Political positions of John Delaney
John Delaney is a Democrat who served as the U.S. Representative representing Maryland's 6th congressional district from 2013 to 2019. He announced his 2020 campaign for President of the United States on July 28, 2017.
Delaney is often considered a centrist, and has touted his own bipartisan credentials as evidence of his ability to transcend the partisan divide. He has stated that he regards bipartisan cooperation as being of greater importance than progressive goals. Nevertheless, Delaney has also proclaimed himself to a progressive interested in creating "real–not political–progress." Delaney has also dubbed himself a "pragmatic progressive" and a "pragmatic idealist".
In his 2018 book Right Answer, Delaney wrote,
While my policy instincts are often considered progressive, my political instincts have always been bipartisan.
People have a hard time labeling me. Some of the things they hear me talking about are on the total progressive or liberal end of the spectrum, and in other ways I'm kind of a solutions-oriented moderate who wants to get things done.
- 1 Social issues
- 1.1 Abortion
- 1.2 Civil rights
- 1.3 Crime
- 1.4 Drug policy
- 1.5 Education
- 1.6 Energy and the environment
- 1.7 Families and children
- 1.8 Government reform
- 1.9 Gun control
- 1.10 Healthcare
- 1.11 Immigration
- 1.12 National service program
- 1.13 Social Security
- 1.14 Veterans affairs
- 1.15 Welfare and poverty
- 2 Economic issues
- 3 Foreign policy
- 4 Military and defense policy
- 5 Other issues
- 6 References
In 2017, Delaney voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions on fetuses that over 20-weeks post-fertilization (with exceptions for saving the life of the mother and for cases of rape and incest).
Delaney has supported same-sex marriage. He has voted for enforcement against anti-gay discrimination in public schools. He has voted for numerous other bills that aim to curtail LGBT discrimination. He has received the top score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign for his support of equality-related legislation, with him stating "No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love" in response to this recognition. He was a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus beginning in 2017.
On his congressional web portal, Delaney noted, "It is time to acknowledge the simple fact that women's rights are human rights, and we must use this approach as we address the pressing issues facing women today."
Delaney supports protecting the "fundamental rights" of women and ensuring that women are treated equally in American society. He also champions working to support women in the developing world. He believes that critical elements needed to accomplish this include healthcare, reproductive justice, workplace fairness, working to end domestic violence, and supporting international aid programs.
He argues that sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking should not be treated as partisan issues.
Delaney has received a 100% rating from Americans for Safe Access, an organization advocating for the legalization of cannabis. In his time in congress, Delaney co-sponsored seven cannabis-related pieces of legislation. These included three bills to remove cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act, a bill to protect individuals participating in state-legal marijuana activities from federal interference, a bill to protect patients in medical cannabis states, and two bills to protect banks working with marijuana businesses from federal penalties. Delaney constantly voted in support of decreasing federal enforcement against marijuana and in support of federal cannabis reform.
In March 2018 Delaney voted in support of legislation which would grant patients with terminal illnesses the right to try unapproved treatments.
Delaney believes that America needs to find bipartisan agreement on fiscal challenges, but that funding high-quality education should always remain a priority.
On his congressional web portal, Delaney wrote, "Now, more than ever, getting a high quality education is essential for success. A college degree is increasingly necessary for access to high-paying jobs, and an educated workforce is essential for the United States to remain competitive in a global economy in which technology is playing a bigger and bigger role."
Delaney supports efforts to make college more affordable by slowing the "runaway" inflation of tuitions, funding Pell Grants, and providing affordable student loans. He does not back proposals to make college tuition free.
Believing that college students need affordable student loans to assure them access to higher education, Delaney voted in support of the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013. He voted against the Student Success Act because it cut education funding and reduced accountability for teachers and schools.
Delaney believes that, after graduating high school, every American should be able to, free of cost, attend community college or receive career technical training. He believes the first two years of college should be made free, and the next two years should have lowered costs.
As part of his presidential campaign's proposed Heartland Fair Deal rural revitalization plan Delaney has proposed offering student loan forgiveness to any individuals living and working in “distressed” communities for a duration of at least 10 years.
Delaney believes that federal government's role in elementary and secondary education system has never been more important than it is now. He believes that the public education system provides for the economic mobility that many consider to be the American Dream. However, he believes that there are improvements that need to be made in order to ensure that students are receiving high-quality education from high-quality educators. Delaney believes that the government should work to incentivize current graduates to become teachers and ensure they receive the training to make them effective in the classroom. In addition, he believes that the government has to hold its teachers and schools accountable for student performance, and make room for innovative approaches like those employed by magnet and charter schools.
Delaney supports universal preschool. Delaney argues that research shows that early investments in education show big returns in later years. He considers this to be the reason for which he has supported increased funding for Early Head Start to help ensure that all children receive high-quality preschool educations. He argues that this has been proven to close the achievement gap and help prepare all students for success in kindergarten and elementary school.
Additionally, one of the components of Delaney's economic plan is to invest in creating a world-class education and research system for American workers.
He has voted for enforcement against anti-gay discrimination in public schools.
In his presidential campaign, Delaney has pledged to work to create a program that would provide high school students with incentives to serve their country, either through military or community service.
Energy and the environment
On his congressional web portal Delaney wrote,
We can't compete in a 21st century economy with a 20th century energy policy. We need to develop a national energy policy focused on two goals: 1) becoming a global leader in domestic energy production and alternative energy technology and 2) properly responding to climate change. For this reason, I am proud to be a member of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition."
Delaney believes that increasing the production of sustainable energy is not only beneficial to the environment, but is also beneficial to the economy. He wrote on his congressional web portal, "Just as the global economy in the 20th century was profoundly shaped by oil and gas production, the nations that provide new energy solutions that reflect the realities of climate change will thrive in the 21st century." As a congressman Delaney has worked to establish a green energy sector along the I-270 corridor in Maryland.
Delaney supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
He believes that it is the nation's greatest interest to fund research and development for alternative energy and provide adequate funding to the Army Corps of Engineers, who help build and maintain our energy infrastructure. A component of Delaney's economic plan is to develop a national energy policy that encourages domestic energy production with a goal towards becoming an alternative energy leader.
Delaney has been a cosponsor of multiple pieces of legislation which encourage further development of alternative energy sectors in the United States.
Delaney has supported instituting a revenue-neutral national carbon tax. While he favors moving towards cleaner energy to combat climate change, he also places a high priority on assisting the workers and communities that will be disrupted as the nation moves away from coal energy. Delaney authored the Tax Pollution, Not Profits Act, which would establish a carbon tax and use those funds to 1) lower the corporate tax rate 2) provide extensive benefits to displaced coal workers including health care, early retirement, retraining and relocation expenses so they can find new jobs and 3) provide benefits to low and middle income Americans.
Delaney has supported the Production Tax Credit for renewable energy.
As a congressman Delaney proposed the State's Choice Act, which was intended to allow states to develop an individual response to carbon pollution that would use market forces to drive down pollution.
Delaney stated that he believed it was unlikely that congress would pass the 2019 Green New Deal resolution introduced by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He voiced support for, "the energy behind the Green New Deal," but opposition to the resolution itself. Delaney has said, “I actually don’t think the Green New Deal is the way to go. The reason is that I want to do something about fixing climate change tomorrow. I don’t want to tie it to fixing health care."
Delaney voted against the Young amendment to the 2018 farm bill, which will make it so that the "roadless area conservation rule" established under part 294 of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations), shall not apply to any National Forest System land in the State of Alaska.
Families and children
In his presidential stump-speeches, Delaney has reportedly adopted gerrymandering and campaign finance reform two of the key concerns he wishes to address.
In 2017 Delaney introduced the Open Our Democracy Act, which would make election day a federal holiday, make all congressional primary elections open elections (so that all eligible voters can participate in them, regardless of party affiliation), and curb partisan gerrymandering by requiring independent commissions to draw the districts in each state.
Delaney supports restrictions on gun purchases.
Delaney considers the top-three gun control priorities to be passing legislation for universal background checks, limiting the availability of “certain high-powered, military-style assault weapons” and passing a national red flag law.
Delaney supports closing "loopholes" which allows private individuals to sell firearms (such as through the internet, at gun shows, and to friends and family) without first running background checks to verify that buyers are not legally prohibited from purchasing firearms.
Delaney also believes that an American mental health crisis is a contributing factor in the nation's gun epidemic, and therefore mental health needs to be part of the gun conversation.
On his congressional web portal, Delaney wrote,
Providing quality health care for their loved ones is one of the challenges American families face daily. Advancements in medicine mean that Americans are living longer than ever, and with those advancements comes a responsibility to maintain access to care. I believe that quality, affordable health care should be a right for every American and not just a privilege for the few.
In 2013, Delaney sponsored the Medical Foods Equity Act of 2013 (H.R. 3665; 113th Congress), which would extend coverage of medical foods, vitamins, and amino acids to those with metabolic disorders.
In March 2018 Delaney voted in support of legislation which would grant patients with terminal illnesses the right to try unapproved treatments.
From his business career, Delaney has experience in the private-sector of healthcare. In 1993, he co-founded Health Care Financial Partners, which made loans available to smaller-sized health care service providers purportedly ignored by larger banks. HCFP became public in 1996, and became an NYSE company in 1998. Health Care Financial Partners was acquired by Heller Financial in 1999.
A vocal supporter of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he has hailed it as an important step in the right direction. He lauds it for allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health plan for longer and helping seniors to save money on their prescription drug costs. He also lauds it for allowing children with preexisting conditions have access to health plans, and for expanding access for adults with preexisting conditions. He believes that it helps ensure access to affordable quality healthcare.
However, Delaney also feels that as a law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is imperfect. While he has continually voted against efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he also believes that an effort must be taken to examine it and take steps to further reduce long term healthcare costs. He believes that the government needs to address long term challenges of the Affordable Care Act in order to ensure that a strong healthcare system will continue provide quality and affordable care for future generations.
He prefers taking a more incremental approach to healthcare reform. He believes it is imperative to first remedy the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before implementing a fully paid-for universal healthcare plan.
In an interview, Delaney was quoted as saying,
With progressives I'd say, "We want the same thing. Let's just talk about how we get there." So I am for single-payer, but I am for single-payer evolving from the context of the market we have now. My approach is to fix the Affordable Care Act and then take it further with probably some kind of public option.
Delaney believes that if healthcare, as well as retirement, is not tied to employment, individuals will feel more secure and be more likely to enter into entrepreneurial endeavors.
Delaney has stated that he has a proposal to provide universal health coverage by improving the United States' existing health legislation. Delaney has said that he believes that healthcare relies on three measures: access, quality, and cost.
Delaney believes that America's goals for reforming healthcare should be to:
- Make sure the nation has universal access
- Do things to get the rate of growth of healthcare expenditures in line with inflation
- Eliminate the disparities that exist in the healthcare system.
As a presidential candidate Delaney has proposed that, in order to make healthcare access "truly universal", a new national health program would be implemented for all Americans younger than 65 providing them with a government funded public plan. At age 65, individuals would transition to traditional medicare.
In Delaney's plan, individuals would be able to opt out of the public plan and instead receive a tax credit to buy private insurance. Delaney has stated, “I envisioned a universal health care market where everyone gets health care as a right, but it’s kind of a public/private market. There’s private insurance and government insurance kind of working together.” Ttraditional Medicare would be preserved. Delaney aims to protect reforms brought by the Affordable Care Act, including guaranteed coverage of preexisting conditions and essential health benefits.
Delaney has not supported the "Medicare for All" proposal for achieving universal healthcare. In part, he opposes this because he believes that rural hospitals would struggle to receive adequate funding under such a plan. Delaney has criticized Medicaid programs across the United States for failing to adequately reimbursing services, consequentially creating a limited provider network. Rather than keeping it separate, Delaney plans to bring absorb into his universal healthcare proposal.
On his congressional web portal, Delaney wrote,
Immigration reform is a moral and economic imperative. I am strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. Reform should secure our border and create a path to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who are already here, pursuing the American Dream for their families. Second-class status for anyone, is not who we are as a country.
One of the components of Delaney's economic plan is immigration reform that would allow the best and brightest to work for American companies. He has written, "In America we have a tremendous advantage: the best and the brightest from around the world want to come here. We should take advantage of this singular fact." He believes that immigration reform will help drive a more competitive American economy. He points to statistics to support this hypothesis. One such statistic is that 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. Another is that in Maryland, 21% of business owners are immigrants and 26% of STEM graduates are foreign born.
Delaney has been a strong supporter of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, which passed in the Senate.
In 2017, he voted against Kate's Law (HR 3004), which would increase criminal penalties for individuals that are in the United States illegally and have been convicted of certain crimes, been deported, and have then re-entered the country illegally. He also voted against the No Sanctuary For Criminals Act (HR 3003), which would withhold federal funding from localities and states that are so-called sanctuary cities/states.
Delaney referred to Trump's decision to repeal DACA as, "cruel, heartless and mean spirited." He added,
President Trump has repeatedly shown that he lacks a moral compass and subjecting individuals who were brought here as children to the immediate threat of deportation is inhumane. ... Congress should call Trump's bluff and quickly pass the bipartisan DREAM Act. Republicans control both chambers of Congress, and now itis time for GOP leaders to put country first and actually move forward and protecting a policy they say they support.
Delaney wrote on his Facebook account,
Deporting 800,000 DACA recipients is a cruel and dark chapter in our democracy. I fully support the rule of law. But let's not forget that across time, people have hidden behind "the law" to do bad things that undermine the very promise of our nation. We must come together in Congress to take bold, bipartisan action to support DREAMers.
National service program
Delaney has proposed beginning a voluntary program in which young Americans would participate in some form of national service. Such a program would be modeled on AmeriCorps. Delaney has proposed beginning such a program by enrolling 5% of all graduating high school seniors in his proposed program's inaugural year. It would allow high schoolers to involve themselves in working on national projects, such as improving local infrastructure, retrofitting buildings, and building parks. They would work with private companies, labor groups, as well as nonprofits an community organizations and be provided with pay, which would vary depending upon the cost of living in their region.
Delaney strongly opposes the cutting or privatizing social security. He opposes personal retirement accounts. He has been given a 90% rating by the Alliance for Retired Americans, indicating a pro-Trust Fund stance.
On July 26, 2017 Delaney introduced the Social Security Commission Act of 2017 (H.R.3423) to Congress. The bill would allocate $2,000,000 to establish legislative branch a commission to be known as the "Commission on Long Term Social Security Solvency". The duty of the commission would be to, within a year of being created, submit a report to Congress that would include recommendations and proposals for legislation to achieve solvency in the United States Social Security program for at least the following 75 years.
In a September 6, 2017, Delaney wrote an op-ed in the Huffington Post defending his proposal. In the article, he wrote that the proposed bill
has only one goal: ensuring the fiscal health of this wonderful program so that we can avoid drastic benefit cuts. Isn't that what we are supposed to do?
Delaney also wrote that he believes,
that Social Security is vital and that the program's benefits are more important than ever. That's precisely why I've proudly introduced this legislation in each of my three terms in Congress. The legislation would create a bipartisan commission for the purpose of making sure Social Security is solvent and capable of delivering benefits for the next 75 years. ... Social Security is not broken. Social Security is not a pyramid scheme. Social Security should not be privatized. My legislation is grounded in the facts that the Social Security Trustees have made abundantly clear for years: the ratio of retirees to workers has increased, and people are living longer. In the short term, Social Security is in stable condition, but the Trustees have stated that Social Security will only be able to pay out full benefits until 2035. I believe to my core that letting drastic benefit cuts take place because we lacked the courage to solve this problem would be immoral. That's why I'm proud to author this bill.
Delaney collaborated with Republican Tom Cole on this effort. Delaney has claimed that the proposal would follow the model that Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill utilized in the 1980s with the Greenspan Commission, for which Delaney credits them with having successfully extended the lifespan of Social Security by 50 years.
Delaney has also proposed raising the cap on Social Security taxes.
The first bill that Delaney introduced in Congress was the Veterans Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act (H.R. 2011). This would enhance the job training and education opportunities available to veterans.
Delaney has supported legislation such as the Veterans Mental Health Accessibility Act (H.R. 1725), the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act (H.R. 1742) and the 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act (H.R. 2590).
During debate of the National Defense Authorization Act, Delaney offered an amendment to increase funding for Fisher House, which provides free lodging near hospitals for military families when servicemen and veterans are receiving care. His amendment increased funding from $4 million to $20 million and would allow four new Fisher Houses to be built across the country, providing lodging for approximately 2,000 additional military families per year. In 2013, Delaney sponsored the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education Improve ment Act, which would have extend through the end of 2015 the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education and changed its membership. That same year, Delaney sponsored the Medical Leave for Disabled Veterans Act (H.R. 5165; 114th Congress), which would relax the criteria for eligible veterans to qualify for FMLA to seek medical treatment for their service-connected disabilities.
Delaney voted in support of the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014.
Welfare and poverty
Delaney has stated that it is his belief that America's government should be, "engaging in the transformation work of bettering lives". He has stated,
as a Democrat, I believe that government should play an active role in improving peoples lives—but it can't, and shouldn't do it alone.
Delaney strongly supports the Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Delaney, in April 2013, sponsored legislation to maintain the program. In 2018, Delaney voted against the Faso amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides states the flexibility to contract out administrative functions of the program.
Delaney voted against requiring that recipients of welfare must maintain work.
In his business career Delaney was the founder of two publicly traded companies in the financial services sector. Delaney was, at one point, the only former CEO of a publicly traded company serving in Congress.
He claims that the lens through which he analyzes economic policy is competitiveness. He considers how the United States can position its businesses and workers to compete on a global market.
Delaney supports capitalism over socialism. As a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Delaney has argued that, "If the party starts embracing kind of, if you will, socialism in a pure form, I think that's a really big mistake. Because it's not good policy, and it's definitely not good politics."
In September 2017, Delaney stated, "Every minute the Democratic party is not putting forth kind of an exciting vision around jobs, pay, opportunity is a missed opportunity. For the Democrats to win, we just can't say over and over again how bad Trump is or how bad the Republican party is ... and we need to show people there's a better alternative."
Delaney believes that the United States needs a vibrant private sector in order to create long-term job growth and a strong middle class. Delaney supports policies that encourage entrepreneurship, innovation, and a better climate for business. In September 2017, Delaney stated, "In the private sector you know the facts don't lie, so you have to deal with the facts that are in front of you. You focus on the future. Because you know that's what really matters. Politics is way too much about re-litigation of the past."
Delaney believes that there is role for government in making the national economy more competitive. He believes that the healthiest economies in the world are those where the public and private sectors collaborate. Delaney has proposed a "competitiveness agenda" with five key components:
- investing in a world-class education and research system for American workers
- developing a national energy policy that encourages domestic energy production with a goal towards becoming an alternative energy leader
- immigration reform so that the best and brightest can work for American companies
- infrastructure investment to rebuild roads and bridges
- a grand bargain budget deal to get the nation in fiscal order
In May 2013 Delaney first introduced the initial major component of his competitiveness agenda, the Partnership to Build America Act (H.R. 2084). It would finance up to $750 billion in infrastructure investment at no cost to the taxpayer, instead bonds would be sold to the private sector.
In 2019, as a presidential candidate, Delaney stated,
Last year in this country, 80 percent of the venture capital went to only 50 counties. So we have allowed an economic model to evolve with an enormous concentration of economic opportunity in a relatively small number of places, and we should have known this was going to happen. We’ve watched it happen for decades, but political parties have been too busy fighting about it. My campaign is not about moving the goal post to make it even harder to get things done, which is what I fear some of my opponents are actually going to try to do. But my campaign is about actually getting real things done that have broad support among the American people and being the kind of leader that can absolutely drive that kind of change.
Delaney believes that the agricultural policy should be committed to effective food production, responsible farming, and the health and welfare of the public.
Delaney voted in support of the proposed Foxx amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill, which would have modernized and reformed the sugar program by removing barriers to domestic production and implementing market reforms.
Concurring with an overwhelming majority of House members, Delaney voted against the proposed McClintock amendment to the 2018 farm bill, which related to the phasing-out of agricultural subsidies. Also in concurrence with a majority of his House colleagues, Delaney voted against the Biggs amendment, which would have repealed the bioenergy subsidy programs established in title IX of the 2002 farm bill.
Delaney believe that the United States needs to, "eliminate duplicate and pointless regulations that serve as a major stumbling block for businesses".
On his congressional web portal, Delaney wrote,
Our federal budget should reflect our national priorities and values. In my view, that means that we're supporting our troops and protecting our country, positioning the next generation to thrive, making sure that our veterans and seniors receive the benefits they deserve.
On budget matters, rather than moving from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis, Delaney argues that Congress should focus on passing a grand budget deal that reduces the deficit in a balanced way. He argues that congress needs to do its job, which is to come together, negotiate in good faith, and find a solution.
Delaney supports a balanced approach to the budget that fundamentally changes the nation's fiscal trajectory and reduces its debt. He believes that congress should emulate what he considers to have been a balanced and data-driven approach taken by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles (co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform).
Delaney views recent budgets offered by Paul Ryan and supported by the majority in Congress have been wrong for the country. He believes that Democrats should lead on deficit reduction and entitlement reform and should continue to reach across the aisle and push for a grand bargain budget deal along the lines of Simpson-Bowles.
Delaney believes that smart budgets must include investments in the future, including proper support for education and job training, science and research, alternative energy, and infrastructure. He asserts that the 2013 budget alternative authored by Chris Van Hollen was superior to the budget that was ultimately passed by Congress. He argues that the budget should be oriented towards positioning the country for the next century. Delaney feels that support for federal workers is critical, as the federal government should not be expected to be world-class if it marginalizes its employees each year.
As part of his economic plan, Delaney has proposed infrastructure investment to rebuild roads and bridges In May 2013 he first introduced the Partnership to Build America Act (H.R. 2084; 113th Congress) to congress. It would establish the "American Infrastructure Fund" and finance up to $750 billion in infrastructure investment at no cost to the taxpayer, instead bonds would be sold to the private sector.
Delaney has also sponsored the Infrastructure 2.0 Act (H.R. 1670; 115th Congress), which would use revenue from international tax reform to fund an infrastructure bank and the Highway Trust Fund.
Delaney believes that private investment in infrastructure can be increased by instituting a higher capital gains tax rate for short-term investing, accompanied by very low raters for investors who hold their investments for ten years or more.
Delaney planned to focus his presidential campaign on innovation. In an interview, he stated,
This is obviously the most important job in the country and probably the most important job in the world. I think I'm uniquely positioned to both change the way government operates and to change the debate. I want to talk about the future and not the past. When I'm with people who are not involved in politics, the debate is entirely focused on how technology, automation and global interconnection are changing the world profoundly, and there's almost no conversation about that in national politics. Literally almost zero. And that, arguably, is the most important thing for us to talk about from an economic perspective. He has a background as a businessman and entrepreneur.
As a presidential candidate Delaney also stated that, "technology and artificial intelligence are fundamentally reshaping every aspect of our society, our economy, work, our security risks."
Delaney believes that long-term changes spurred by globalization and technology have drastically changed the American economy in the last three decades, and that the United States economy needs to catch up with these innovations.
Delaney is the founder and co-chair of the House Artificial Intelligence Caucus. He desires to shape a policy on AI that would 1) encourage more investment in research and to make sure that the United States is the global leader in innovation; 2) make sure workers benefit and the workforce is prepared for the new kinds of jobs being created; 3) make sure that sure AI programs aren't biased; 4) protect civil liberties, privacy and individual rights.
On his congressional web portal, Delaney wrote,
Reducing our national debt and putting our finances on a healthy long-term trajectory is vitally important. Left unchecked, growing debt will eventually lead to larger and larger interest payments, which will make it difficult to continue to fund the essential programs that provide great benefit to our country. Deficit reduction is also a major competitiveness issue. Meaningful progress on deficit reduction will strengthen our position on the global market and help our businesses grow.
To reduce the deficit, as a congressman Delaney championed an approach that included additional revenues, Social Security and Medicare reform, and investments in the future. He argued there to be three simple steps Congress could take to reduce the deficit in a fair, balanced, and responsible manner. First, they can create more revenues by closing certain corporate tax loopholes and imposing a "Buffett style" rule on individuals making over $1 million in annual income. Second, by raising the cap on Social Security taxes, and adjusting the retirement age for those not engaged in manual labor, and reforming cost of living adjustments, congress can strengthen Social Security for decades to come in a fiscally responsible way. Delaney believes that such reforms should not affect current beneficiaries, but rather should be phased in gradually over time. Finally, congress can adjust discretionary defense spending up and down as needed in order to reflect national priorities.
For his efforts during the 114th congress, Delaney was recognized by the Campaign to Fix the Debt as a "Fiscal Hero". The Campaign to Fix the Debt awards the title to members of congress for casting fiscally responsible votes, prioritizing the national debt as a top issue and working within their party and on a bipartisan basis to improve the nation's fiscal future.
Delaney believes the United States should balance its taxes and spending to reduce its deficits to a mere 2% over the long term. He believes that, if the United States can manage to have long-term annual deficits less than the level of annual economic growth, that debt as percentage of the nation's economy will decline. He believes that these measures will facilitate at least 2.5% consistent annual growth of the United States economy. He believes the key metric to address is the percentage of the GDP which is debt, and aims to havw the United States begin to gradually decrease the ratio to be, "more in line with historical averages".
Delaney believes the United States needs to lower its long-term spending growth.
Delaney believes that the shortfalls of the United States healthcare system contributes to the nation's excess in spending, an believes that healthcare reform can help to decrease United States' spending.
Delaney has voted in support of a number of tax relief bills. He voted in support of America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014 and America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015. He has also voted in support of American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015 and the S Corporation Permanent Tax Relief Act of 2014.
To address the national debt, Delaney has proposed several tax-related measures. This includes creating more revenues by closing certain corporate tax loopholes and imposing a "Buffett style" rule on individuals making over $1 million in annual income. It also includes raising the cap on Social Security taxes. Delaney champions a form of the "Buffet rule" should be implemented that incorporates aligning capital gains tax rates with ordinary income tax rates. He argues that a lower capital gains tax is unneeded, an outdated incentive that contributes significantly to structural unfairness in the United States tax code by allowing investors to pay lower rates than workers. However, Delaney advocates for instituting a higher capital gains tax rate for short-term investing, accompanied by very low rates for investors who hold their investments for ten years or more. He believes that these measures would both benefit investment in startups and infrastructure.
Delaney has supported expanding tax credits for low-income families.
Delaney has stated his support for a foreign policy that contains, "a strong national defense, support for our military and veterans, unwavering commitment to our values and allies."
In August 2014 he signed the Ebola Relief Resolution which called on the United States and the international community to provide another $500M and 3,000 addition troops to fight the West African Ebola virus epidemic.
Delaney has been critical of Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Delaney considers Trump's decision to be squandered opportunity to the United States to work with allies in preventing proliferation. Delaney believes that Trump's decision heightened the risk of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons or initiating a military conflict.
Delaney tweeted, "THIS is why Putin helped Trump campaign—he knew Trump is untrustworthy & would back out of our global engagements(TPP, Paris, Iran) & diminish our leadership in the world. Pulling back from our global leadership position is bad for our economy & nat sec" 
In further response to Trump's announcement of his decision to withdraw from the JCPO, Delaney said, "What makes matters worse, I fear it was done solely for political reason ... I hope that the damage is not permanent and that this mistake does not undermine the hugely important negotiations with North Korea and our national security more broadly."
Delaney considered the Russian military intervention in the Republic of Ukraine to be an affront to what he viewed as the United States' national values of democracy, sovereignty, and the rule of law. He also considered it to be a threat to civilian lives.
In 2014 Delaney voiced his support to implement sanctions against Russia in response to their regional actions, as well as new initiatives to sell American natural gas to Europe as a way of stopping Russia's regional influence.
To help stabilize Eastern Europe, Delaney has believed that the United States needs to undertake a re-commitment to NATO and their regional allies.
In September 2017, he said, "In the last election, we kind of created the wrong villain. The villain, they said, was globalization, but in reality it was government's failure to respond to changes that were ultimately positive for the economy, but they weren't positive for everyone and we watched it happen and we did nothing about it."
Military and defense policy
In 2015, Delaney voted against legislation which would decrease the minimum number of aircraft carriers which the military is required to maintain.
Guantanamo Bay detention camp
Delaney has voted in support of legislation that would remove restrictions inhibiting the closure of Guantanamo Bay detention camp. He has also voted against legislation that would place additional obstacles to prevent its closure.
Delaney believes that threats to national security come in a variety of forms. He believes that the threat of terrorism requires continued vigilance. In addition to traditional measures of defense, he believes that the United States must develop its cyber security and biodefense. Delaney points to work done in Maryland at facilities such as Fort Detrick as being absolutely essential to the nation's defense.
In January 2018 Delaney voted against legislation which would limit the ability of officials to search and read private messages collected incidentally as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance. He also voted to reauthorize warrantless spying program as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
In March 2018, Delaney voted in support of legislation to provide funding for measures to prevent school violence, including training for officials and threat detection
During his presidential campaign, Delaney has proposed establishing a federal "Department of Cybersecurity".
Nuclear arms reduction
In 2015, Delaney voted in support of legislation that would protect funding for the disarming of nuclear weapons. He also voted against legislation that would have limited funding for the START treaty.
Delaney places great emphasis on his strong belief in bipartisanship. He considers hyper-partisanship to be of great harm to the United States. Delaney has stated that he believes that, "legislation brought forth in a bipartisan way, with sponsors from both sides, has a better chance of succeeding in the short term and enduring in the long term." Delaney has previously been ranked by GovTrack as one of the most bipartisan members of congress.
Delaney has advocated for a more honest government, stating, "If we want to restore trust with the American, we need to communicate directly and honestly with them."
Delaney has expressed great appreciation for concept of America's branches of government acting as a system of checks and balances, saying,
Our Founding Fathers didn't invent democracy, but they did create a better version of it—one that two hundred fifty years later, endures and remains the envy of the world. Our three equal branches of government, and the checks and balances they provide, have granted us unprecedented stability, security, and economic prosperity, and the Founders' intentional decentralization of power has kept us safe from autocracy. And while our system is not perfect, it does work.
Delaney has proposed taking a different approach to the presidency, if elected. He has pledged to only sign bipartisan legislation in his first hundred days. He also has pledged to introduce a tradition of regularly engage in debates on the floor of the congress, similarly to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Delaney has proclaimed himself to be a strong supporter of government transparency.
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