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Denny Heck's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (WA) - District 10, Democratic
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Denny Heck 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

  • "Women and their doctors are the ones who should be making their health care decision – not their Member of Congress." (
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (
Yes 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 Romney-Ryan budget makes drastic cuts that would make life harder for South Sound families: […] The Romney-Ryan budget not only extends the Bush tax cuts but also gives millionaires another massive tax break. At the same time, it cuts or eliminates many tax deductions that middle class families utilize like those for charitable giving, mortgage interests, and health premiums." (
  • "I support letting expire the Bush tax cuts for or the wealthiest of Americans making over $250,000 a year--those who have benefited the most out of the economy in the last decade." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Cosponsored H.R.920 "Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • Signed a letter stating, "We believe it is the responsibility of the federal government to ensure that our coastal ports in Oregon and Washington, and throughout the nation, remain open for business and continue to contribute to the economic health of the U.S. Leaving our small port needs unmet threatens the jobs of our citizens and weakens our national economic competitiveness. We thank you for your consideration and efforts and look forward to working with you to address this issue." (
  • Signed a letter stating "Very simply, we support transportation and infrastructure investment because our economy needs a national system to safely move people and deliver goods from place to place." (
  • "The President's budget proposal includes common-sense ideas that should be included in any final agreement negotiated within the legislative branch. […] Modernizing our infrastructure through America Fast Forward Bonds and Qualified Public Infrastructure to support a robust economy, and cutting the red tape to get projects such as the expansion of I-5 in our area moving as fast as possible." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.4438 "American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014" (
  • "One way we can spur job growth is to extend tax relief to small businesses. I voted in support of the Small Business Tax Cut Act which would allow small businesses with fewer than 500 employees to take a tax deduction equal to 20% of their active business income." (
  • "I am pleased that this bill reinstates a short-term expansion of state and local sales tax deductions for American taxpayers, but I firmly believe the House and Senate should also work to make this tax provision permanent." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Implement common sense standards and oppose efforts to control our schools from Washington, D.C. Improving student performance and educating more people to higher levels are fundamental principles but efforts to micromanage local schools from Washington, D.C., are fraught with peril and not in keeping with our heritage of local control. While I support a common sense approach to developing standards, a one size fits all approach is destined to fail." (
  • "Early childhood education is one of the highest return on investments we can make, and we must protect Head Start and promote quality early childhood education programs." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
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

  • "We can make targeted, clean-energy investments that save energy and create jobs. Private and public investments in commercial building retrofitting, household retrofitting, and other clean energy and energy conservation projects will expand the demand for skilled labor in each local community." (
  • "Nevada is poised to be a world leader in renewable energy development. And with more than 80% of our land owned by the federal government, Nevada has ample opportunities to develop renewable energy projects, especially projects utilizing solar and geothermal technology." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
  • Voted against H.Amdt 585 "Prohibits the Social Cost of Carbon from Being Included in Agency Determinations" (
  • "We must also demand global action to confront this global challenge. China and other developing nations will also need to curb their carbon output to prevent long-term damage to our climate." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Closing the gun show loophole and banning assault weapons are common sense measures. Requiring a follow-up from the intelligence community when an individual on the no-fly list tries to buy a gun is a no-brainer. These steps are supported by a majority of Americans. No, they won't stop all acts of gun violence, but they will prevent some. It's clearly worth it. Congress should do its job." (
  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violenc (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Today's historic Supreme Court ruling upholds the biggest step forward in health insurance reform in decades. No American will ever again be denied health care coverage because of a preexisting condition." (
  • "The Health Care Reform Bill Health care reform legislation is far from perfect and is a work in progress. But it does tackle important issues and was a step in the right direction." (
  • "Having worked in the private sector over the past decade creating and growing small businesses, I've seen firsthand the unsustainable pressure and impossible choices forced on companies and employees by skyrocketing health care costs. I've said from the start of this campaign, doing nothing to address this issue is not an option." (
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

  • "Traditional methods of protecting our borders must evolve, using new technologies and more aggressive border patrol practices. We must ensure that our efforts include both the northern and southern border, as well as our points of entry." (
  • "I am working to stem the flow of illegal immigration, and I will not support an amnesty policy to address this issue." (
  • "He's said it many times before, but Denny supports the #DREAMers and the DREAM Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "These 212 Members decided to participate as amici in this case because they want the Supreme Court to hear the full story from Congress, and to explain why they believe that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. They disagree with the arguments being made by lawyers hired to defend DOMA in court by the House Majority following the divided 3-2 vote of the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG)." (
  • "Marriage Equality in Washington State = An idea whose time has come." (
  • "DOMA imposes a sweeping and unjustifiable federal disability on married same-sex couples." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
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 were already engaged in military operations on two fronts, and Libya opened a third. We cannot afford the troops or taxpayer dollars -- especially without a national security objective. Additionally, President Obama's violation of the War Powers Resolution is concerning. Despite some questions about that resolution, it is the law of the land." (
  • "This bill serves as a strong reminder to rogue states, such as Iran, that the U.S. will not stand idly by as they threaten the safety and security of our country, as well as the rest of the world. Please be assured that I will continue to support legislation that protects our national security and keeps countries such as Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons." (
  • "The United States must remain committed to finding and eliminating the remaining al-Qaeda operatives in the region. This can be done through special forces operations like the one that killed Osama bin Laden." (
No 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

  • Clark County Politics "Denny Heck, her Democratic opponent on Nov. 2, has said Social Security is a highly successful anti-poverty program for the elderly, and he's strongly opposed to the shifting of any of its resources into private accounts." (
  • "Social Security is inarguably one of the most effective government programs in the history of the United States. Today, approximately 10% of all seniors live in poverty. Without the benefit of Social Security, that number would increase to nearly 50% of all seniors." (
  • Rated 97% 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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