Following is an overview of Murtha’s policy positions and voting record on key pieces of legislation during his years in the House of Representatives:
Abortion and the Rights of the Unborn: Murtha largely breaks from the Democratic Party stance on the issue of abortion. In April 2000 and October 2003, he voted in favor of legislation to ban the late-term abortion procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion. In February 2004 he voted for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which proposed to make it an added criminal offense for someone to injure or kill a fetus while carrying out a crime against a pregnant woman.
Counter-Terrorism & Homeland Security: In August 2007 Murtha voted against a bill permitting the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General “to authorize foreign intelligence acquisition concerning those reasonably believed to be outside of the U.S., provided that written certification is presented that the procedure does not constitute electronic surveillance under existing law, the surveillance is made with the assistance of a communications provider, and the significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”
Education: In November 1997 and August 1998, Murtha voted against the implementation of school voucher programs, which would have helped low-income families shoulder the cost of sending their children to private schools. Murtha has received a rating of 100% from the National Education Association (NEA), America’s largest labor union.
DTN: Fossil Fuels: In June 2000 Murtha voted YES on implementing the Kyoto Protocol climate-change treaty. In April 2005 he voted against a proposal to ban oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). In October 2005 he voted against the construction of new oil refineries in the United States. In May 2006 he voted against an amendment calling for the continued prohibition of drilling for natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf. In July 2008 he voted in favor of permitting oil exploration in ANWR.
Illegal Immigration: In May 2004 Murtha voted against requiring hospitals to report illegal aliens who receive medical treatment. In September 2006 he voted against a bill authorizing the construction of 700 miles of double-layered fencing between the U.S. and Mexico. Murtha is rated 25% by the U.S. Border Control (USBC), signifying that his voting record is weak on the issue of border defense.
Marriage: In July 2006 Murtha voted NO on a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage strictly as a union between one man and one woman.
Taxes: In March 2000 Murtha voted NO on $46 billion in tax cuts for small business. In July 2000 and again in April 2004, he voted against eliminating the “marriage penalty.” In April 2001 he voted NO on eliminating the “death tax.” In October 2001 he voted NO on a $99 billion economic stimulus package. In April 2002 he voted against making President Bush’s tax cuts permanent. In September 2004 he voted NO on providing tax relief and simplification measures. In December 2005 he voted against retaining reduced taxes on capital gains and dividends.