Representative Erik Paulsen's Political Positions

Biographical

Full Name: Erik Paulsen
Current Office: U.S. House - District 3, Republican
First Elected: 11/04/2008
Last Elected: 11/06/2012
Next Election: 2014
On The Ballot: Announced, Republican for U.S. House - District 3
Primary Aug. 12, 2014
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Kelly; 4 Children: Cassie, Briana, Tayler, Liesl
Birth Date: 05/14/1965
Birth Place: Bakersfield, CA
Home City: Eden Prairie, MN
Religion: Lutheran
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Erik Paulsen refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

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 are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. H Amdt 509. 111th Congress. Prohibiting Federally Funded Abortion Services. Erik Paulsen voted Yea on 11/07/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Family Research Council. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the Family Research Council 93 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. H Amdt 95. 112th Congress. Prohibiting Use of Federal Funds For Planned Parenthood. Erik Paulsen voted Yea on 02/18/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. HR 3. 112th Congress. Prohibiting Taxpayer Funding of Abortion. Erik Paulsen voted Yea on 05/04/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Video: MN-3 Rep Erik Paulsen at MCCL Anti-Abortion Rally. 22 January 2010. "What can possibly be more important than [¦] the gift of life [¦] When our founding fathers articulated our rights they were life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness [¦] liberty and happiness are not an option if you're not living. I believe for those of us, in order to have true happiness and true liberty, we must ensure that millions, millions of vulnerable citizens are not denied the right to life." (www.youtube.com)
  • Planned Parenthood. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Peace Action West. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of Peace Action West 38 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Peace Action. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the Peace Action 38 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Issue Position: Defending Our Homeland. 4 November 2011. "Our national sovereignty rests in our ability to defend the nation from those who want to harm us. Despite the fact that we've made great strides in terms of national security since 9/11, securing the safety of our nation and citizens remains our greatest duty. We are still facing a very real enemy -- an enemy that will stop at nothing to bring harm to the American people. We must never relent in defending against this enemy and I support a strong national defense to ensure that the American people are safe and secure. A strong defense includes strong law enforcement, secure borders, a strong military and vigorous intelligence services. It also includes drastically reducing our dependence on foreign oil. As our brave men and women continue to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world they deserve our full and unwavering support. The security we all enjoy is a direct result of their selfless sacrifice and I stand firmly behind these brave Americans, their families and their mission." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. H Con Res 28. 112th Congress. Removing Troops from Afghanistan. Erik Paulsen voted Nay on 03/17/2011. (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. Paulsen Votes for Largest Annual Spending Cut in American History. 14 April 2011. "Today, we've begun the process of ending Washington's wasteful spending spree and changing the culture of bloated bureaucracy that has plagued Washington for too long. The package passed today sets the stage for long-term budget solutions that will spur job creation and get Minnesotans back to work. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of aisle as we continue to cut spending and move towards restoring fiscal discipline in Washington.' Key facts of the spending agreement include: Largest Non-Defense Spending Cut in American History. The agreement will enact the largest non-defense spending cut in dollar terms in American history, and the biggest overall reduction since World War II. [¦] Funds Our Troops. The agreement funds our troops and provides them with the resources they need to succeed in their missions at home and abroad." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Issue Position: National Defense. "I can't stress enough the post-9/11 challenges of providing America with a strong national defense. Today we are confronted with a very real enemy who hates all that America stands for. I support a strong national defense to confront this enemy." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Issue Position: Supporting Our Nation's Veterans and Service Members. "Our military must have the best equipment and support possible -- before, during and after their deployment. That's why I opposed billions of dollars in cuts to troop funding, coauthored the Military Voting Protection Act to strengthen the voting rights of troops overseas, secured key funding for the Minnesota National Guard returning home, addressed payment inequities for our soldiers and their families, and aided numerous veterans in getting the assistance they deserve." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. H Amdt 13. 112th Congress. Reducing Navy and Air Force Aircraft Procurement. Erik Paulsen voted Nay on 02/15/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. HR 1363. 112th Congress. 2011 Department of Defense Budget and Additional Continuing Appropriations. Erik Paulsen voted Yea on 04/07/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Issue Position: Defending Our Homeland. 4 November 2011. "Our national sovereignty rests in our ability to defend the nation from those who want to harm us. Despite the fact that we've made great strides in terms of national security since 9/11, securing the safety of our nation and citizens remains our greatest duty. We are still facing a very real enemy -- an enemy that will stop at nothing to bring harm to the American people. We must never relent in defending against this enemy and I support a strong national defense to ensure that the American people are safe and secure. A strong defense includes strong law enforcement, secure borders, a strong military and vigorous intelligence services. It also includes drastically reducing our dependence on foreign oil. As our brave men and women continue to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world they deserve our full and unwavering support. The security we all enjoy is a direct result of their selfless sacrifice and I stand firmly behind these brave Americans, their families and their mission." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayers Protection Pledge. "I, Erik Paulsen, pledge to the taxpayers of the 3rd district of the state of Minnesota 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." (atr.org)
  • National Taxpayers Union. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported reasonable tax and spending policies as defined by the National Taxpayers Union 89 percent of the time in 2010." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. Paulsen Questions Budget Experts on Job Creation. 30 March 2011. "Our nation's unacceptably high unemployment rate proves that expansive government programs and reckless spending does not create jobs or stimulate the economy. Despite a failed trillion dollar stimulus, and trillions of dollars of more debt, far too many Americans, including 200,000 Minnesotans, remain out of work. As many employers in my district have noted, the fiscal uncertainty and debt crisis created in Washington is impeding their ability to create jobs. Today's hearing confirmed the best thing that government can do to put Americans back to work is to provide a budget that ends wasteful Washington spending and fosters an environment in which the private sector can do what it does best--innovate and create jobs." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Rep. Paulsen Votes to Cut Wasteful Washington Spending. 19 February 2011. "When your car is speeding towards a cliff you don't turn on the cruise control, you slam on the brakes. This package, with over $100 billion in spending cuts, is a good start towards putting the brakes on wasteful Washington spending and removing barriers to job creation. Minnesota families have been forced to cut their budgets during this economic crisis; there is no reason that the government can't as well. We must use every resource available to put in place policies that will spur job creation, remove burdensome regulations and get our fiscal house in order. Americans deserve more. We made some very difficult choices in this bill, but it's time for Congress to stop passing the buck and start to display the sort of leadership expected of us. " (votesmart.org)
  • The Club for Growth. 04/18/2012. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2010, The Club for Growth gave Erik Paulsen a rating of 92 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. HR 5297. 112th Congress. Small Business Lending Fund and Tax Law Amendments. Erik Paulsen voted Nay on 09/23/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Americans for Prosperity. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the Americans for Prosperity 85 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Congressman Erik Paulsen Statement On State Of The Union. 27 January 2010. "When it comes to new policy proposals, the devil is always in the details. However, there is no question we need a laser-like focus on job creation, recognizing that it's small business and the private sector -- not the government -- that will lead the way. We must take real steps to reduce spending and our deficit. A spending freeze, while certainly a good starting point, will not be enough by itself. We also need health care reforms that will lower costs for individuals, families and small businesses without breaking the bank or creating a new government-run program." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Paulsen Post: March 3, 2011. 3 March 2011. "It has been over a decade since we've seen a balanced federal budget and in January of this year, the U.S. debt surpassed $14 trillion. While budget talks will continue in the coming months between the House of Representatives and the Senate, we're taking the necessary first steps to end our country's spending-driven debt crisis that will put our nation on the path to economic growth and job creation. I am proud to say the House has led the charge in working across the aisle to reign in wasteful Washington spending, and it is my hope that this trend will continue expeditiously in the Senate so we can get our economy moving again and get Americans back to work." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. We Have A Long Way To Go On Job Creation. 23 February 2010. "I recently held a job fair in my district, and despite one of the snowiest travel days of the entire winter, more than 2,000 people showed up. The overwhelming turnout makes one thing clear: We have a long, long way to go to create real jobs. But instead, Congress has embraced record borrowing and record spending while unemployment now hovers at about 10 percent. Millions of Americans are scraping by wondering why hundreds of billions of dollars of their tax money is being wasted, with millions of lost jobs to show for it. An economic recovery without jobs is not a recovery. We need to strengthen small business and create the private sector jobs. If we want to boost our economy and put people back to work, we have got to get our priorities straight to help the entrepreneurs, the risk-takers, the innovators, the dreamers, instead of growing government." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Paulsen: Washington Standing in the Way of Job Creation. 5 August 2011. "Today's report is another reminder of just how anemic our so-called "recovery' has been. Our economy is simply growing at too slow a rate to replace the millions of jobs that have been lost. Our job creators need certainty and clarity, but for too long Washington has given them neither. Washington needs to stop perpetuating policies which stall job creation, such as burdensome and costly regulations, and continuing out-of-control spending -- all while the American people face 30 consecutive months of over 8% unemployment." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. Letter To Honorable Barack H. Obama, President, United States Of America. 3 February 2010. "Small business is the engine of economic growth in our country. If we are going to put Americans back to work, I firmly believe small business will lead the way. In order to foster an environment where small businesses have maximum opportunity to grow, I would like you to consider two proposals that would provide real economic stimulus and encourage job creation. The first is legislation I introduced in May that provides incentives for reinvestment and hiring by small businesses, principles you have expressed support for recently. My bill, H.R. 2284, would give small businesses the ability to defer taxes on business income - up to $250,000 per individual or $500,000 per couple - if they reinvest the income back into the business through actions such as hiring employees or purchasing equipment. This ensures that small business owners are taxed only on the profits taken out of their business, and also allows for the deferment of taxes on income that was placed back into developing their business. By encouraging reinvestment and incentivizing job creation, we can reach our shared goal of economic growth. As you know, many small businesses pay taxes under individual rates, rather than corporate tax rates. To address this, I am also working with colleagues in both the House and Senate on legislation to reclassify certain types of business income in order to encourage growth. Our proposal will include an alternative rate schedule for income stemming from small business activity, including sole proprietor, partnership, and S Corporation income. This would ensure that marginal tax rates would not rise for America's job creators during a weak economy. The goal of these proposals is simple: create jobs and strengthen Main Streets across America by allowing small businesses to keep and reinvest more of their earnings." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Provoding for Consideration of H.R. 5486, Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010; and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 5297, Small Business Lending Fund Act 0f 2010. 15 June 2010. "If small businesses receive tax relief and they could reinvest that money in their company to hire workers, that would be a true economic stimulus to put people back to work. More than two-thirds of all small business income is taxed at the top two individual tax rates, and now the majority party is going to let those rates rise at the end of this year, forcing small businesses to shoulder an even higher tax burden. So this amendment would have provided real incentives for small businesses to grow without creating another bailout-style fund of borrowing and spending even more government money." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Encourage Small Business to Reinvest. 6 May 2009. "Mr. Speaker, last week I held a small business roundtable discussion in my district. I heard from a dozen small business owners about the various challenges they are facing when it comes to growing jobs and investing in their business. During that discussion, one clear theme emerged, small businesses need help. Unfortunately, the recently passed budget pours salt in the wound by raising taxes by over $1 trillion, largely on the backs of small business. Rather than tax them, I believe that we should encourage them to reinvest in their business and create more jobs. That's why I am introducing legislation that will allow small businesses to defer any income tax on any money that is reinvested in their business. This will provide additional incentives and resources for small businesses to grow and maintain their companies during these difficult economic times. Small businesses have created two out of every three jobs in the United States since the 1970s. Let's help them do it again." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. Issue Position: Ensuring Educational Opportunities . 4 November 2011. "Among the many challenges America faces today is keeping pace with the need for a high-quality educated workforce. Our children must be prepared for the jobs of the future, which means demanding high expectations and accountability in education and rewarding results. I am proud to have led the charge in the state legislature for education initiatives that give parents and students the choices they need to be better prepared for getting good jobs of the future [¦] We need accountability in education that includes measuring results. I will work to make significant changes to the No Child Left Behind Act and provide states and local schools with the flexibility they need to improve student and teacher performance." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Issue Position: Education. 4 November 2011. "In an increasingly global world, educating our children is more important than ever. America will continue to lead the world in innovation and ideas if our children are given the best resources to be the most educated -- from early childhood through graduate school [¦] We need an education system that rewards accountability, achievement and results. We also need to ensure our education system adapts to the changing world in which we live. Our focus should be on science, technology, engineering and math -- areas in which emerging nations like India and China continue to focus [¦] I strongly support local control of education decisions. Our local school boards, superintendents, teachers and parents - not bureaucrats in Washington - know how to best educate our students. I also support placing a greater focus on teacher quality and effectiveness to improve student achievement." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. HR 1230. 112th Congress. Offshore Leasing Act. Erik Paulsen voted Yea on 05/05/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. H Amdt 773. 112th Congress. Ending Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling Rigs that Meet Certain Safety Standards. Erik Paulsen voted Nay on 07/30/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. HR 3534. 112th Congress. Offshore Drilling Regulations and Other Energy Law Amendments. Erik Paulsen voted Nay on 07/30/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of Environment America 17 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Letter to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States. 1 March 2011. "In light of continuing instability in the Middle East and in North Africa, we write today to urge your Administration's immediate action to ensure America's energy security by expediting the permitting process for safe offshore energy exploration and development without further delay." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Congressman Walz And Congressman Paulsen Join Broad Coalition In Support Of Bipartisan, Comprehensive Approach To Energy Independence. 4 November 2011. "By increasing offshore drilling, and in turn using those revenues to expand clean, alternative energy sources, this bill is a win-win [¦] The plan takes an 'all of the above' approach, which will mean more jobs, more affordable energy, a cleaner environment and increased national security." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. Paulsen Applauds Bipartisan Passage of the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act. 21 June 2012. "With Minnesota families and small businesses still struggling with rising energy costs in a slow economy, the House took action this week on a package of seven energy bills that address high energy costs and help create American jobs. The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act is the latest in a series of House-passed jobs bills targeted at helping to remove government barriers to economic growth and stop policies that drive up prices on American families and small businesses [¦] Included in the energy package are initiatives to establish a national comprehensive energy planby reviewing America's energy needs and establishing targets for all types of energy production on federal lands to meet those needs. In addition it will bring down roadblocks to American energy production by putting a stop to burdensome new regulations, and streamlining and reforming the permitting process to facilitate increased energy development. Read more about the legislation here." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. HR 2454. 111th Congress. Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ("Cap and Trade"). Erik Paulsen voted Nay on 06/26/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • League of Conservation Voters. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the League of Conservation Voters 40 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of Environment America 17 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. HR 910. 112th Congress. Energy Tax Prevention Act. Erik Paulsen voted Yea on 04/07/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. American Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009. 26 June 2009. "Madam Speaker, it must be a priority to work aggressively and prudently as a nation to cut greenhouse gas emissions. However, I believe we can do this without the current ``cap and trade'' plan we are voting on today. Reducing emissions and strengthening our environment are important priorities--priorities I support. However, the ``cap and trade'' bill before us today is just a fancy way of masking ``tax and spend''--and it is the wrong approach to addressing this issue. America needs a comprehensive energy solution to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and jump-start our economy, but it should not be at the expense of every American taxpayer. Analysis shows cap and trade will raise gas prices, raise electricity prices and eliminate American jobs. Studies have shown up to 2.5 million jobs will be lost, making America less globally competitive. In the worst recession in over 70 years, this legislation would exacerbate our situation by increasing energy costs for every sector of our economy. If the priority is jobs, it is stunning to me that we're bringing this bill to the floor that will create a national energy tax on every working family and every small business in America. There are several common sense, bipartisan solutions that invest in new, clean and reliable sources of energy. I'm supporting a plan that aggressively reduces emissions, promotes conservation, creates jobs and strengthens our environment by promoting nuclear energy--a zero emissions, renewable source. It also boosts domestic supplies of both natural gas and oil. I hope today that we do what is right for America, by voting down this cap and trade proposal and moving forward with a plan that will work for--not against--all Americans." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Rifle Association. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. National Rifle Association endorsed Erik Paulsen in the 2010 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Gun Owners of America. 04/18/2012. "In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Erik Paulsen a grade of 91." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. HR 2. 112th Congress. Repealing the Health Care Bill. Erik Paulsen voted Yea on 01/19/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • American Public Health Association. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. 19 January 2011. "Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this effort to repeal the job-destroying health care law that a majority of Americans oppose. Now, last year Congress put job creation on the back burner and instead pushed a very partisan, trillion-dollar overhaul of our health care system. Last year, at the Democrat leadership's request, Congress passed the bill to find out what is in it.'' Well, here is what we found: a laundry list of tax increases and job-crushing mandates that will make it harder for small businesses to make ends meet and further delay an economic recovery [¦] The American people deserve health care reform that doesn't break the bank. We need health care reform that lowers costs and doesn't increase premiums. We should repeal this law now and replace it with commonsense, patient-centered alternatives; otherwise, our economy will stagnate, our small businesses will not be able to expand, and the medical device industry in my district will continue to suffer." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. HR 5281. 112th Congress. DREAM Act. Erik Paulsen voted Nay on 12/08/2010. (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Human Rights Campaign. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the Human Rights Campaign 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. HR 2965. 112th Congress. Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act. Erik Paulsen voted Nay on 12/15/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • American Family Association. 04/18/2012. "Erik Paulsen supported the interests of the American Family Association 88 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

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

Vote Smart's Research

  • Erik Paulsen. Candidate positions: Erik Paulsen. Answered: "Social Security absolutely has to be preserved and protected, without a doubt. That is a contract. That is a bond that has been made with workers through the government. That needs to be carried on. The government should provide any incentives. I support incentives to provide additional savings that can be done on top of regular retirement, whether it's through additional 401k savings, universal savings accounts, that's appropriate. We have almost essentially a negative savings rate here in the United States and people need to set aside a little bit more money for their long term retirement" to the question: "Do you favor privatizing Social Security to any degree?" (minnesota.publicradio.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Issue Position: Protecting Seniors. 4 November 2011. "In Congress...Erik Paulsen is committed to preserving and protecting Social Security. He believes Social Security is a sacred contract that must be honored. Erik strongly opposes privatization of Social Security! Erik Paulsen will work hard to keep prescription drug prices low for seniors. Erik Paulsen will push to make long-term care more affordable and improve the quality of health care for seniors." (votesmart.org)
  • Erik Paulsen. Minnesota Public Radio - "Minn. 3rd District candidates debate". 17 September 2008. "Paulsen argued Social Security should be "preserved," but he also favors additional incentives for Americans to save and invest." (votesmart.org)

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

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