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              Executive   |   Legislative   |   Judicial
Republican Sr Senator (PA):
Arlen Specter on the Issues

Arlen Specter on Abortion

  • Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
  • Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
  • Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
  • Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
  • Voted NO on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted NO on banning human cloning. (Feb 1998)
  • Rated 21% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
  • Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance. (Dec 2006)
  • Protect the reproductive rights of women. (Jan 1993)

Arlen Specter on Budget & Economy

  • Voted NO on paying down federal debt by rating programs' effectiveness. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on $40B in reduced federal overall spending. (Dec 2005)
  • Voted NO on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts. (Apr 2000)
  • Voted NO on 1998 GOP budget. (May 1997)
  • Voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment. (Mar 1997)
  • Maintain & enforce existing spending caps in the future. (Sep 1998)

Arlen Specter on Civil Rights

  • Oppose gay marriage but support civil union. (Oct 2004)
  • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
  • Voted NO on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
  • Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women. (Mar 1998)
  • Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
  • Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)
  • Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)
  • Require 90 day delay for compliance before ADA lawsuits. (May 2002)
  • Limit interstate class-action lawsuits to federal courts . (May 2002)
  • Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
  • Rated 67% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 32% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)

Arlen Specter on Corporations

  • Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing & restrictions. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy. (Jul 2001)
  • Rated 87% by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record. (Dec 2003)

Arlen Specter on Crime

  • Voted YES on reinstating $1.15 billion funding for the COPS Program. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on $1.15 billion per year to continue the COPS program. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on limiting death penalty appeals. (Apr 1996)
  • Voted NO on limiting product liability punitive damage awards. (Mar 1996)
  • Voted NO on restricting class-action lawsuits. (Dec 1995)
  • Voted YES on repealing federal speed limits. (Jun 1995)
  • Voted NO on mandatory prison terms for crimes involving firearms. (May 1994)
  • Voted YES on rejecting racial statistics in death penalty appeals. (May 1994)
  • Rated 63% by CURE, indicating mixed votes on rehabilitation. (Dec 2000)
  • More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes. (Apr 2001)
  • Establish a domestic violence volunteer attorney network. (May 2007)
  • Increase funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program. (Jan 2007)
  • Reduce recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance. (Mar 2007)

Arlen Specter on Drugs

  • Voted NO on increasing penalties for drug offenses. (Nov 1999)
  • Voted YES on spending international development funds on drug control. (Jul 1996)

Arlen Specter on Education

  • Voted YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Oct 2007)
  • Voted NO on $52M for "21st century community learning centers". (Oct 2005)
  • Voted NO on $5B for grants to local educational agencies. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted YES on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted NO on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
  • Voted NO on funding student testing instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted YES on Educational Savings Accounts. (Mar 2000)
  • Voted YES on allowing more flexibility in federal school rules. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on school vouchers in DC. (Sep 1997)
  • Voted YES on $75M for abstinence education. (Jul 1996)
  • Voted NO on requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer. (Jul 1994)
  • Voted YES on national education standards. (Feb 1994)
  • Focus educational resources to help those with greatest need. (Jul 2001)
  • Require state standards, regular assessments, and sanctions. (Jul 2001)
  • Support Ed-Flex: more flexibility if more accountable. (Jul 2001)
  • Rated 36% by the NEA, indicating a mixed record on public education. (Dec 2003)

Arlen Specter on Energy & Oil

  • Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (Jun 2008)
  • Voted YES on addressing CO2 emissions without considering India & China. (May 2008)
  • Voted YES on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on making oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on factoring global warming into federal project planning. (May 2007)
  • Voted NO on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted YES on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted YES on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (Jun 2005)
  • Voted NO on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on Bush Administration Energy Policy. (Jul 2003)
  • Voted YES on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. (Jun 2003)
  • Voted NO on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill. (Mar 2003)
  • Voted YES on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)
  • Voted YES on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months. (Mar 2002)
  • Voted YES on preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling. (Apr 2000)
  • Voted NO on ending discussion of CAFE fuel efficiency standards. (Sep 1999)
  • Voted YES on defunding renewable and solar energy. (Jun 1999)
  • Voted YES on approving a nuclear waste repository. (Apr 1997)
  • Voted NO on do not require ethanol in gasoline. (Aug 1994)
  • Keep efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy. (Mar 2004)
  • Raise CAFE by a 4% per year until 2018. (Jul 2006)
  • Rated 50% by CAF, indicating a mixed record on energy independence. (Dec 2006)
  • Sign on to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. (Jan 2007)
  • Open the Outer Continental Shelf for oil & gas leasing. (Jun 2008)
  • Supports immediate reductions in greenhouse gases. (Sep 1998)

Arlen Specter on Environment

  • Voted NO on prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted NO on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. (Sep 2005)
  • Voted YES on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. (Jan 2001)
  • Voted NO on more funding for forest roads and fish habitat. (Sep 1999)
  • Voted NO on transportation demo projects. (Mar 1998)
  • Voted NO on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests. (Sep 1997)
  • Voted YES on continuing desert protection in California. (Oct 1994)
  • Voted YES on requiring EPA risk assessments. (May 1994)
  • Supports grants for brownfields remediation. (May 2002)
  • Make EPA into a Cabinet department. (May 2002)
  • Rated 32% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes. (Dec 2003)
  • Inter-state compact for Great Lakes water resources. (Jul 2008)
  • Celebrate the recovery of the bald eagle. (Jun 2008)
  • Strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting. (Jan 2007)
  • Focus on results, not regulation. (Sep 1998)

Arlen Specter on Families & Children

  • Voted YES on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors. (May 1999)
  • Rated 81% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Permanent crime database for volunteers with kids. (Jul 2008)

Arlen Specter on Foreign Policy

  • Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)
  • Voted NO on killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on cap foreign aid at only $12.7 billion. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on limiting the President's power to impose economic sanctions. (Jul 1998)
  • Voted YES on limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech. (Apr 1998)
  • Voted YES on $17.9 billion to IMF. (Mar 1998)
  • Voted YES on Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba. (Mar 1996)
  • Voted NO on ending Vietnam embargo. (Jan 1994)
  • Implement Darfur Peace Agreement with UN peacekeeping force. (Feb 2008)

Arlen Specter on Free Trade

  • Voted YES on promoting free trade with Peru. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted NO on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (Jul 2003)
  • Voted YES on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (Jul 2003)
  • Voted YES on extending free trade to Andean nations. (May 2002)
  • Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam. (Oct 2001)
  • Voted NO on removing common goods from national security export rules. (Sep 2001)
  • Voted NO on permanent normal trade relations with China. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on expanding trade to the third world. (May 2000)
  • Voted NO on renewing 'fast track' presidential trade authority. (Nov 1997)
  • Promote the Andean Free Trade Agreement. (May 2002)
  • Rated 75% by CATO, indicating a pro-free trade voting record. (Dec 2002)
  • Extend trade restrictions on Burma to promote democracy. (Jun 2007)

Arlen Specter on Government Reform

  • Nominees only answer as many questions as they have to. (Jan 2006)
  • Voted YES on granting the District of Columbia a seat in Congress. (Sep 2007)
  • Voted YES on requiring photo ID to vote in federal elections. (Jul 2007)
  • Voted YES on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted NO on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted YES on banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads. (Mar 2002)
  • Voted YES on require photo ID (not just signature) for voter registration. (Feb 2002)
  • Voted YES on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted YES on funding for National Endowment for the Arts. (Aug 1999)
  • Voted YES on favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance. (Oct 1997)
  • Voted YES on Approving the presidential line-item veto. (Mar 1996)
  • Voted NO on banning more types of Congressional gifts. (Jul 1995)
  • Establish the United States Public Service Academy. (Mar 2007)
  • Reduce federal government size & scope, including military. (Sep 1998)

Arlen Specter on Gun Control

  • Voted YES on prohibiting foreign & UN aid that restricts US gun ownership. (Sep 2007)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted NO on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence. (Mar 2004)
  • Voted NO on background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on more penalties for gun & drug violations. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks. (Jul 1998)

Arlen Specter on Health Care

  • Voted NO on means-testing to determine Medicare Part D premium. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on allowing tribal Indians to opt out of federal healthcare. (Feb 2008)
  • Voted YES on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility. (Nov 2007)
  • Voted YES on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted YES on limiting medical liability lawsuits to $250,000. (May 2006)
  • Voted YES on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D. (Feb 2006)
  • Voted YES on increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted NO on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Jun 2003)
  • Voted YES on allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada. (Jul 2002)
  • Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted YES on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted NO on including prescription drugs under Medicare. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted NO on limiting self-employment health deduction. (Jul 1999)
  • Voted NO on Medicare means-testing. (Jun 1997)
  • Voted NO on blocking medical savings acounts. (Apr 1996)
  • Invest funds to alleviate the nursing shortage. (Apr 2001)
  • Tax credits for those without employee health insurance. (May 2002)
  • Tax deduction for long-term care insurance. (May 2002)
  • Support telemedicine for underserved areas. (May 2002)
  • $350 billion for prescriptions for poor seniors. (May 2002)
  • Rated 12% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Establish a national childhood cancer database. (Mar 2007)

Arlen Specter on Homeland Security

  • Voted NO on cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army. (Apr 2008)
  • Voted NO on requiring FISA court warrant to monitor US-to-foreign calls. (Feb 2008)
  • Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)
  • Voted NO on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months. (Jul 2007)
  • Voted YES on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted NO on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision. (Dec 2005)
  • Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted YES on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted NO on allowing another round of military base closures. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on cutting nuclear weapons below START levels. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on deploying National Missile Defense ASAP. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on military pay raise of 4.8%. (Feb 1999)
  • Voted YES on favoring 36 vetoed military projects. (Oct 1997)
  • Voted YES on banning chemical weapons. (Apr 1997)
  • Voted YES on considering deploying NMD, and amending ABM Treaty. (Jun 1996)
  • Voted YES on 1996 Defense Appropriations. (Sep 1995)
  • Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Improve mental health care benefits for returning veterans. (Jun 2008)
  • Restore habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror. (Jun 2007)
  • School assistance to survivors of injured federal police. (Oct 1996)

Arlen Specter on Immigration

  • Voted YES on continuing federal funds for declared "sanctuary cities". (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on declaring English as the official language of the US government. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted NO on eliminating the "Y" nonimmigrant guestworker program. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program. (May 2006)
  • Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006)
  • Voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship. (May 2006)
  • Voted YES on visas for skilled workers. (May 1998)
  • Voted NO on limit welfare for immigrants. (Jun 1997)
  • English immersion over bilingual education. (Jul 2001)
  • Rated 16% by USBC, indicating an open-border stance. (Dec 2006)

Arlen Specter on Jobs

  • Voted YES on overriding presidential veto of Farm Bill. (Jun 2008)
  • Voted YES on terminating legal challenges to English-only job rules. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on limiting farm subsidies to people earning under $750,000. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted YES on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Feb 2007)
  • Voted NO on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on repealing Clinton's ergonomic rules on repetitive stress. (Mar 2001)
  • Voted NO on killing an increase in the minimum wage. (Nov 1999)
  • Voted NO on allowing workers to choose between overtime & comp-time. (May 1997)
  • Voted YES on replacing farm price supports. (Feb 1996)
  • Rated 46% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a mixed record on union issues. (Dec 2003)

Arlen Specter on Principles & Values

  • Voted with Republican Party 67.1% of 322 votes. (Sep 2007)
  • Senate speaks to entire Supreme Court during hearings. (Jan 2006)
  • #3 on Human Eventsí list of Top Ten RINOs. (Dec 2005)
  • Iím in the center in this campaign. (Oct 2004)
  • Voted YES on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice. (Jan 2006)
  • Voted YES on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (Sep 2005)
  • Religious affiliation: Jewish. (Nov 2000)
  • Profiled in "Jews in American Politics". (Jan 2001)
  • Member of the Republican Leadership Council. (Jan 2001)
  • Member of the Republican Main Street Partnership . (Jan 2001)
  • Rated 33% by the AU, a mixed record on church-state separation. (Dec 2006)

Arlen Specter on Social Security

  • Considered Social Security privatization but saw it unwise. (Oct 2004)
  • Voted YES on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt. (Apr 1999)
  • Voted YES on allowing Roth IRAs for retirees. (May 1998)
  • Voted YES on allowing personal retirement accounts. (Apr 1998)
  • Voted NO on deducting Social Security payments on income taxes. (May 1996)
  • Rated 0% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Supports individual savings accounts and work incentives. (Sep 1998)

Arlen Specter on Tax Reform

  • Voted NO on increasing tax rate for people earning over $1 million. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on allowing AMT reduction without budget offset. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on raising the Death Tax exemption to $5M from $1M. (Feb 2008)
  • Voted YES on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on raising estate tax exemption to $5 million. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on supporting permanence of estate tax cuts. (Aug 2006)
  • Voted YES on permanently repealing the `death tax`. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on $47B for military by repealing capital gains tax cut. (Feb 2006)
  • Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Feb 2006)
  • Voted YES on extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted YES on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. (May 2003)
  • Voted NO on reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates. (May 2001)
  • Voted NO on increasing tax deductions for college tuition. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on eliminating the 'marriage penalty'. (Jul 2000)
  • Voted YES on across-the-board spending cut. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted NO on requiring super-majority for raising taxes. (Apr 1998)
  • Rated 65% by NTU, indicating "Satisfactory" on tax votes. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 0% by the CTJ, indicating opposition to progressive taxation. (Dec 2006)
  • Implement socially fair, broad-based tax cuts. (Sep 1998)

Arlen Specter on War & Peace

  • Voted NO on redeploying non-essential US troops out of Iraq in 9 months. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted YES on designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorists. (Sep 2007)
  • Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted YES on requiring on-budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding. (Apr 2005)
  • Voted YES on $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Oct 2003)
  • Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (Oct 2002)
  • Voted YES on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on ending the Bosnian arms embargo. (Jul 1995)
  • Condemns anti-Muslim bigotry in name of anti-terrorism. (Oct 2001)
  • Supports $48 billion in new spending for anti-terrorism. (Jan 2002)
  • Deploy UN multinational peacekeeping force in Darfur. (Jul 2007)
  • Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. (Nov 1995)

Arlen Specter on Welfare & Poverty

  • Voted YES on welfare block grants. (Aug 1996)
  • Voted YES on eliminating block grants for food stamps. (Jul 1996)
  • Voted YES on allowing state welfare waivers. (Jul 1996)
  • Voted YES on welfare overhaul. (Sep 1995)
  • Tax credits to promite home ownership in distressed areas. (Apr 2003)