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Ryan Zinke's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (MT) - At-Large, Republican
On The Ballot: Running, Republican for U.S. House
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Ryan Zinke is currently being tested through the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2016, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-life Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I believe in the sanctity of life, and I believe Congress has a responsibility to give a voice to those who are voiceless." https://zinke.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-ryan-zinke-votes-protect-life-0 (zinke.house.gov)
  • "I am pro-life, but believe that the difficult decision to abort a child is the providence of God and family, not government." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/104073/ryan-zinke/#.VYxhZnUViko (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support real tax reform to make the tax code fairer, flatter, and simpler for Montana families and small businesses." https://zinke.house.gov/issues/tax-reform (zinke.house.gov)
  • "I support a Balanced Budget Amendment. Montana is constitutionally obligated to balance our budget; Washington should have to as well." https://zinke.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ryan-zinke-s-reaction-obama-budget (zinke.house.gov)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Washington needs to stop taxing our children to pay for wasteful government spending." https://zinke.house.gov/media-center/blog-posts/tax-day-no-red-letter-day (zinke.house.gov)
  • "The President’s proposal is not a budget; it’s the Christmas list of special interests, paid for on the backs of hard-working Montanans. The President’s proposal would increase taxes by $2.1 trillion, add $2.4 trillion in new government spending, add $8.5 trillion to the almost $18 trillion national debt, and never even come close to balancing the budget." https://zinke.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ryan-zinke-s-reaction-obama-budget (zinke.house.gov)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The President’s proposal is not a budget; it’s the Christmas list of special interests, paid for on the backs of hard-working Montanans. The President’s proposal would increase taxes by $2.1 trillion, add $2.4 trillion in new government spending, add $8.5 trillion to the almost $18 trillion national debt, and never even come close to balancing the budget." https://zinke.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ryan-zinke-s-reaction-obama-budget (zinke.house.gov)
  • "Taxes are too high." https://zinke.house.gov/media-center/in-the-news/montanas-congressional-delegation-reacts-obamas-speech (zinke.house.gov)
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must not allow the federal government to mandate the implementation of a cookie-cutter curriculum that results in teaching-to-the-test, not to the student." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/927021/zinke-announces-education-plan (votesmart.org)
  • "As a father and grandfather, former Chairman of the Montana Senate Education Committee, and former 'Dean' of the U.S. Navy SEAL Advanced Training Command I firmly believe that in order to reform education policies, we must ensure more local control of our schools and giving parents a stronger voice." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/856822/issue-position-expanding-education-opportunities/?search=Education#.VYxpcXUViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VYxnmXUViko (votesmart.org)
  • "For too long the people of Montana have been waiting for Washington to quit playing politics with our jobs and American energy and finally build the Keystone XL pipeline." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/947793/zinke-legislation-to-build-keystone-passes-house-with-bipartisan-support#.VYxoUXUViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Rep. Zinke believes we need to use every tool available in our energy toolbox to acheive American energy independence and that includes building the Keystone XL Pipeline, developing clean coal, and encouraging renewable energy research and development because it is critical that Montana families and businesses have access to reliable and affordable energy." https://zinke.house.gov/issues/energy (zinke.house.gov)
  • "Renewable and alternative sources of energy, including hydro and biofuels, are also an important component of energy independence provided that they are cost effective and able to compete on the open market without subsidies." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/856806/issue-position-promoting-energy-independence#.VaP54HUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Watchdog Wire "Montana holds twenty-five percent of the nation’s recoverable coal reserves, and coal produces fifty-one percent of the state’s energy. The regulations that the EPA has imposed will prevent new plants from being built, close current plants, and put thousands of hard-working Montanans out of work." http://watchdogwire.com/montana/2013/11/01/montanans-call-on-epa-on-coal/ (watchdogwire.com)
  • "The EPA is causing Montana to bleed jobs. The J.E. Corette power plant and the 30 hardworking folks who rely on the plant for their paychecks are the latest casualties in the EPA’s war on coal—that doesn’t even take into account the negative impact current and proposed EPA regulations have on home heating prices." https://zinke.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/epa-causing-montana-bleed-jobs (zinke.house.gov)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I strongly support the right to bear arms for hunting and personal protection. I believe that background checks are prudent and necessary. I also believe that the sale of heavy weapons and specialized military weapon systems should be banned for public use." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/104073/ryan-zinke/#.VYxhZnUViko (votesmart.org)
  • "As a founding director of the Montana Firearms Institute [...]" http://votesmart.org/public-statement/856829/issue-position-protecting-the-second-amendment#.VaP8l3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of HR 596 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51284#.VYxrtnUViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Obamacare as written is reckless and will lead to higher costs with less medical care. […] Health care must be affordable but not free [...]" http://votesmart.org/public-statement/856813/issue-position-lowering-health-care-costs/?search=obamacare#.VkI7hmwViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Zinke supports amendments to the 2015 FY Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill which will completely defund President Obama's illegal actions, end DACA and deferred action, and expedite the deportation of domestic violence perpetrators and sex offenders." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/947684/zinke-moves-forward-to-defund-president-obamas-unconstitutional-executive-amnesty-actions#.VaP9sHUVhHx (votesmart.org)
  • "We write you today to thank you for standing firm and forcing the Senate to act on a Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill that stops President Obama's unlawful executive actions on immigration." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/953077/letter-to-john-boehner-speaker-of-the-house-of-representatives-kevin-mccarthy-majority-leader-of-the-house-of-representatives-and-steve-scalise-majority-whip-of-the-house-of-representatives-executive-action-on-immigration/?search=immigration#.VYxsMXUViko (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • The Missoulian "The term 'marriage' is sensitive to Christians. I just don’t agree with ‘same sex’ — the term. I don’t disagree with the union. You know, maybe that group should embrace union." http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/u-s-house-candidates-square-off-in-billings/article_905a46b6-d06c-11e3-85e1-001a4bcf887a.html (missoulian.com)
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating: "Iran's re cord of clandestine activity and intransigence prevents any trust in Iran. Any inspection and verification regime must allow for short notice access to suspect locations, and verifiable constraints on Iran's nuclear program must last for decades."http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/sites/republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/files/03.20.15%20-%20Iran%20Letter%20-%20POTUS.pdf (foreignaffairs.house.gov)
  • "We need to recognize that we cannot conduct an air war alone. ISIS will continue to expand and influence under the misguided policy of this administration. We have to put Islamic radicals and terrorist organizations on the run and you don't do that by air operations alone." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/953515/seal-vet-lawmaker-obamas-foreign-policy-incites-terrorists#.VaQAvHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.

Key

Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Montana State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
Xc) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
Xd) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xe) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Abortions should be subject to a mandatory waiting period.
g) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.
h) Other or expanded principles

I am pro-life, but blieve that the difficult decision to Abort a child is the providence of God and family, not government. I support streamlining the adoption process to healthy and qualified homes. I further support parential notification.

State Budget: Indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category, you can use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Education (Higher)
Maintain Statusb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Emergency preparedness
Maintain Statusd) Environment
Maintain Statuse) Health care
Maintain Statusf) Law enforcement
Slightly Increaseg) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Slightly Decreaseh) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories

Promote recruitment and maintaining quality classroom teachers
Provide incentives to keep Montana kids in state post graduation from college or vocational school. Consolidate schools purchasing and administration departments where appropriate and feasible.

State Taxes: Indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category, you can use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusc) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statuse) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Greatly Decreaseg) Property taxes
Maintain Statush) Vehicle taxes
i) Other or expanded categories

Our government should spend within its means. Montana should always be vigilant to exam ways to increase government efficiency and reduce waste. Providing incentives for clean, small business opportunities promotes a needed long term revenue stream. I believe in a fair and progressive tax system that does not penalize incentive and innovation.

No1) Should accounts such as a "rainy day" fund be used to balance the state budget?
No2) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
3) Other or expanded principles

I strongly support meaningful property tax reform to ensure that Montanans do not get taxed out of their homes and/or farms.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current limit of terms for Montana governors?
Nob) Do you support the current limit of terms for Montana state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Noe) Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns?
Undecidedf) Should Montana participate in the federal REAL ID program?
g) Other or expanded principles

I support the requirement for a valid Montana ID for all elections.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
Xb) Support the death penalty in Montana.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
e) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
f) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xg) Support state and local law enforcement officials enforcing federal immigration laws.
Xh) Support hate crime legislation.
i) Other or expanded principles

I support work programs for minor offenses and streamlining our judicial system.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support state funding of universal pre-K programs.
b) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
Xc) Support state education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students.
Xd) Support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xe) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any public school.
f) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xg) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
Xh) Support using a merit pay system for teachers.
Xi) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
j) Support allowing illegal immigrant high school graduates of Montana to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
k) Other or expanded principles

I strongly support recruiting and maintaining quality classroom teachers. I strongly support providing incentives for Montana kids to stay in Montana after graduation. I strongly support vocation schools that provide needed skills in the Montana marketplace.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector.
Xc) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xd) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xe) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
f) Include gender identity in Montana's anti-discrimination laws.
g) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Support laws that prevent employers from dismissing employees at will.
Xi) Support financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
Xj) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xk) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
l) Other or expanded principles

I strongly support reforming workers compensation and unemployment insurance. I strongly believe in creating the opportunity for good paying jobs, but disagree in providing long term entitlement programs. I support aggressive job training and skill enhancement programs in the industrial trades to maintain market competitiveness.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
Xb) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil, etc).
c) Support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops.
Xd) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Xe) Support funding for improvements to Montana's power generating and transmission facilities.
Xf) Support funding for open space preservation.
g) Limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
h) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
i) Other or expanded principles

I support a sustainable yield policy in the harvest of forest products and strongly support timber harvest in areas that require thinning for fire prevention. I support increased coal production for electrical generation and believe it can and should be done with adequate environmental safeguards. I believe the use of alternate energy sources and clean coal is preferred over petroleum based fuels. In some cases, Federal law falls short, in other cases Federal law is too stringent.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Undecideda) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesb) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Noc) Should a license be required for gun possession?
Undecidedd) Do you support current levels of enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Undecidede) Do you support current state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
f) Other or expanded principles

I strongly support the right to bear arms for hunting and personal protection. I believe that background checks are prudent and necessary. I also believe that the sale of heavy weapons and specialized military weapon systems should be banned for public use. In most cases, I believe that in areas of high security, such as courtrooms, airports, and military bases, that concealed weapons should not be allowed.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
Xa) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
b) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
Xc) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xd) Allow patients to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Require hospitals and labs to release reports on infections that are a risk to public health, while not compromising patient confidentiality.
Xf) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Montana.
g) Support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
h) Other or expanded principles

I support providing financial incentives to maintain affordable private health insurance through caps on medical malpractice and through group rates. I do not believe the government can provide health insurance better than the market.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Undecideda) Should Montana recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Nob) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
Noc) Should Montana provide state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples?
Yesd) Do you support a moment of silence in public schools?
Yese) Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?
Yesf) Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Nog) Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
Noh) Should the state government consider race and gender in state government contracting and hiring decisions?
Noi) Do you support affirmative action in public college admissions?
Noj) Should Montana continue affirmative action programs?
Yesk) Do you support state funding of stem cell research?
Nol) Do you support state funding of embryonic stem cell research?
Nom) Do you support allowing pharmacists who conscientiously object to emergency contraception to refuse to dispense it?
n) Other or expanded principles

I do not support same sex marriages or the adoption of children by same-sex couples. I am undecided on the issue of same-sex civil union. I support allowing voluntary prayer on public property provided there is no undue influence to do so.

Legislative Priorities
Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

Meaningful Property Tax Reform
Reform Workers Compensation and Unemployment Insurance
Provide incentives for small business opportunities
Provide incentives for Montana kids to stay in Montana post college or vocational education
Ensure reasonable public assess to public lands, rivers, and lakes
Expediate clean coal production and electrical generation capacity

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