Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is about to go head to head with fellow VP hopeful Tim Kaine.
Pence and Kaine will debate one another on October 4th at Longwood University in Virginia. This is the one and only vice presidential debate of the 2016 election.
Mike Pence is the current governor of Indiana, but before this position, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, voting on hundreds of bills during that time. What has Pence’s voting record been, especially when it comes to key issues like health care and immigration?
Here’s a look at Mike Pence’s voting history over the course of his political career.
1. He Voted to Repeal the Affordable Care Act
Mike Pence has been a staunch opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is commonly referred to as Obamacare. In 2010, Pence was one of 178 Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote against the bill.
When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, Pence compared the event in a private meeting to the September 11th terrorist attacks, Politico reported at the time. He later apologized for this comment.
“My remarks at the Republican Conference following the Supreme Court decision were thoughtless,” Pence told Politico. “I certainly did not intend to minimize any tragedy our nation has faced and I apologize.”
He also co-sponsored HR 6079 in 2012, a bill which would repeal the Affordable Care Act. That passed in the House in July 2012 but died in the Democratically-controlled Senate.
Despite his opposition to the bill, as governor of Indiana, Mike Pence actually agreed to expand Medicaid in the state, according to The Washington Post. He has received criticism from his fellow conservatives for this decision.
Still, Pence remains apposed to the Affordable Care Act, and the Donald Trump campaign’s official position is that the bill will be repealed if he is elected president. The campaign plans to “Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts” and “allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market,” according to its website.
2. He Voted to Define Marriage as Between a Man and a Woman
Although Donald Trump says he will be a better president for LGBTQ Americans than Hillary Clinton, Mike Pence has a record of being firmly opposed to same-sex marriage.
In 2006, Pence co-sponsored H.J.Res.88, also known as the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would constitutionally define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
“Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman,” the bill read. “Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
The bill had 134 cosponsors but ultimately failed to pass in the House.
He also voted against H.R. 3685, a.k.a. the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007, which would make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an in individual based on their sexual orientation.
He continued these policies as governor of Indiana, drawing national scrutiny when he passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law meant to ensure that businesses can exercise their freedom of religion. It was seen by many as allowing Indiana businesses to legally discriminate against LGBTQ Americans, and a week after the legislation was signed, a restaurant called Memories Pizza declared they would refuse to cater a same-sex wedding, citing the new law.
3. He Voted Against the 2008 Wall Street Bailout
Pence has been known to go against even those in his own party, particularly when it comes to economic issues, as he has a history of voting against bills that he feels are not fiscally conservative.
In 2008, Pence was the only Republican to oppose the Wall Street bailout, and he also opposed the 2009 auto bailout.
“The American people know we can’t borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy or a healthy domestic automotive industry,” he said at the time, according to Bloomberg.
Plus, Pence was the only Republican to vote against the 2013 fiscal cliff compromise bill.
In 2011, Pence also co-sponsored a Balanced Budget Amendment, which would amend the Constitution to ensure that the United States can not spend more than it takes in annually. It would also require the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress each year.
4. He Has a Mixed Record on Immigration
One of Donald Trump’s key issues is immigration, so where does Mike Pence stand on this? Pence’s voting record shows him and Trump to be a good fit on that front.
In 2009, Pence co-sponsored the Birthright Citizenship Act, which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to say that an individual’s citizenship status is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. government, so those born in the United States would not necessarily automatically become United States citizens. This would address the idea of so-called “anchor babies,” individuals who are born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.
He voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, a bill meant to increase border security by building 700 miles of barriers along the U.S.-Mexican border. It was passed in the House 283 -138, passed in the Senate 80 -19, and signed into law by President Bush in October 2006. He also voted against the DREAM Act.
But he also in 2006 worked with President Bush to get some sort of immigration reform passed and compromise with Democrats. He ended up supporting a proposal in which all of the United States’ undocumented immigrants would voluntarily leave the country briefly and then gain legal status by visiting immigrant-processing facilities, according to The Daily Beast. Many conservatives were against Pence’s idea and labeled it amnesty.
Indeed, the Federation for American Immigration Reform takes issue with Pence’s immigration history.
“During the 2007 debate on amnesty legislation, Pence originated the pointless idea of requiring illegal aliens to leave the country and then being permitted to return legally – an idea that Donald Trump has flirted with during the course of his presidential campaign,” the group writes. “Pence opposed efforts to strengthen cooperation between state and local law enforcement and ICE. He also supported cuts in funding for border fencing, technology, and infrastructure.”
5. He Has Voted for Many Trade Agreements That Trump Opposes
Donald Trump has repeatedly said that the United States’ current trade agreements must be renegotiated, but Pence’s voting record shows that the two are a bit at odds on this front.
While he was in Congress, Mike Pence voted for every single trade bill that was presented to him, according to The Washington Post. That includes support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, something that Donald Trump says will “undermine our economy, and it will undermine our independence.”
Pence has also voted for trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, Panama, Peru, Oman, Chile and Singapore, the Washington Post reports.
“I encourage your support for Trade Promotion Authority, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and any other trade-related measures when they are brought before the Congress for consideration,” Pence said in 2014.
After being selected as Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee, Pence said Trump should renegotiate the deal he supported two years ago.
“I think when we elect one of the best negotiators in the world as president of the United States I’m open to renegotiating these trade agreements,” he said in July.
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