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Bob Dold's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Bob Dold has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

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

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We should not tolerate discrimination that threatens our country's obligation to treat all people equally, and we must put an end to all efforts that seek to stigmatize women based on their personal reproductive healthcare decisions. Healthcare choices are a private matter. It is not Congress’s place to come between a woman and her doctor." (
  • "Let's be clear. I'm pro-choice. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I don't believe that should be a decision that the government gets in between a doctor and the patient." (
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (
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

  • "The President said that our economy is fragile and that we should extend these tax rates. That's when the economy was growing at 3 1/2 percent, Mr. Speaker. The Commerce Department just came out with statistics that we are growing at 1 1/2 percent today. There is no way in the world that we should be taking more out of the pockets of the American public. It's just not feasible." (
  • Signed pledge stating "I pledge to the taxpayers of the state of Illinois and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I’ve also worked to reform our criminal justice system and draw attention to misguided laws that make it nearly impossible for those seeking to move on from a life of crime to find the employment they need to transform their life and contribute to society." (
  • "Following recent events in Chicago and nationally, we need to confront some hard truths about race, poverty and justice. " (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I worked across the aisle to help pass a major, long-term funding bill for transportation and infrastructure." (
  • "In addition to passing badly needed tax reform, I believe strongly that investing in America’s eroding transportation infrastructure system is a vital component of any plan to grow our economy and foster more job creation […] I believe we need to bring down our debt and rein in spending to put America back on a path to prosperity." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must act now to close this gap and once again foster a marriage between employers and employees. And even more importantly, we must create a pathway for young innovators to start (and grow) their own companies and create new jobs. Doing so will require lower taxes, less regulatory mandates, and an investment in reforming how we educate our children, which will include introducing our youth to the employers of today at an earlier age to make them aware of what will be required of them as future professionals." (
  • "I voted to make permanent the affordable housing tax credit." (
  • "As a new member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is charged with writing or nation’s tax laws, I am a vocal advocate for the passage of bipartisan tax reform that simplifies the tax code, creates competitive rates on individuals and businesses, and eliminates lobbyist loopholes." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support putting control of education-resources in the hands of leaders at the local level, where people understand their community and are invested in the performance of their schools." I support putting control of education-resources in the hands of leaders at the local level, where people understand their community and are invested in the performance of their schools." (
  • "Our responsibility as parents is to do what is in the best interest of our children. To that end, I believe the best way to improve our system is to put power back into the hands of families and give them a choice. I support charter schools as a public school option to increase parental choice in determining the best educational environment for their child." (
  • "I strongly supported and helped pass the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law by the President to increase local control over educational decisions and reduce federally mandated testing." (
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" (
  • Rated 22% by EarthRights International – Corporate Accountability Coalition (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I am also a supporter of an 'all of the above' energy approach which would empower our nation to utilize renewable energy to help power the country." (
  • "America needs a common sense plan to achieve realistic energy independence. My plan includes increasing the use of nuclear power; utilizing America's resources including coal, natural gas and oil; investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar; and encouraging personal responsibility through the use of alternatives such as plug-in electric cars." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 910 "Energy Tax Prevention Act" (
  • "To advance our domestic energy sector, we must encourage business investment, development and spending. […] The current cycle of continually establishing, adjusting and then ending policies such as alternative energy investment tax credits and production tax credits have clouded the future energy landscape in this country." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support universal background checks. I also support closing the gun show loophole, which would strengthen our background checks system and increased penalties for illegal gun trafficking." (
  • "I support resonable restrictions and believe the gun-show loophole should be closed. We must use the technology available today to work to remove guns from the hands of criminals." (
  • Rated 17% by National Rifle Association (
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 H.R. 2 "Repealing the Health Care Bill" (
  • "I have always maintained that the Affordable Care Act was the wrong approach for America’s healthcare system and opposed its passage from the start. However, the only way we are ever going to move beyond simply talking about the law’s many flaws and finally deliver solutions for the American people is through bipartisan reforms that can pass both chambers of congress and receive the President’s signature." (
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While we are a nation of immigrants, there is no question that America's immigration system is broken. For far too long, Congress has shirked its responsibility to address this problem by passing sensible, bipartisan immigration reform." (
  • "We cannot ignore the imperative of securing our borders and improving our methods of preventing people from overstaying their visas. This is a national security issue. We also need to make common sense reforms to streamline our visa system so people looking to share their talents with America have more ways to legally enter and stay in the country." (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Cosponsored H.R.197 "Respect for Marriage Act" (
  • "I believe that marriage is between a woman and man. However, I also recognize that gay and lesbian couples have the right to have loving, committed relationships as well. Therefore, I believe that same sex couples should have the right to enter into contractual relationships." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must mobilize the world against this existential threat and make clear to both our allies and enemies that the United States will not tolerate affronts to human dignity or global security." (
Yes Inferred 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

  • "I don't want to privatize Social Security; you heard it from me." (
  • "For younger people, we should offer options for a portion of their payroll taxes to be put into personal retirement accounts." (
  • "Additionally, I would propose allowing a portion of Social security payments (not more that 25%) to be put into Government authorized individual retirement accounts that would be able to be passed to heirs if not used." (
  • Rated 30% by Alliance for Retired Americans (


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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