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              Executive   |   Legislative   |   Judicial
Democratic Jr Senator (NE):
Ben Nelson on the Issues

Ben Nelson on Abortion

  • Strongly opposes “Abortion is a woman’s right”. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
  • Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted YES 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)
  • Rated 7% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 75% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)

Ben Nelson on Budget & Economy

  • Voted NO on paying down federal debt by rating programs' effectiveness. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted NO on $40B in reduced federal overall spending. (Dec 2005)
  • Foster dairy production that is market driven. (Feb 1998)

Ben Nelson on Civil Rights

  • Strongly favors requiring companies to hire more minorities. (Sep 2000)
  • Supports “Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws”. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
  • Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
  • Shift from group preferences to economic empowerment of all. (Aug 2000)
  • Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
  • Rated 11% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 57% by NAACP, indicating a mixed record on affirmative-action. (Dec 2006)

Ben Nelson 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 86% by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record. (Dec 2003)

Ben Nelson on Crime

  • Supports the death penalty. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on reinstating $1.15 billion funding for the COPS Program. (Mar 2007)

Ben Nelson on Drugs

  • Supports “Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it”. (Sep 2000)
  • Require chemical resellers to certify against meth use. (Sep 2007)

Ben Nelson on Education

  • Opposes parents choosing schools via vouchers. (Sep 2000)
  • 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 YES on $5B for grants to local educational agencies. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted YES on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on funding student testing instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction. (Apr 2001)
  • Offer every parent Charter Schools and public school choice. (Aug 2000)
  • Rated 100% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes. (Dec 2003)

Ben Nelson on Energy & Oil

  • Supports spending resources to stop Global Warming. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES 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 NO on factoring global warming into federal project planning. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005)
  • Voted NO 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 YES 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 YES on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill. (Mar 2003)
  • Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)
  • Voted YES on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months. (Mar 2002)
  • Supports tradable emissions permits for greenhouse gases. (Aug 2000)
  • Keep efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy. (Mar 2004)
  • Rated 33% by CAF, indicating a mixed record on energy independence. (Dec 2006)
  • Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025. (Jan 2007)

Ben Nelson 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)
  • Rated 21% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes. (Dec 2003)
  • More EPA flexibility on interstate ozone. (May 1998)

Ben Nelson on Families & Children

  • Give parents tools to balance work and family. (Aug 2000)
  • Rated 83% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record. (Dec 2003)

Ben Nelson on Foreign Policy

  • Opposes linking Human Rights to trade with China. (Sep 2000)
  • Supports continuing Foreign Aid to Russia, Israel, & others. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)
  • Progressive Internationalism: globalize with US pre-eminence. (Aug 2000)

Ben Nelson on Free Trade

  • Supports expanding Free Trade. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on promoting free trade with Peru. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted YES on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted YES 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 YES on removing common goods from national security export rules. (Sep 2001)
  • Build a rule-based global trading system. (Aug 2000)
  • Rated 58% by CATO, indicating a mixed record on trade issues. (Dec 2002)
  • Ban Argentine meat imports to avoid foot & mouth disease. (Jul 2008)
  • Ease Canadian border-crossing rules. (May 1998)
  • Grant fast-track authority to the President. (Nov 1999)

Ben Nelson on Government Reform

  • Voted YES on granting the District of Columbia a seat in Congress. (Sep 2007)
  • Voted NO on requiring photo ID to vote in federal elections. (Jul 2007)
  • Voted NO on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted NO on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted NO on banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads. (Mar 2002)
  • Voted NO on require photo ID (not just signature) for voter registration. (Feb 2002)
  • Voted NO on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations. (Apr 2001)
  • Voluntary public financing for all general elections. (Aug 2000)

Ben Nelson on Gun Control

  • Opposes absolute right to gun ownership. (Sep 2000)
  • 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)
  • Prevent unauthorized firearm use with "smart gun" technology. (Aug 2000)
  • Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC. (Mar 2007)

Ben Nelson on Health Care

  • Supports More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted NO on means-testing to determine Medicare Part D premium. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO 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 NO 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 NO on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Apr 2001)
  • Establish "report cards" on HMO quality of care. (Aug 2000)
  • Rated 50% by APHA, indicating a mixed record on public health issues. (Dec 2003)
  • Establish a national childhood cancer database. (Mar 2007)
  • Support enhanced health insurance marketplace pooling. (Apr 2008)
  • Maintain Medicare funding of HMO benefits. (Oct 1999)

Ben Nelson on Homeland Security

  • Supports spending on Missile Defense (“Star Wars”). (Sep 2000)
  • Voted NO on cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army. (Apr 2008)
  • Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)
  • Voted YES on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months. (Jul 2007)
  • Voted YES on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES 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 YES on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted YES on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders. (Mar 2005)
  • Rated 40% by SANE, indicating a mixed record on military issues. (Dec 2003)

Ben Nelson on Immigration

  • Supports “Immigration helps our economy-encourage it”. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on continuing federal funds for declared "sanctuary cities". (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on comprehensive immigration reform. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on declaring English as the official language of the US government. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on eliminating the "Y" nonimmigrant guestworker program. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted NO on establishing a Guest Worker program. (May 2006)
  • Voted NO on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006)
  • Voted NO on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship. (May 2006)
  • Rated 83% by USBC, indicating a sealed-border stance. (Dec 2006)
  • Ease Canadian border-crossing rules. (Oct 1999)

Ben Nelson 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 YES on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted NO on repealing Clinton's ergonomic rules on repetitive stress. (Mar 2001)
  • Rated 62% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a mixed record on union issues. (Dec 2003)
  • Allow an Air Traffic Controller's Union. (Jan 2006)
  • State instead of federal rules for animal operations. (Nov 1999)
  • Immediate federal assistance for farm crisis. (Sep 1999)

Ben Nelson on Principles & Values

  • Voted with Democratic Party 77.8% of 325 votes. (Sep 2007)
  • 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)
  • Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism. (Aug 2000)
  • New Democrat: "Third Way" instead of left-right debate. (Nov 2000)
  • Member of the Senate New Democrat Coalition. (Jan 2001)
  • Rated 0% by the AU, indicating opposition to church-state separation. (Dec 2006)
  • Member of Democratic Leadership Council. (Nov 2007)

Ben Nelson on Social Security

  • Opposes privatizing Social Security. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted NO on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security. (Mar 2007)
  • Create Retirement Savings Accounts. (Aug 2000)
  • Rated 40% by the ARA, indicating a mixed record on senior issues. (Dec 2003)

Ben Nelson on Tax Reform

  • Supports making income tax flatter & lower. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted NO on increasing tax rate for people earning over $1 million. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on allowing AMT reduction without budget offset. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on raising the Death Tax exemption to $5M from $1M. (Feb 2008)
  • Voted NO on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted NO 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)
  • Rated 42% by NTU, indicating "Satisfactory" on tax votes. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 0% by the CTJ, indicating opposition to progressive taxation. (Dec 2006)

Ben Nelson 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 YES 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)

Ben Nelson on Welfare & Poverty

  • Finish welfare reform by moving able recipients into jobs. (Aug 2000)
  • Tax credits to promite home ownership in distressed areas. (Apr 2003)
  • Fully fund AmeriCorps. (Jun 2003)