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              Executive   |   Legislative   |   Judicial
Democratic Sr Senator (FL):
Bill Nelson on the Issues

Bill Nelson 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 YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
  • Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted NO on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
  • Voted NO on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
  • Rated 25% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)

Bill 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)
  • Reform mortgage rules to prevent foreclosure & bankruptcy. (Feb 2008)

Bill Nelson on Civil Rights

  • Favors requiring companies to hire more women & minorities. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO 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)
  • Issue a commemorative postage stamp of Rosa Parks. (Dec 2005)
  • Rated 89% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 86% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)

Bill Nelson on Corporations

  • Voted YES 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 NO on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy. (Jul 2001)
  • Rated 48% by the US COC, indicating a mixed business voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Screen imports & ban lead in children's products. (Feb 2008)

Bill Nelson on Crime

  • Voted YES on reinstating $1.15 billion funding for the COPS Program. (Mar 2007)
  • More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes. (Apr 2001)
  • Increase funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program. (Jan 2007)

Bill Nelson on Drugs

No stance on record.

Bill 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 YES on $52M for "21st century community learning centers". (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 91% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes. (Dec 2003)

Bill Nelson on Energy & Oil

  • We canít drill, drill, drill our way to oil independence. (Oct 2006)
  • 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 YES 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 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 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 NO on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months. (Mar 2002)
  • Supports tradable emissions permits for greenhouse gases. (Aug 2000)
  • Include pickup trucks in CAFE; include hybrids in HOV lanes. (Feb 2002)
  • Keep efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy. (Mar 2004)
  • Establish greenhouse gas tradeable allowances. (Feb 2005)
  • Rated 100% by the CAF, indicating support for energy independence. (Dec 2006)
  • Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025. (Jan 2007)
  • Let states define stricter-than-federal emission standards. (Jan 2008)

Bill Nelson on Environment

  • Voted NO on prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted YES on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. (Sep 2005)
  • Voted YES on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. (Jan 2001)
  • Rated 79% by the LCV, indicating pro-environment votes. (Dec 2003)
  • EPA must do better on mercury clean-up. (Apr 2004)
  • Strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting. (Jan 2007)

Bill Nelson on Families & Children

  • Give parents tools to balance work and family. (Aug 2000)
  • Rated 16% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-family voting record. (Dec 2003)

Bill Nelson on Foreign Policy

  • Diplomacy first with N.Korea; keep military option on table. (Oct 2006)
  • Get State Dept. to do more for Holocaust victims. (Jan 2001)
  • Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)
  • Progressive Internationalism: globalize with US pre-eminence. (Aug 2000)
  • Impose sanctions and an import ban on Burma. (Oct 2007)
  • Urge Venezuela to re-open dissident radio & TV stations. (May 2007)

Bill Nelson on Free Trade

  • Pressure China on trade, coupled with North Korea resolution. (Oct 2006)
  • 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 33% by CATO, indicating a mixed record on trade issues. (Dec 2002)

Bill Nelson on Government Reform

  • Supports McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform. (Oct 2000)
  • 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 YES on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted YES 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 YES on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations. (Apr 2001)
  • Voluntary public financing for all general elections. (Aug 2000)
  • Restrict lobbyist gifts & disclose lobbyist info on Internet. (Dec 2005)
  • Post earmarks on the Internet before voting on them. (Jan 2006)
  • Prohibit 'voter caging' which intimidates minority voting. (Nov 2007)

Bill 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)

Bill 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 YES 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 100% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record. (Dec 2003)
  • Preserve access to Medicaid & SCHIP during economic downturn. (Apr 2008)

Bill Nelson on Homeland Security

  • Let all military overseas vote via Internet. (Jan 2001)
  • Upgrade the military. (Oct 2000)
  • Deploy limited missile defense shield. (Oct 2000)
  • Voted NO on cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army. (Apr 2008)
  • Voted YES 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 YES 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 YES on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted NO 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)
  • Establish Maritime Security grants for ports and vessels. (Nov 2002)
  • Federalize aviation security. (Nov 2001)
  • Rated 70% by SANE, indicating a pro-peace voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Extend reserve retirement pay parity back to 9/11. (Dec 2007)
  • Restore habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror. (Jun 2007)

Bill Nelson 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 NO on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006)
  • Voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship. (May 2006)
  • Cover child resident aliens under Medicaid and SCHIP. (May 2005)
  • Rated 33% by USBC, indicating a mixed record on open borders. (Dec 2006)

Bill Nelson on Jobs

  • Voted YES on overriding presidential veto of Farm Bill. (Jun 2008)
  • Voted NO 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)
  • Protect overtime pay protections. (Jun 2003)
  • Rated 77% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-union voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Allow an Air Traffic Controller's Union. (Jan 2006)

Bill Nelson on Principles & Values

  • Voted with Democratic Party 93.4% of 320 votes. (Sep 2007)
  • Focus on issues & doing our jobs, and we can get a lot done. (Oct 2006)
  • Voted NO 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 67% by the AU, a mixed record on church-state separation. (Dec 2006)
  • Member of Democratic Leadership Council. (Nov 2007)

Bill Nelson on Social Security

  • Opposes efforts to partially privatize. (Oct 2000)
  • 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 90% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record. (Dec 2003)

Bill Nelson on Tax Reform

  • National sales tax raises taxes $4,500 versus income tax. (Nov 2006)
  • Voted against repealing estate tax; but now supports it. (Oct 2000)
  • Voted YES 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 YES 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 NO on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. (May 2003)
  • Voted YES on reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on increasing tax deductions for college tuition. (May 2001)
  • Rated 14% by NTU, indicating a "Big Spender" on tax votes. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 40% by CTJ, indicating a mixed record on progressive taxation. (Dec 2006)

Bill Nelson on War & Peace

  • Political solution for Iraq, of 3-way partition. (Oct 2006)
  • 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 YES 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)
  • No troop surge: no military escalation in Iraq. (Jan 2007)
  • Deploy UN multinational peacekeeping force in Darfur. (Jul 2007)

Bill Nelson on Welfare & Poverty

  • Finish welfare reform by moving able recipients into jobs. (Aug 2000)
  • Establish a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund. (Jul 2003)