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    As a senator, Clinton voted against President George W. Bush’s major tax-cut packages. That said, once they were enacted, she did generally vote to extend many of the existing cuts.

    She has endorsed the so-called “Buffett Rule,” which aims to make high-income earners pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes, without providing many details other than a 5 percent surtax on personal income over $5 million, unveiled in early January 2016.

    In order to pay for her five-year, $275 billion infrastructure spending proposal, Clinton has said she would raise taxes on businesses (which she terms “reforms”), but she has not specified what taxes would be raised.

    Clinton voted in favor of a bill to extend the moratorium on Internet taxes.

    According to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, Clinton’s tax policies would raise approximately $1.1 trillion over the next decade, with the top 1 percent of earners paying nearly three-quarters of those new taxes.

    As a senator she voted to increase the minimum wage. She has announced her support for a $12 federal minimum wage, well above the current $7.25 standard but below the $15 level many progressive activists prefer.

    She also voted in favor of the Sarbanes-Oxley bill to impose heavy accounting and bookkeeping regulations on certain industries and was a co-sponsor of legislation after the housing crisis that would have imposed a temporary moratorium on foreclosures. She endorsed Obama’s call for tough “net neutrality” regulations to be imposed on Internet service providers.

    As part of a proposal to reduce energy use in the U.S., she announced she would work to establish energy-efficient model building codes, expand the number of products covered under Energy Star ratings, and subject more appliances and equipment to energy efficiency mandates.

    Clinton is on the record speaking of the benefits of fracking, though she favors regulating the practice.

    As a senator, Clinton supported a so-called card check bill, which would allow unions to dispense with the need for a vote to organize at a particular company. The bill also curtailed an employer’s ability to influence the outcome of organization efforts.

    Clinton is on the record speaking of the benefits of fracking, though she favors regulating the practice. She nominally supports exporting natural gas and oil production and sees gas as a clean, job-creating alternative to coal. After months of declining to weigh in on whether the Keystone XL pipeline should be approved, citing her role as secretary of state in helping guide the assessment process, Clinton finally announced in September 2015 that she opposed construction of the pipeline.

    Clinton opposes drilling in the Arctic Wildlife National Reserve and voted in favor of an amendment to that effect. She does support some offshore drilling, but again calls for heavy regulation by government in that arena. In August 2015 she announced her opposition to an Obama administration decision to allow drilling in the Arctic Ocean. She has also said that she would prevent any further development of fossil fuel resources on federal lands, although it wasn’t clear if she would allow extraction to continue on sites that have already been developed.

    In a March 2016 forum, she said a Clinton administration would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

    Clinton strongly favors efforts to curb carbon emissions in response to what she perceives to be a threat posed by global warming. A firm supporter of cap-and-trade schemes, she also supports the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. As a senator, she supported a bill that would have expanded federally protected lands and waters.

    As part of her 2016 campaign, Clinton has called for a goal of 500 million additional solar panels installed across the country and for renewable resources to generate enough electricity to power every home in the country.

    Like Obama, Clinton proposed a stimulus package during her 2008 campaign. Her $110 billion plan would have focused on helping low-income families. She has long been opposed to a balanced budget amendment, though she did vote in favor of a one-year moratorium on earmarks. In 2001, she voted in favor of an additional $123.1 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

    Clinton has been sharply critical of the budget sequestration enacted as part of the debt limit deal in 2011, focusing in on the reduction in spending on scientific research. She also praised the 2013 Ryan-Murray budget compromise deal to increase spending in the short term in exchange for promised cuts in later years.

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    Clinton has said she does not support a single-payer plan but meeting notes from her early health care reform efforts during her husband’s presidency show she favored it at that time. She has expressed her support for Obamacare and said she is open to making changes to it, and she proposed repealing the so-called “Cadillac tax” imposed on expensive health plans with the caveat that the lost revenue should be made up elsewhere.

    She has also laid out specific proposals to limit out-of-pocket health care costs, including requiring insurers to provide three “sick” visits to the doctor at no out-of-pocket cost, offering a tax credit for out-of-pocket costs, and capping out-of-pocket drug costs at $250 a month.

    She reiterated her support for a “public option” in Obamacare, a government-run insurer that would compete with private insurance companies in the market. She supported this idea in her 2008 campaign as well.

    She also would require pharmaceutical companies to invest a specific percentage of their profits in research and development, eliminate the tax deductibility of consumer advertising, give Medicare the power to set drug prices for the program, and reduce the number of years biological medicines received patent protection from 12 to seven.

    Her campaign has suggested that funds collected from pharmaceutical companies that fail to invest the required percentage in research and development be given to generic medicine manufacturers to encourage competition.

    In December 2015, Clinton proposed spending $2 billion a year over 10 years to find a cure to Alzheimer’s disease.

    Clinton was also instrumental in passing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a program that provides federal matching funds to states to provide health insurance for low-income families with children.

    Clinton joined most of her Democratic colleagues in the Senate in voting against President Bush’s expansion of Medicare to create a prescription drug plan, largely based on a belief it was not generous enough to seniors and did not do more to control drug prices.

    During her 2008 presidential campaign, Clinton proposed a plan that would mandate insurance coverage for all Americans. The plan’s cost, estimated (by her campaign) at $110 billion, would have been funded by repealing the Bush tax cuts.

    One area Clinton did focus on during her Senate career was entitlements. In the past she supported keeping the cap on taxable income for Social Security, but more recently has suggested she might consider extending payroll taxes at income above the cap. She has proposed an initiative that would create retirement accounts for Americans but opposes any effort to privatize Social Security by allowing individuals to control their own accounts. She has said she wants to “enhance” Social Security, thought to mean offering more generous benefits to poorer retirees, but has not provided specifics or addressed the question of whether benefits should be increased for all retirees. She has said she would not rule out raising the retirement age for some people in the future, although she also said she doesn’t favor it.

    In 1996, she was heavily criticized for supporting her husband’s decision to sign the welfare reform bill, and she supported a bipartisan plan to increase work requirements for welfare recipients. She has proposed an initiative that would create retirement accounts for Americans but opposes any effort to privatize Social Security by allowing individuals to control their own accounts. She has said she wants to “enhance” Social Security, thought to mean offering more generous benefits to at least some retirees, without providing specifics.

    While not overtly opposed to NAFTA, given that it was a signature priority for her husband, she did state that she thought there ought to be higher priorities, such as health care. She went on to criticize NAFTA during her 2008 campaign for the presidency. She also opposed the Central America Free Trade Agreement, though she favored trade agreements with Singapore, Chile and Oman. More recently, Clinton has expressed reservations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal recently concluded by the Obama administration, and announced she would have to study the deal to decide whether to support it.

    Clinton strongly favors immigration reform. She supported a comprehensive immigration reform plan in 2007 that would create a new type of visa allowing anyone in the U.S. without a valid visa to remain in the country for the rest of their lives. After 13 years, these immigrants would then be eligible for citizenship.  She voted for the construction of a fence between the United States and Mexico and supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, which she calls “essential” to reform.

    More recently, she vowed to go beyond Obama’s executive orders on immigration to expand the ability of illegal aliens to stay in the U.S. She has criticized the “sanctuary city” policies that prevent or hinder the deportation of illegal immigrants who commit other serious crimes.

    She has seldom weighed in on agricultural issues. She did vote in favor of an amendment limiting subsidies to a married couple to $250,000, and more recently said she would double funding to the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program, which provides training and assistance to people new to agriculture.

    Clinton supports maintaining the Export-Import Bank, a taxpayer-supported institution that primarily benefits large U.S. corporations including Boeing and General Electric. At an event for the biotechnology industry, she suggested the federal government should subsidize companies in the industry against the risks they face as investors, and she proposes doling out to generic medicine manufacturers funds that have been collected from pharmaceutical companies that don’t in her view invest enough in research and development.

    As part of a $25 billion program aimed at supporting small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities, she has pledged that she will “encourage banks, businesses, and foundations to match capital and financing” to entrepreneurs who have gone through government-approved training and support programs, which could put the government in the business of directing private investment into favored firms.

    As a senator she previously opposed an ethanol mandate requiring an increasing amount to be blended into gasoline, but in 2015 she reversed her position to favor the mandate.

    Clinton voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008, generally described as a bailout for large banks, when she was still in the U.S. Senate.

    Clinton revealed a Wall Street reform agenda in October 2015 that would extend the statute of limitations for financial crimes, devote more Department of Justice and SEC resources to investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, place a “fee on risk” aimed at leverage and short-term loans by financial firms, and impose requirements that bonuses paid to senior managers and executives be returned if the bank later loses money and has its financial health imperiled. She has also called for giving regulators the authority to re-organize or break up large firms, without providing details, as well as imposing a tax on high-frequency trading.

    Clinton voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008, generally described as a bailout for large banks, when she was still in the U.S. Senate.

    Clinton voted in favor of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation imposing new accounting and investment regulations on companies and has opposed efforts to reform or repeal the Dodd-Frank regulations of the financial industry. She has also opposed efforts to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act’s separation of investment and commercial banking. As part of her rural development agenda, she has proposed simplifying regulations for community banks that often provide credit in rural areas.

    She has also proposed increasing the potential rewards for Wall Street whistleblowers who come forward with information, currently capped at $1.6 million, and banning “golden parachute” payouts to persons in the financial industry who go to work for government.

    As a senator, Clinton proposed a bill to increase the size of the Army by 80,000 soldiers. This was even as she opposed the Bush administration on Iraq and Afghanistan.

    She has been dismissive of allegations of widespread problems with the Veterans Health Administration, saying that veterans who get care are generally pleased with it and accusing Republicans of criticizing the agency due to an “ideological agenda.” Following severe criticism from veterans groups and others about her comments, she retracted her statement and weeks later while unveiling her VA reform plan called the problems “serious, systemic, and unacceptable.” Her plan would allow veterans to seek care outside the VA system in certain circumstances, but she has pledged she would oppose plans to privatize most services.

    While she opposed many elements of the war on terrorism as a senator, she is generally thought to be more hawkish than most members of her party, having voted for military intervention in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Even within the Obama administration, Clinton was considered to take a relatively proactive posture on military efforts abroad.

    She also voted for the Patriot Act in 2001 and again in 2005. Clinton has expressed concern that the international community is not taking the threat of terrorism and war seriously enough.

    She has suggested (possibly inaccurately) that Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents exposing domestic surveillance programs before fleeing to China and later Russia, could have come forward as a whistleblower and received protection, but instead broke the law and should face criminal sanctions if and when he returns to the U.S.

    According to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served under Obama while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, Clinton admitted that her opposition to the troop surge in Iraq was based on political concerns and her 2008 presidential campaign. Clinton has denied the charge, saying Gates misunderstood what she had said.

    In 2008 Clinton argued that the Iraq War had diverted focus from the fight in Afghanistan and said she would send more troops to that country, and as secretary of state she supported President Obama’s decision for an 18-month “surge” to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida. More recently she has said she agrees with Obama’s decision to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan through at least 2017.

    As secretary of state, Clinton supported military intervention in Libya and the training of Syrian rebels, positions which compelled the administration to take a more aggressive pose. She has spoken against the use of U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS and and recently called for the U.S. to accept 65,000 refugees from the war-torn area. She has also backed the establishment of U.S.-enforced “no fly zones” in Syria and said she would increase the number of U.S. Special Forces personnel on the ground in Syria and Iraq as well as step up airstrikes against ISIS.

    She has also called for United Nations sanctions against Iran, and stated that the use of military force against that country should not be taken off the table. In March 2015 she sharply criticized the Republican senators who signed a letter to the Iranian leadership warning them on the limits of a deal that was not ratified by Congress, and she praised the deal that Obama agreed to with Iran in July 2015.

    She accused NATO of sliding into “military irrelevance” and fought for tougher sanctions against Russia.  She supports financial and military aid for Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists and has described Russia’s annexation of Crimea in harsh terms, comparing it to Nazi aggression. She has also said she favors imposing more sanctions on Russia if it assists Hezbollah in Syria.

    As a U.S. senator, Clinton voted against the nominations of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, as well as to Roberts’ elevation to the role of chief justice.

    Clinton has praised the court’s opinions in King v. Burwell and Obergefell v. Hodges. She has called the court’s opinion in Citizens United v. FEC “a grave error” and has promised to “do everything I can to appoint Supreme Court justices who protect the right to vote and do not protect the right of billionaires to buy elections.” She has said her Supreme Court nominees must support overturning Citizens United. In terms of the type of nominee she would appoint, she cited those who “respected precedence, felt what life was like for normal Americans, and had a career path outside of school and a conservative think tank.”

    She has also promised to “appoint judges to our courts who understand that Roe v. Wade isn’t just binding legal precedent,” but “the touchstone of our reproductive freedom, the embodiment of our most fundamental rights, and no one – no judge, no governor, no Senator, no President – has the right to take it away.”

    Clinton has described the U.S Constitution as a “living and working” document.

    On crime, Clinton has said she supports the death penalty in “egregious cases” that she thought would be “limited and rare.” She also suggested she favors significant changes to the criminal justice system to address “mass incarceration” and intends to offer specific policy proposals in the future.

    She has made an amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and limit political speech a centerpiece of her campaign.  She called the Supreme Court’s religious liberty decision in the Hobby Lobby case “deeply disturbing” and criticized the idea that the religious views of a company’s owners deserved constitutional protection.

    Clinton has supported affirmative action policies in the past and is credited with helping to push Bill Clinton’s administration to fill half of all positions with women.

    Clinton has generally favored stricter gun control laws, although she has endorsed the idea that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. She supports passage of a new “assault weapons” ban similar to the one passed in 1994, and favors allowing states and localities to determine their own gun laws, possibly including complete bans such as Washington, D.C., once had. She voted against legislation that would have prohibited lawsuits against gun manufacturers and sellers if their product were used in a crime.

    In her 2000 U.S. Senate race she backed federal legislation that would have required gun owners to be licensed and handguns to be registered, but by her 2008 presidential campaign had backed off her support for this. More recently she has called for allowing lawsuits against firearm manufacturers and dealers if their products used in a crime, eliminating the requirement that gun sales be allowed if a background check doesn’t clear the system in 3 days, and imposing background checks on private firearm sales through executive action.

    She has been a consistent advocate for abortion rights, most recently criticizing a House bill that would prohibit the procedure after 20 weeks. Her “HillaryCare” proposal in 1994 included language requiring abortion to be covered by all insurance plans. She has said she could not support any U.S. Supreme Court nominee who didn’t support the Roe v. Wade decision.

    Clinton recently shifted her longstanding position against same-sex marriage, endorsing it in March 2013 after opposing it during the 2008 campaign. She praised the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

    Clinton criticized Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that would have allowed individuals, companies, and other organizations the opportunity to claim a religious exemption from having to follow certain laws. She said a Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage was “breaking the law by denying other Americans their constitutional rights.” She also denounced the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case that protected the rights of religious business owners to not have to include certain forms of contraception in their employee health plans.

    She was a co-sponsor of the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, along with a bipartisan group of U.S. senators including Sam Brownback, Tom Coburn, and Chuck Schumer, but has also endorsed the so-called Equality Act, which could trample the religious freedoms of individuals and organizations who object to same-sex marriage.

    She has made an amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and limit political speech a centerpiece of her campaign.  She called the Supreme Court’s religious liberty decision in the Hobby Lobby case “deeply disturbing” and criticized the idea that the religious views of a company’s owners deserved constitutional protection. Clinton supported the Family Entertainment Protection Act, legislation that would regulate the video game industry for violent content.

    In the aftermath of the Bush v. Gore decision following the 2000 election, Clinton stated that the electoral college should be scrapped in favor of a national popular vote. She is also on the record asserting Congress ought to be more respectful of presidential authority.

    As first lady of Arkansas, Clinton worked to establish teacher testing and tougher state standards for curriculum and classroom size. Clinton has been a supporter of charter schools for several decades, although she has recently criticized them, saying that “most charter schools, they don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them.” She further explained that she views the role of charter schools as a way to “learn what worked and then apply them in the public schools.” She remains a backer of charter schools, however.

    She also voted in favor of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), though she opposes school choice and any sort of voucher program for low-income students. She has also voiced concerns over what she considers excessive testing of schoolchildren required under NCLB. She has proposed providing federal funds to states that offer universal kindergarten.

    She has endorsed Obama’s call for community colleges to be free and has proposed a $350 billion plan to make college more affordable that includes federal funds to states who increase their spending on higher education, reducing loan rates, and requiring colleges to repay some portion of defaulted student loans.

    Rubio outlined in April 2015 a proposed individual tax reform plan that would have only two rates, 15 and 35 percent, in exchange for eliminating many deductions and exemptions. Deductions for charitable contributions and mortgage interest would remain. He later revised his plan in October 2015 to include a 25 percent tax bracket. For businesses, Rubio would have a 25 percent tax rate and allow immediate expensing of capital investments. Capital gains and dividend income would be tax-free.

    In September 2015, Rubio proposed federal tax credits to employers who provide paid medical and maternity or paternity leave, up to $4,000 per employee. He has also called for reducing the federal gas tax by 80 percent, instead giving states greater authority over transportation spending (and presumably raising their own gas taxes).

    In the past Rubio has advocated for making the Bush tax cuts permanent, cutting the corporate tax rate in exchange for eliminating deductions and exemptions, and an overall lower level of taxation that will help the economy to grow. Along with Coons of Delaware, he has taken the lead in extending various business-friendly tax provisions that generally are set to expire on an annual basis. While these tax provisions, which include breaks for research and development as well as capital investment, can be seen as maintaining the complexity and favoritism embedded in the current tax code and therefore at odds with free-market thinking, without these extensions the overall level of taxation would increase and further stunt an already lagging economy.

    He voted against the “fiscal cliff” deal at the end of 2012 that renewed most of the 2002 Bush tax cuts but increased taxes on higher-income earners.


    Rubio signed on as a co-sponsor of Sen. Rand Paul’s REINS Act, an effort to scale back overregulation by requiring Congress to vote to directly approve all major regulations, defined as those costing the economy more than $100 million. He also opposes net neutrality; the government’s attempt to regulate the internet, and proposed a ‘National Regulatory Budget’ that would cap the total cost to the economy from regulations.

    Rubio has proposed repealing Davis-Bacon, a Depression-era law that requires contractors on building projects using federal funds to pay union-scale wages, which are typically higher than the market rate.

    On energy and environmental issues, Rubio has been outspoken in his support for expanded energy production including drilling in Alaska, off the continental shelf, and in Western lands where shale oil is abundant. He has also signaled his support for nuclear energy, and has endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline being held up by the Obama administration.

    As a state legislator in Florida he supported fairly modest incentives supporting solar energy and hybrid vehicles, such as allowing free or reduced-price use of the state’s toll roads by hybrid vehicles. For the most part, however, Rubio’s positions on subsidies for alternative energy boondoggles fit well within the conservative mainstream. He has spoken out against the Solyndra loans and similar corporate-welfare giveaways aimed at ‘green’ energy projects, and opposes any form of cap-and-trade or carbon tax based on fears about climate change.

    He has stated that he is skeptical of the claims of climate change alarmists. Rubio also co-sponsored legislation that would prevent the President from imposing stringent regulations on coal power plants that would effectively shut them down and raise energy prices. He has fought against EPA’s efforts to regulate Florida’s streams, rivers and lakes.

    Rubio has been a reliable defender of property rights. As a state legislator he led the effort to pass legislation protecting private property by sharply limiting the purposes eminent domain could be used for in order to take private property for public use. He also is a co-sponsor of legislation that would nullify an EPA rule granting the agency the authority to regulate vast new areas of land under the Water Pollution Control Act.

    Senator Rubio has also been a staunch advocate of cutting federal spending. Among other proposals he has called for spending on non-defense programs to be frozen at 2008 levels, and he supports a balanced budget amendment.He has submitted legislation to return approximately $45 billion in federal funds sitting unused in accounts, as well as to eliminate earmarks. Rubio has also supported legislation to reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent over 4 years through attrition.

    Rubio opposed the Paul Ryan budget in 2011 that raised spending in the short term in exchange for promised spending cuts in 2022 and 2023, arguing that it added $60 billion in spending in the short term that was likely to wind up being continued instead of eliminated over time. In 2011, Rubio voted against the budget deal that included sequestration, citing its failure to deal with the long-term debt problem, avoid potential credit downgrades, and didn’t shrink government or address health care costs. He also voted against the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal at the end of 2012 that renewed most of the 2002 Bush tax cuts but increased taxes on higher-income earners.



    In the Florida state legislature Rubio supported privatizing toll-ways and has opposed legislation in Congress that would limit the ability of states to privatize some services and functions.

    Rubio has released his own plan for replacing Obamacare and reforming health care. The plan centers on refundable tax credits available to all Americans to purchase insurance, establishment of federally-funded high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions, and expanded use of Health Savings Accounts. He would also transition Medicare to a premium-support plan.

    Rubio also scored what has turned out to be a major victory for opponents of Obamacare, helping to lead the charge against a provision of the health care law that the Obama administration was planning to use to bail out insurance companies who lost money on the exchanges. Rubio’s change to the law meant no taxpayer dollars could be used for the bailout, only funds collected from other insurers, which has led several insurers, including the nation’s largest, to consider ending their participation in the exchanges.

    Rubio campaigned against Obamacare in his 2010 election, and has been a reliable vote for repealing it. Rubio has spoken in favor of block granting Medicaid to the states, along with other means-tested welfare programs.

    On entitlements, Rubio has staked out relatively aggressive positions favoring fundamental reforms, including raising the Social Security and Medicare eligibility ages over time, rising to age 70 by 2098.He has also voiced support for turning Medicare into a “premium support” plan, where individuals receive a fixed amount of money and obtain coverage in what would presumably be a tightly controlled market.

    Rubio has spoken about how entitlements have “weakened” the American public. In a 2011 address at the Ronald Reagan Library, he explained that at one time it was the role of individuals, families, local communities, and local faith-based institutions to care for the sick and impoverished, while today the government has taken on that role. These types of comments are likely to endear Rubio to a large number of Republicans of both the libertarian/limited government variety as well as more socially conservative members of the Republican coalition.

    On the issue of free trade Rubio has voted regularly to approve major trade deals.He has supported continued subsidies to sugar producers, however, justifying his vote on the basis that other countries subsidize their sugar industries as well and it would put U.S. producers at a disadvantage to lose their support.

    Rubio was a member of the “Gang of Eight” that introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which was criticized heavily by many conservatives. He has since backed off of his support for a comprehensive bill, arguing instead that a piecemeal approach should be taken, with border-enforcement measures coming first.

    Rubio’s overall stance on immigration is that the border should be secured, illegal immigrants currently here should be allowed to remain (presuming no additional criminal activity), and legal immigration should be expanded, particularly in regard to highly skilled workers.

    He summarized his position in an interview by saying, “The first two things you have to do is stop illegal immigration, then second you have to modernize our legal immigration system, and then third you can have a debate about how to even legalize people to begin with. And then ultimately in 10 or 12 years you could have a broader debate about how has this worked out and should we allow some of them to apply for green cards and eventually citizenship.”

    More recently, Rubio has signed on as a co-sponsor of legislation that would crack down on so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials. He also said he would end the Obama program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which permits illegal aliens who entered the country as young children to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

    He has supported continued subsidies to sugar producers, however, justifying his vote on the basis that other countries subsidize their sugar industries as well and it would put U.S. producers at a disadvantage to lose their support.

    Aside from his vote to keep sugar subsidies, Rubio has generally supported reforms to the U.S. system of agricultural subsidies, including voting for measures that would impose income caps on those eligible for subsidies.

    Rubio has opposed corporate welfare including the Export-Import Bank and the insurer bailouts included in Obamacare, although he has supported subsidies for sugar growers and as a state legislator was instrumental in pushing for a $60 million state subsidy to build a new stadium for the Florida Marlins.

    Rubio has also said he believes the renewable fuels standard, which requires refiners each year to blend billions of gallons of ethanol, biodiesel, and other alternative fuels into gasoline and diesel, should continue through 2012, explaining the program shouldn’t be abruptly ended because “[p]eople have made investments in it … it would be unfair to yank it away from them in the middle of it.”

    Rubio also scored what has turned out to be a major victory for opponents of Obamacare, helping to lead the charge against a provision of the health care law that the Obama administration was planning to use to bail out insurance companies who lost money on the exchanges. Rubio’s change to the law meant no taxpayer dollars could be used for the bailout, only funds collected from other insurers, which has led several insurers, including the nation’s largest, to consider ending their participation in the exchanges.

    Rubio voted in favor of legislation delaying the Dodd-Frank price controls on credit card fees charged to retailers, and also voted against the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which he termed corporate welfare. He has recently announced his opposition to giving the territory of Puerto Rico the ability to declare bankruptcy in the face of its mounting public debt.

    Rubio unveiled the “Rubio Doctrine” in May 2015, anchored on three tenets. First, a strong military, which requires undoing the sequester budget cuts to defense spending. Second, the U.S. military and diplomacy should be used to defend U.S. economic interests such as protecting shipping lanes and opposing economic disruption caused by one nation’s invasion of another. Third, he called for “Moral clarity regarding America’s core values,” and said “We must recognize that our nation is a global leader not just because it has superior arms, but because it has superior aims.”

    He signed a letter urging defense cuts required under sequestration be replaced with cuts elsewhere, and noted in a March 2015 op-ed that “Our highest priority during the ongoing budget debate should be undoing the damage caused by defense sequestration and the hundreds of billions of dollars of defense cuts made by the Obama administration.”

    Rubio favors keeping military options on the table in Iran and Syria. He has supported keeping sanctions on Iran and strengthening them until the country abandons its nuclear weapons program, and also urged the Obama administration to relist North Korea as a state-sponsor of terrorism because of that nation’s support for Iran and Syria.

    In March 2015 Rubio was among a group of 47 Republican senators who signed an open letter to the Iranian regime explaining any deal negotiated between the Obama administration and Tehran that was not approved by Congress could be undone by executive action of the next president. He also said the U.S. should have insisted Iran give up its ballistic missile program as part of any deal and that if elected president he would reimpose sanctions on Iran.

    Rubio favored arming moderate Syrian rebels at the beginning of the struggle against Assad and expressed concern early on that Libya would become a safe haven for terrorists after the fall of Gadhafi, where he argued the U.S. should have engaged “fully and decisively.” On Iraq, he has said that based on what is now known about Iraq’s lack of weapons of mass destruction, he would not have supported the invasion. He would provide greater support to Saudi Arabia in its fight against extremists and rebels in Yemen, including putting U.S. special operations forces on the ground. He has also said he would consider putting U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq to combat ISIS.

    Rubio originally said he was open to accepting large numbers of Syrian refugees, but he expressed concern about ensuring terrorists were effectively screened out. Following the November 2015 attacks in Paris in which at least one of the ISIS terrorists had come to France as a refugee, he said there was no satisfactory way to vet all of the refugees and he would oppose bringing any of them to the U.S.

    He has supported extending the wiretap provisions of the Patriot Act and also keeping Guantanamo open as a prison for terrorists and enemy combatants. He also has referred to Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who stole classified information about American surveillance programs before fleeing to China and then Russia, as a “traitor.”

    Rubio favors a “two state solution” regarding Israel and the Palestinians, but has said the conditions don’t currently exist to allow that, specifically citing the lack of “responsible leadership” in the Palestinian government.

    He harshly criticized the Obama administration’s decision to begin normalizing ties with Cuba. Addressing the issue in May 2015, Rubio said that as president, “I would reimpose sanctions that could only be lifted through reciprocal steps on behalf of the Cubans. In essence, if they want more telecommunications opening, then the Cuban government will have to allow freedom of the press. If they want more engagement with American business and travel, then they will have to allow more democratic opening for alternative groups in society.”

    On Ukraine, Rubio has favored stiffening sanctions against Russia and helping Ukraine to stabilize its economy through a currency board that would set a fixed convertibility rate to either the euro or the dollar. He is a co-sponsor of legislation authorizing the president to provide weaponry to Ukraine to allow it to defend itself against Russia, and has described Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main goal as rebuilding his country into a major geopolitical force. Rubio favors additional sanctions preventing state-owned firms from doing business in the West as well as positioning more NATO troops in the Baltic nations.

    He criticized China’s building of islands with military airstrips in international waters, calling them “illegitimate” and saying he supported having U.S. Navy ships transit the areas to affirm they are international waters. He has also said the U.S. should respond in kind to cyberattacks, pointing to the apparent hacking of the Office of Personnel Management’s computers by the Chinese, but urged caution regarding Chinese currency manipulation charges saying the U.S. shouldn’t start a “currency war” with China.

    Rubio also called for the U.S. to strengthen its ties with Taiwan, including stepping up sales of military equipment and bringing it into international trade organizations.

    Rubio serves on the Foreign Relations Committee and is the ranking member of the subcommittee handling East Asian and Pacific affairs, and he sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Rubio has pledged that if elected president, he would “nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.” He has called the Roe v. Wade decision “egregiously flawed”  and “blatant judicial activism.”

    Rubio said that he “disagreed” with the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell (Obamacare tax credits), saying they “once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress.” Rubio also said that he “disagreed” with the court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, but also stressed that “we live in a republic and must abide by the law.” He called the Citizens United v. FEC decision “victory for those who truly value the freedoms outlined in our First Amendment.”

    He also supported the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

    Rubio has consistently supported individual gun rights, and recently received an A grade from the National Rifle Association after introducing legislation rolling back gun control laws in Washington D.C.  Prior to that, he had a B+ from the group, largely based on his record in the Florida legislature. As speaker of the House he helped push through the state’s “Stand Your Ground” legislation that protects an individual’s right to use a gun in self-defense instead having to retreat, but it was seen as not sufficiently supportive of a bill allowing employees to bring firearms onto their employers’ property. Following the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, he criticized Obama’s gun control proposals and said the focus should be on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

    He also said he opposes barring people on federal government watch lists from purchasing guns, citing the large number of people on the lists with no connection to terrorism.

    Rubio is pro-life and believes abortion should only be legal in cases where the life of the mother is jeopardized. He has supported legislation in the past that includes such exceptions however. He was a sponsor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act that would have prohibited taking a minor to another state for an abortion in order to evade state parental consent or notification laws, and also require abortion providers notify parents in the case of an out-of-state minor seeking an abortion. The legislation did not pass.

    Rubio has said he believes marriage is only between a man and a woman, and that he opposes the Supreme Court’s decision on the issue. He has also said he opposes a constitutional amendment overturning the court’s ruling, saying that it should be left up to each state to determine its own marriage laws.

    On First Amendment issues Rubio has shown that he stands by the core liberties of free speech and religious liberty. He voted against the DISCLOSE Act, which would restrict political speech and expose donors to independent advocacy groups to harassment and retaliation.

    He also supported the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case, favoring religious liberty against government mandates, and introduced legislation amending the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to specifically protect employers who do not want to be forced to provide contraceptive coverage under Obamacare.

    Rubio supported an Arizona immigration law based on 10th Amendment principles and as a candidate in 2009 expressed strong support for the 10th Amendment.

    He is the co-sponsor of a federal ban on Internet gambling, something a New York Times article noted puts Rubio “at odds with movement conservatives (i.e. federalists) who believe that, under the Constitution, states should have the right to decide for themselves whether to legalize online gaming.”

    In a February 2016 campaign trip to Nevada, a state where prostitution is legal, Rubio said while he thinks prostitution should be illegal, he would not favor a federal law prohibiting it, saying it should be up to the voters of Nevada to decide.

    In 2013 Rubio proposed what was described as “the most far-reaching school choice legislation in U.S. history,” a plan that would allow low-income parents to use vouchers from private organizations that receive funding through a new federal tax credit available to both individuals and corporations. The proposal is in line with Rubio’s long-standing support of school choice, going back to his advocacy for Florida’s voucher program that relies on a similar funding mechanism.

    Rubio also signed on as a co-sponsor of legislation that would convert up to $14 billion in federal Title I school aid to be converted to school vouchers for low-income students, and has expressed his opposition to the federal Common Core standards.