Over the course of his career as a senator, John Kerry voted on a variety of major issues as follows:
ABORTION & THE RIGHTS OF THE UNBORN
YES on HR 3590 – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2009) – most commonly known as Obamacare.
YES on S Amdt 2962 – Prohibiting Federally Funded Abortion Services(2009) – a motion to halt further consideration of a bill to bar the use of any federal funds for abortion services unless the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or the woman would be placed in danger of death without the performance of an abortion.
NO on A Amdt 3896 – Prohibiting the Funds in S 1200 from Being Used for Abortions (2008) – a bill that would forbid the funding of abortions under the Indigenous Health Bill (S 1200), except in cases where the pregnancy resulted from rape, or from incest involving a minor, or if an abortion were medically necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life.
NO on S Amdt 3330 – Prohibiting Funds for Groups that Perform Abortions(2007) – an amendment to prohibit funds from being granted to organizations (other than hospitals) that perform abortions when a woman’s life is not in danger.
NO on S Amdt 2707 – Prohibiting U.S. Assistance for Groups that Support Coercive Abortion (2007) – an amendment to bar federal funds from being distributed to organizations that support the practices of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
NO on S 403 – the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (2006) – a bill to criminalize the transportation of pregnant minors across state lines with the intention of the minor obtaining an abortion, with certain exceptions.
NO on S 3 – Prohibit Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion (2003) – a bill to adopt a conference report prohibiting any individual from knowingly performing the procedure known as intact dilation and extraction, in which a fetus/unborn child is partially delivered before it is aborted.
NO on S 1692 – Ban on Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion (1999) – a bill to prohibit any individual from knowingly performing the procedure known as intact dilation and extraction, in which a fetus is partially delivered before it is aborted, unless the life of the woman was endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.
NO on HR 1122 – Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion (1997) – a bill to prohibit any individual from knowingly performing the procedure known as intact dilation and extraction, in which a fetus is partially delivered before it is aborted, unless the life of the woman was endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.
NO on S Amdt 1077 – Fetal Tissue Research Amendment (1997) – which called for a prohibition against the use of funds for research that utilizes human fetal tissue, cells, or organs that are obtained from an abortion.
NO on S Amdt 936 – Abortion Funding Amendment (1997) – which called for a continuation of the policy barring federal health insurance policies from covering abortions except when the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape.
NO on HR 1833 – Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion Ban (1996) – a bill prohibiting any individual from knowingly performing the partial birth/late-term abortion procedure known as intact dilation and extraction, in which a fetus is partially delivered before it is aborted, unless the life of the woman is endangered and there is no other possible procedure.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE & ELECTIONS
YES on S Amdt 2355 – Prohibiting Funding for ACORN (2009) – an amendment to bar the use of federal dollars to directly or indirectly fund the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
YES on S 160 – the Washington DC Voting Act (2009) – a bill that sought to give the District of Columbia a voting seat in the House of Representatives.
YES on S 27 – the Campaign Reform Act (2001). (Click here for a description of this bill.)
YES on HR 2 – Motor Voter Registration (1993). (Click here for a description of this bill.)
CIVIL LIBERTIES & CIVIL RIGHTS
NO on S Amdt 1274 – Authorizes Further Detention After Trial During Wartime (2011) – an amendment to authorize the further detention by the military of an individual under the “laws of war,” even if that individual has already received a trial or has been transferred for trial by an alternative court.
NO on S 3930 – the Military Commissions Act of 2006 – a bill authorizing the creation of a military commission to try unlawful enemy combatants for violations of the laws of war.
NO on S J Res 10 – Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (2011) – a joint resolution to submit, to the state legislatures, a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the federal government from spending money in excess of its revenue, beginning 5 fiscal years after the ratification of the amendment.
NO on S Amdt 115 – Calling for a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment (2011) – which urged Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution requiring a federal balanced budget.
NO on H J Res 1 – Balanced Budget Proposed Constitutional Amendment(1996) – a bill calling for the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting total expenditures from exceeding total revenue for a fiscal year, unless three-fifths of Congress were to vote in favor of a bill stating otherwise.
NO on S J Res 31 – Flag Desecration (1995) – a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to grant Congress and the States the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag.
NO on S J Res 41 – Balanced Budget Amendment (1994) – a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution requiring a balanced budget.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES
YES on S Amdt 47 – Violent Protester Amendment (2005) – an amendment to S 256 that would prevent violent protesters from filing for bankruptcy in order to avoid paying court-awarded civil damages or criminal penalties.
NO on HR 1997 – the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (2004) – a bill that would make it an additional criminal offense if a perpetrator injured or killed a fetus/unborn child while carrying out a violent crime against a pregnant woman.
YES on S Amdt 1117 – Charging Teens as Adults for Crimes Involving a Firearm (1993).
YES on S Amdt 1204 – Replacing the Death Penalty with Life Imprisonment (1993) – an amendment calling for the substitution of life imprisonment with no possibility of release for all death penalty provisions.
NO on S Amdt 1132 – Prohibiting the Death Penalty for Minors (1993) – an amendment that would prohibit individuals aged 18 or younger from being subject to capital punishment.
EMPLOYMENT & WAGES
YES on S 1917 – Extends Payroll Tax Cut and Establishes Tax on Income Over $1 Million (2011) – a motion to proceed with a bill designed to reduce the payroll tax rate from 4.2% to 3.1% for 2012, and to establish a 3.25% tax on income over $1 million.
NO on S Amdt 928 – American Jobs and Economic Growth (2011) – an amendment to: (a) repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); (b) require Congress to pass a resolution to adopt a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (c) establish new individual and corporate income tax rates; (d) repeal $39 billion in unspent discretionary funds; and (e) limit the authority of certain government agencies to establish certain regulations.
YES on HR 2847 – Employment, Infrastructure, and Transportation Appropriations and Tax Credits (2010) – a call to appropriate funds for purposes related to employment, infrastructure, and transportation.
YES on S 181 – the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a bill that redefined unlawful employment laws and counted each paycheck as an offense if a salary was ruled as discriminatory against a woman.
YES on S Amdt 4259 – the Immigration Enforcement and Employer Sanctions Amendment (2008) – an amendment that would allow the Senate Budget Committee chairman to raise spending levels to increase border security, expand enforcement of immigration laws, increase penalties against employers who hire undocumented immigrants, deploy National Guard troops to the southern and northern borders of the United States, and identify and deport non-citizen immigrants in prisons, provided that such spending would not increase the budget deficit.
YES on S Amdt 4322 – the Minimum Wage Adjustment Amendment (2006) – which sought to raise the federal hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over a two-year period.
YES on S Amdt 44 – the Minimum Wage Amendment (2005) – which sought to increase the federal hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over a two-year time period.
NO on S Amdt 2547 – Three Year Minimum Wage Increase Amendment(1999) – which called for increasing the federal minimum hourly wage by $1-per-hour, to $6.15, over a three-year period.
NO on S Amdt 2417 – the U.S. Citizen Recruitment Amendment (1998) – which would require employers to try to fill job openings with U.S. citizens for before allowing H-1B visa holders to apply for those positions.
YES on S Amdt 1708 – the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Amendment(1998) – a vote to table an amendment prohibiting preferential treatment (based on race, ethnicity, or sex) when awarding federal transportation contracts, and to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, which required that at least 10% of federally funded highway construction projects be contracted to “disadvantaged business enterprises..”
YES on HR 3448 – Minimum Wage Increase bill (1996) – which called for raising the federal minimum hourly wage rate from $4.25 per hour to $4.75 per hour during the first year, and to $5.15 per hour during the second year.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
NO on S Amdt 1537 – Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline Project (2012) – which sought to exempt the Keystone XL Pipeline project from further executive approval requirements.
YES on S Amdt 4825 – Carbon Emissions Cap and Trade Plan (2008). (Click here for an explanation of Cap and Trade.)
YES on S Amdt 2358 – ANWR Amendment (2005) – which called for the removal of provisions that would allow an oil and gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
YES on S Amdt 272 – ANWR Oil Drilling Amendment (2003) – which sought to stop a fast-track budget reconciliation bill from permitting movement towards drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
YES on Treaty Doc. 105-28 – the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty(1999) – which sought to require 44 countries that already had nuclear power plants or nuclear research reactors, to ban nuclear weapons testing.
GUN RIGHTS ISSUES
NO on S Amdt 1618 – Authorizing Concealed Firearms Across State Lines(2009) – an amendment to allow individuals who possessed conceal-and-carry permits in their home state to carry concealed firearms across state lines.
NO on S 397 – the Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill (2005) – which sought to provide liability protection for manufacturers, dealers or importers of firearms or ammunition, as well as their trade associations, for harm caused by criminal or unlawful misuse of their products.
NO on S 1805 – Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill (2004) – which sought to prohibit certain civil lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers of firearms and ammunition pertaining to acts of criminal or unlawful misuse of firearms.
YES on S Amdt 1152 – Prohibiting the Possession of Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons (1993) – which sought to ban the manufacture, sale, or possession of nineteen semiautomatic assault weapons and other firearms.
HEALTH CARE ISSUES
YES on HR 3590 – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.(Obamacare)
YES on HR 2 – the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization and Expansion (2009) – a bill designed to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
IMMIGRATION, NATIONALITY, & ENGLISH LANGUAGE ISSUES
NO on S Amdt 4214 – National Guard Deployment on Southern U.S. Land Border (2010) – which called for the appropriation of $250 million for the deployment of at least 6,000 National Guard personnel along the southern land border of the United States to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection in border security activities.
NO on S Amdt 1399 – Requiring Completion of Reinforced Border Fencing(2009) – which called for the completion of the 700 miles of reinforced fencing along the Mexico border, already authorized under existing law, be completed by no later than December 31, 2010.
YES on S Amdt 4309 – Restriction of Federal Assistance Based on Compliance with Federal Immigration Laws (2008) – a vote to table an amendment that would provide the Senate Budget Committee with the authority to revise funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services Program if the community was impeding the government’s ability to verify citizenship.
YES on S Amdt 4259 – Immigration Enforcement and Employer Sanctions Amendment (2008) – which would allow the Senate Budget Committee chairman to raise spending levels to increase border security, expand enforcement of immigration laws, increase penalties against employers who hire illegal immigrants, deploy National Guard troops to the southern and northern borders of the United States, and identify and deport non-citizen immigrants in prisons, provided that such spending would not increase the budget deficit.
YES on S Amdt 3117 – Border Fence and Customs Appropriations (2007) – an amendment to appropriate $3 billion to be used to hire full-time border patrol agents, improve employment eligibility verification, and fund security measures along the U.S. and Mexican border that would include building a fence, establishing vehicle barriers, utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles, placing ground-based sensors and cameras, and removing and detaining illegal immigrants.
YES on S Amdt 2405 – Real ID Funding (2007) – a vote to table (i.e., kill) an amendment to fund the Real ID Act, which established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibited Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.
NO on S Amdt 1151 – Declaring English the National Language (2007) – which sought to declare English as the language of “sole legal authority” for the business of the federal government, and declared that no person had a right to require officials of the United States government to use a language other than English.
NO on S Amdt 1184 – Denying Legal Status for Immigrants Convicted of Certain Crimes (2007) – which sought to prohibit illegal immigrants convicted of aggravated felonies, domestic violence, stalking, violation of protection orders, crimes against children, or crimes relating to the illegal purchase or sale of firearms, from gaining legal status.
YES on S Amdt 1202 – Point-Based Immigration Expiration Date (2007) – which sought to place an expiration date on a point-based (merit-based) immigration system.
NO on HR 6061 – the Secure Fence Act of 2006 – a bill authorizing the construction of an additional 700 miles of double-layered fencing between the U.S and Mexico, and authorizing the Secretary of Homeland Security to take whatever steps it deemed necessary to stop the unlawful entry of immigrants into the U.S.
NO on S Amdt 4064 – English As National Language Amendment (2006) – an amendment declaring English to be the national language, and calling for stricter requirements in language testing and knowledge of U.S. history.
YES on HR 2202 – the Immigration Reform Bill (1996) – which sought to increase the presence of U.S. border patrol personnel, change deportation laws and procedures, alter the verification system for eligibility and employment, and take additional similar measures aimed at decreasing illegal immigration into the U.S.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY
NO on HR 3396 – the Defense of Marriage Act (1996) – a bill defining marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.
TAXATION AND ECONOMIC ISSUES
NO on S Amdt 2573 – Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2012 – which sought to extend tax cuts established in 2001 and 2003 until the end of 2013.
YES on HR 4853 – Temporary Extension of Tax Relief (2010) – a bill to: amend and extend provisions of the “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001”; extend the period of time in which the allowable credit for the Child Tax Credit can be increased; extend the reduced marriage penalty of $5,000, and the increased credit percentage of 45 percent for taxpayers with 3 or more qualifying children; increase the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount for taxpayers other than corporations; and reduce estate taxes.
NO on HR 4297 – the Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 – a bill to authorize and extend $69.96 billion in tax credits and cuts through 2010.
NO on HR 8 – the Estate Tax Elimination Act of 2000 – a vote to override a veto on a bill that would phase out estate and gift taxes by 2010.
TERRORISM & HOMELAND SECURITY
YES on S 735 – the Comprehensive Terrorism Prevention Act (1996) – which sought to: increase the capacity of detection agents for explosives; expand the deportation of criminal illegal immigrants; increase funding for the deportation of suspected terrorists; deny asylum for suspected terrorists; and prohibit terrorist groups from fundraising in the United States.
VOTING & ELECTIONS
YES on HR 2 – Motor Voter Registration (1993) – which required states to provide people with an opportunity to submit voter-registration applications for federal elections by three principal means: (a) by registering to vote at the same time that they apply for, or seek to renew, a driver’s license (hence the name “motor voter”); (b) by submitting their voter-registration applications by mail, using forms developed jointly by each state and the Election Assistance Commission; and (c) by registering to vote at the same time that they apply for public assistance of any kind.
WELFARE & ENTITLEMENTS ISSUES
NO on S Amdt 2174 – Limits Eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (2012) – which called for limiting eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to households in which each member receives cash assistance under a state program.
YES on S Amdt 2392 – Reduces Funding for Food Stamps (2012) – which called for a repeal of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), authorized the Department of Agriculture to provide grants to states for supplemental nutrition assistance, and limited appropriations for the grant program to $45 billion per year.
YES on HR 3734 – the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 – a bill that sought to: (a) replace the existing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) programs with a single program of block grants; (b) impose a five-year lifetime limit on receiving TANF benefits; (c) require all “able-bodied” welfare recipients to go to work once the state determines they are ready to work, or they have received assistance for a total of two years, whichever is earlier; (d) prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving State and Federal benefits, except for emergency medical services, certain emergency disaster relief, public health immunizations, housing assistance, and certain Social Security Act benefits; (e) make legal immigrants ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and food stamps; (f) require five years of residence in the United States before most legal immigrants can be eligible for federal means-tested services; and (g) deny assistance to families that include a fugitive felon, someone on probation, or a parole violator.
For a more comprehensive look at John Kerry’s voting record, visit VoteSmart.org, OnTheIssues.org, and GovTrack.us.
NOTE: Voting records and legislation descriptions, courtesy of VoteSmart.org.