntary buyback program for handguns. Beto will also close loopholes and support Extreme Risk Protection Order laws. Beto will declare our gun violence epidemic a public health emergency and invest in CDC research into gun violence. He will also address the root causes of hate and white nationalism that are fueling many of the mass shootings and tragedies across the country.
No Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
We cannot reverse the progress made in securing health care coverage for nearly 20 million Americans. But we must go further. Every American deserves guaranteed, universal, high-quality health care without exception. That's why Beto supports Medicare for America, which guarantees universal, high-quality care for every American. Under this plan, everyone without care will be automatically enrolled into Medicare. Those with insufficient coverage can enroll into Medicare, and those whose employers continue to offer employer-sponsored care can keep if they want to or enroll in Medicare. Under Medicare, deductibles will be eliminated. Premiums will be affordable and based on income.
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?
No matter when you arrived, your story is part of the American story. At this time of great horror at our border and in our communities, we have an opportunity to meet this fear and smallness with an ambition and a bigheartedness that reflects the genius of this nation. Beto is proposing the most sweeping rewrite of our immigration laws in a generation to end the chaos at the border and reunite families, reform our asylum system, provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people including DREAMers and their parents and make naturalization free for 9 million eligible immigrants.
Yes Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
No 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)?
There can no longer be a blank check for war. We must withdraw our troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria while working with our allies and partners to ensure a sustainable peace. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Beto will negotiate a drawdown of troops in coordination with our allies and international partners. In Syria, he will pursue a thoughtful strategy that puts diplomacy in the driver's seat and works by, with, and through partners to pursue multiple lines of effort that builds existing military capacity, targets the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, cuts off funding to ISIS, and provides humanitarian relief.
Unknown Position Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
Instead of reckless trade wars that alienate our allies while raise taxes on working families, we need a trade policy that puts working families first. While Beto recognizes that targeted tariffs are a tool that may sometimes be necessary, Trump's Tariffs are part of a reckless trade war that have amounted to a tax hike on middle-class Americans. As president, Beto will immediately end Trump's reckless tariffs and implement a trade policy that supports rural communities, puts working families first, and ensures that our trading partners meet high-quality environmental and labor requirements.
Beto will immediately take action to address climate change; reverse Trump's cruel policies towards immigrants and protect DREAMers; support workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and grow the economy; protect a women's right to choose; protect the rights of all people to love -- free from discrimination; make hate crimes a law enforcement priority, while acting swiftly to curb the epidemic of gun violence and to tackle racial disparities in law enforcement. Beto will cancel the blank check on endless war and reassert our country's role on the global stage, no longer alienating our partners, or squandering the standing we earned over decades.

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