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Justin Amash's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (MI) - District 3, Republican
On The Ballot: Running, Republican for U.S. House - District 3
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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 2014, 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

  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Abortion. 1 January 2011. "The right to life is sacred and undeniable. It is the proper role of government to protect life, and it is unconscionable for government to sanction the taking of helpless and innocent life." (
  • Justin Amash. Amash: End Taxpayer-Funded Abortions. 3 May 2011. "I fully support legislation that will strengthen existing federal laws that ban taxpayer-funded abortions. It is simply unconscionable that our government would force anyone to pay for the taking of innocent human life," said Amash." (
  • Justin Amash. H Amdt 95. 112th Congress. Prohibiting Use of Federal Funds For Planned Parenthood. Justin Amash voted Did Not Vote on 02/18/2011. (
  • Justin Amash. HR 3. 112th Congress. Prohibiting Taxpayer Funding of Abortion. Justin Amash voted Yea on 05/04/2011. (
  • Justin Amash. No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. 4 May 2011. "It is unconscionable that in a country founded explicitly to protect individuals' fundamental rights we allow the regular violation of the right to life. Worse yet, the government forces each of us to pay for the killing of innocent life." (
  • Justin Amash. Pro-Life Bill Cosponsored by Amash Passes House. 13 October 2011. "No taxpayer should be forced to pay for an abortion. No doctor should be forced to perform an abortion against his or her will," said Amash. "Tonight, the House acted to protect taxpayers, medical personnel, and--most important--the lives of the unborn." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Life, Faith & Family. 20 January 2012. "The proper function of government is to protect individual rights--life, liberty, and property. I believe that life begins at conception, and it is unconscionable that government would sanction the taking of the helpless and innocent. I will always vote against government funding of abortion and will fight to protect life at all stages. I am proud to meet Right to Life of Michigan PAC's endorsement criteria as a candidate for Congress." (
No Inferred Answer Afghanistan: Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Justin Amash. Facebook: Statement on Resolutions to Withdraw United States Armed Forces From Afghanistan. 15 March 2011. "On Thursday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH-10) will offer a privileged resolution on the House floor to withdraw all of the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan by the end of the year. I support Rep. Kucinich's intention in writing the resolution. However, because of the way the resolution is written, it is unconstitutional and I cannot vote for it. The Kucinich resolution, H Con Res 28, requires the President to withdraw our forces using a mechanism in the War Powers Resolution. [¦] Because I support the goals of the Kucinich resolution yet the resolution uses unconstitutional means, I intend to vote "present." I also have introduced my own resolution, H J Res 49, as a constitutional alternative to the Kucinich resolution. My resolution is nearly identical to the Kucinich resolution except that my resolution takes the form of ordinary legislation and will require the President's signature." (
  • Justin Amash. Letter to The Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States. 21 June 2011. "We urge a significant and sizable reduction of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan beginning July 2011. With Osama bin Laden killed and Al Qaeda largely driven from Afghanistan, it is time to accelerate the transfer of security responsibilities to the Government of Afghanistan and to reduce the U.S. military footprint there." (
  • Justin Amash. H Con Res 28. 112th Congress. Removing Troops from Afghanistan. Justin Amash voted Did Not Vote on 03/17/2011. (
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Justin Amash. Video: To The Point: US Rep. Justin Amash. 4 September 2011. "Republicans really need to look at military spending [...]" (14:51) (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Defense and National Security. 1 January 2011. "It is wrong to assume that every military dollar we spend is well-spent. There is significant room to cut spending in the Department of Defense while increasing our military strength and ensuring that our men and women in harm's way and our honorable veterans receive the support they deserve. We should not forget that a strong economy is the source of our ability to maintain a strong defense." (
  • Justin Amash. HR 1363. 112th Congress. 2011 Department of Defense Budget and Additional Continuing Appropriations. Justin Amash voted Nay on 04/07/2011. (
  • Justin Amash. H Amdt 13. 112th Congress. Reducing Navy and Air Force Aircraft Procurement. Justin Amash voted Yea on 02/15/2011. (
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

  • Justin Amash signed Americans for Tax Reform: Taxpayer Protection Pledge. "I, Justin Amash, pledge to the taxpayers of the 3rd district of the state of Michigan and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal tax rate for individuals and businesses; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing taxes." (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Spending and Debt. 1 January 2011. "If federal spending is not reduced, we risk a major decline in our economy that will harm all Americans, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. As a Representative, I will work to place the federal government back on a sustainable fiscal path, and I will support spending only for purposes authorized in the Constitution." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Economy. 20 January 2012. "Federal stimulus programs, combined with government efforts to manipulate the money supply, simply add to our skyrocketing debt and fuel further inflation. Government cannot "create" jobs--it can only shuffle jobs and resources from one place to another. Innovation and entrepreneurship create jobs, and both are blocked when the government tries to dictate artificial outcomes in society." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Economy and Jobs. 1 January 2012. "The opposite--economic micromanagement by bureaucrats with limited knowledge-- has brought such failed policies as government bailouts,stimulus programs, and subsidies of inefficient or undesirable technologies." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Economy: Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Justin Amash. House Passes Legislation Cosponsored by Amash to Reduce Burden on Small Businesses. 3 March 2011. "Red tape and bureaucracy make it more difficult for businesses to thrive and hire new employees. Today's legislation will lift a massive burden from small businesses and encourage economic growth and productivity," said Amash." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Tax Policy. 1 January 2011. "In addition, American corporations are taxed at a much higher rate than corporations in other developed countries. This encourages American companies to move jobs overseas and discourages investment here at home." (
  • Justin Amash. Issues: Taxes. 9 October 2012. "Federal corporate and personal tax rates are too high. They don't need to be. Government spending is out of control, and we can reduce tax rates if we reduce spending. But there are also too many large corporations paying little or no federal income tax. Government should end the unfair, wasteful practice of picking winners and losers in our economy through subsidies and targeted tax breaks. Instead of taking your money to give to a few favored government interests, Congress should leave tax rates low for everyone. The tax code is filled with way too many rules and exceptions. It should be radically simplified." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Economy and Jobs. 1 January 2011. "As a Representative, I support creating a simple and equitable tax code, eliminating unnecessary regulations that inhibit private development and expansion, and ending government programs that distort market incentives." (
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

  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Spending and Debt. 1 January 2011. "Federal spending is far too high because the federal government has its hands in almost every part of our lives--from health care, to education, to how we raise our children. As stated clearly in our Constitution, the federal government should defend our country, secure the borders, and perform other limited roles that require national coordination. The federal government spends enormous sums of money that should be left in the hands of individuals, families, and local communities." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Education. 23 January 2012. "To encourage innovation and competition, the federal government should leave the matter of education to the states. Schools should be managed locally, allowing parents, teachers, and community leaders to determine the most efficient use of resources." (
  • Jim Harger. The Grand Rapids Press. U.S. Rep. Justin Amash disagrees with House Speaker John Boehner -- and sympathizes. 10 January 2012. "Only once did Amash find disagreement, when he was challenged on his assertion that education should be strictly confined to state and local governments because "education is not found in the constitution." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Education. 1 January 2011. "Supporting education does not mean supporting federal control of education. Costly federal education programs historically have failed to achieve their goals. I support returning control of schools to the local level. Parents and local communities should develop curriculum and testing standards for their students, not the federal government. The right of homeschooling must be protected." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Justin Amash. HR 1230. 112th Congress. Offshore Leasing Act. Justin Amash voted Yea on 05/05/2011. (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Justin Amash. HR 910. 112th Congress. Energy Tax Prevention Act. Justin Amash voted Yea on 04/07/2011. (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Rifle Association. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. National Rifle Association endorsed Justin Amash in the 2010 general election. (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Second Amendment. 20 January 2012. "As the Founders recognized, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is the surest safeguard against violations of our liberty. We must defend the Second Amendment just as vigorously as the rest of the United States Constitution. Congress must halt the unconstitutional practice of restricting a person's ability to purchase, transport, store, or possess arms on public lands or on that individual's private property under the guise of regulating interstate commerce." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Justin Amash. HR 2. 112th Congress. Repealing the Health Care Bill. Justin Amash voted Yea on 01/19/2011. (
Unknown Position Unknown 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

  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Immigration. 20 January 2012. "The federal government must secure our borders. The United States has always welcomed individuals who legally seek to enter our country to work or become citizens, but Congress and the president must make every effort to stop at the border those immigrants who attempt to break our laws. Hard-working, skilled, entrepreneurial, and educated legal immigrants benefit our communities and our country." (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barrett Newkirk. Battle Creek Enquirer. Meet Justin Amash. 15 January 2012. "Speaking to the largely supportive crowd in Grand Rapids gave Amash a chance to run through a list of views on hot button issues. He thinks the Federal Reserve system is "a real problem in this country," would cut military spending by reducing the number of overseas bases and said same-sex marriage is an issue best left to the states." (
  • Justin Amash. Facebook: Timeline. 28 July 2012. "I support DOMA's protection of state decision making"that one state's recognition (or nonrecognition) of gay marriage does not require another state to recognize (or not to recognize) gay marriage." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Life, Faith & Family. 20 January 2012. "I believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage, and I oppose government efforts to redefine this private, religious institution." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Justin Amash. Amash on Libya: The Constitution Must Come First. 28 March 2011. "The Constitution empowers Congress to declare war and to provide for the Armed Services. The President cannot constitutionally order an offensive military operation without Congress's authorization," said Amash. "The argument is not about "consultation' with Congress. It's more fundamental than that. It's about whether the President by himself can order an attack on another country when that country has not attacked or is not about to attack the U.S. The Constitution plainly forbids such action." (
  • Justin Amash. Amash: Halt U.S. Air Strikes in Libya. 21 March 2011. "When there is no imminent threat to our country, the President cannot launch strikes without authorization from Congress. No United Nations resolution or congressional act permits the President to circumvent the Constitution," said Amash." (
  • Justin Amash. Detroit News - Reassert Constitutional War Powers. 20 May 2011. "This strategic ambiguity still is far preferable to the latest constitutional abdication making its way around the Hill. Next week, the House will consider a worldwide authorization of use of military force, affirmatively and pre-emptively giving the president unprecedented power to launch attacks. Under the new authorization, the president may "detain belligerents" indefinitely, anywhere in the world, even if they are not associated with al-Qaida. The president also is empowered to use force against people who support an organization that "substantially support[s] al-Qaida, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities" against the United States" [¦] There has been no better time to regain our Constitutional balance and check the president's war powers. Congress is a co-equal branch -- and it should start acting like it." (
  • Justin Amash. Letter to Colleague. 25 May 2011. "Today, the House will begin consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1034 of this 920-page bill contains perhaps the broadest authorization for use of military force (AUMF) Congress has ever considered. This monumental legislation will affirmatively and preemptively give the president unprecedented power to launch attacks anywhere in the world, even within the United States. The bipartisan Amash-Lee-Conyers-Jones-Nadler-Paul amendment (No. 50) strikes this provision, and we ask that you stand with us and support this amendment on the floor." (
  • Justin Amash. Letter to The Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States. 21 June 2011. "International terrorist networks remain a grave threat to the United States, as Al Qaeda affiliates now have a significant presence in countries like Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. But maintaining anywhere near 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan is not an effective means of combating a global and decentralized enemy." (
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

  • Jim Harger. Congressional candidate Patrick Miles Jr. attacks opponent Justin Amash's voting record in debate. 17 September 2010. "The Cascade Township legislator also said his calls to reform and privatize Social Security did not extend to seniors who currently rely on the federal programs. "We must keep our promises to our seniors in Social Security and Medicare," Amash said. "We cannot pull the rug out on our senior citizens. At the same time, these programs are consuming a larger and larger portion of our federal budget and will eventually consume our entire federal budget if we don't have some reforms." (
  • Justin Amash. Amash Welcomes Cost-Cutting Budget Proposal. 5 April 2011. "It is important that we keep promises that the government has already made to those over the age of 55, while recognizing the need to reform these programs for younger generations," added Amash." (
  • Justin Amash. Issue Position: Social Security & Medicare. 20 January 2012. "We must keep our promises to seniors and not change benefits for those who are currently receiving or will soon receive Social Security or Medicare. Individuals who have paid into these programs for much of their lives have made decisions based on promised benefits, and those promises should be kept. For younger people, such as those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, this country's entitlement spending is unsustainable in the long term. We must begin to phase in significant reforms for the benefit of future generations." (


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.

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