Casey and Smith: Where they stand on the issues
A brief look at where Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Republican challenger Tom Smith stand on a selection of issues:
Casey: Opposes abortion rights, except in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger. Spearheaded the creation of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, a $25 million-a-year program designed to aid to young mothers and adoption programs to reduce the number of abortions. Voted to allow employers and insurers to opt out of portions of the Affordable Care Act they found morally objectionable, including the requirement that insurers cover the costs of birth control.
Smith: Opposes abortion rights in all cases, no exceptions.
Casey: Voted for a Democratic plan to force groups the disclosure of all sources of election-related spending.
Smith: Didn't take a position on whether he supports the disclosure of all sources of election-related spending.
Casey: Voted to raise debt limit to avoid default. Supports debt reduction using a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on higher income brackets. Voted for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution that did not cap spending, but prohibited Social Security funds from being diverted and barred tax cuts for millionaires without a surplus.
Smith: Opposes raising debt limit to avoid default. Supports debt reduction using spending cuts and no tax increases. Supports a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution capping government spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product.
Casey: Supports increased funding for public schools. Opposes the use of federal tax dollars or tax breaks to help students to pay tuition to non-public schools. Voted for a college tax credit worth $10,000 over four years and increases in Pell grants and other financial aid.
Smith: Supports eliminating or substantially reducing the U.S. Department of Education in favor of state regulation. Supports state-level policies that increase public school alternatives and programs to help children attend other public schools, charter schools, or private schools, including parochial schools. Would repeal No Child Left Behind law.
ENERGY and ENVIRONMENT
Casey: Supported an unsuccessful plan to charge large industrial polluters for greenhouse gas emissions. Voted to delay Environmental Protection Agency regulations to limit toxic pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators. Voted against stopping EPA regulations to reduce mercury and other toxic emissions from the oldest and most polluting oil- and coal-fired power plants. Wrote legislation to create stronger federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing.
Smith: Opposes new pollution regulations on power plants. Opposes EPA regulations to reduce toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. Opposes federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Supports eliminating or substantially shrinking the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Mine Safety and Health Administration in favor of state regulation. Supports expanded domestic oil and natural gas drilling offshore and on federal lands.
Casey: Voted for a new post-recession regulatory scheme for banks, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2011.
Smith: Opposes Dodd-Frank and would vote to repeal it. Opposes the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting regulations law of 2002, and would vote to repeal it.
Casey: Supports same-sex civil unions. Didn't take a position on same-sex marriage, a matter decided by states. Voted to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military and repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Smith: Opposes same-sex marriage, but would not ban it with a constitutional amendment. Supports changes to tax codes and other government rules to ensure same-sex couples are treated equally.
Casey: Opposes stricter gun control laws.
Smith: Opposes stricter gun control laws.
Casey: Voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act. Opposes giving a subsidy to seniors for private health insurance in place of traditional Medicare. Says Medicare solvency can be extended by making it more efficient, improving patient care and targeting waste and abuse.
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