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Joe Heck, Jr.'s Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Joe Heck, Jr. 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-life Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 7 "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2014" (
  • Las Vegas Sun "Heck is pro-life, but does not support bills that would make abortion illegal in the case of rape and incest." (
  • Rated 8% by Planned Parenthood (
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

  • Signed ATR pledge stating to "[…] oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses" (
  • "I support comprehensive tax reform that would simplify the code, eliminate special interest loopholes and deductions, broaden the tax base, and lower rates." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "You don't need to put somebody in jail who gets caught with one or two joints. That's a criminal justice issue that can be addressed totally separate from the debate as to whether or not marijuana should be made legal." (
Unknown Position Unknown 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" (
  • "In order to save our children and grandchildren from a fiscal crisis, we must reduce spending and address the major drivers of our debt." (
  • "I supported this extension to help ensure that the rug is not pulled out from under construction workers and their families who need consistent work to make ends meet. Nevada has more than 30 projects, including the I-15 project in Las Vegas, that rely on federal funding and our economy cannot afford for those projects to be in jeopardy. I realize that another short-term extension does not give those workers the type of certainty they deserve, but this is another step in the process towards moving to a long-term transportation funding solution. As we move this bill to a conference committee, I urge the conferees to return predictability and stability to transportation funding and to include the designation of the I-11 corridor between Las Vegas and Phoenix in their report." (
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.1105 "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015" (
  • "I support comprehensive tax reform that would simplify the code, eliminate special interest loopholes and deductions, broaden the tax base, and lower rates." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Nevada News & Views "[...] education should be left to the states, to principals, parents and teachers." (
  • " States and localities, along with teachers and parents, should determine the best education policies for their children while the key responsibility of the federal government should be to ensure the fair and equal administration of those policies." (
  • "No Child Left Behind was a well-intentioned idea that has failed in execution by pushing too much toward cookie-cutter education […] Educational choices should be made at the local level and Washington needs to work to provide resources and support, and to help districts better address their specific needs, while giving parents, teachers and principals the flexibility and autonomy to succeed." (
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" (
  • "In Congress, I have consistently supported efforts to promote 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

  • Las Vegas Sun "Heck's notable vote came on a bill to appropriate funds for energy and water development for fiscal 2012. 'The cuts contained in this legislation threaten Nevada’s chance to create jobs by becoming America’s leading renewable energy exporter,' Heck said, calling renewable energy research and development 'critical to our nation’s energy future.'" (
  • "To maintain our economic and national security, we must maximize all of our nation's energy resources, including renewable sources, alternative fuels, and fossil fuels, all in a way that balances economic development and protecting our environment." (
  • "Nevada is poised to lead the nation in the production of renewable energy sources which will help get people back to work and improve our economy." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of S.J.Res.23 "A Joint Resolution Providing for Congressional Disapproval Under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of a Rule Submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency Relating to 'Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units' " (
  • Signed a pledge stating "[…] to the taxpayers of the State of Nevada and to the American people that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue." (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.1098 "Prohibits District of Columbia from Implementing Certain Firearm Laws" (
  • "Citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. This is a fundamental, constitutional right that must be protected. […] Rather than restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens, we should focus our efforts on ensuring that those who commit crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." (
  • Rated 93% by National Rifle Association (
  • "I think the idea of background checks across the board, I'm not opposed to them," (
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.596 "To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" (
  • "[...] we were told Congress had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. What we found was a bait and switch of unprecedented proportions." (
  • "My focus in the House is to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare. To do that we first must repeal the flawed parts of the healthcare law and replace it with reforms that put the patient, not the insurance companies, at the center of our healthcare system." (
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

  • "Heck said he was working with other representatives on a House version of the DREAM Act, previously failed legislation that offers legal status to immigrants who arrived in the United States at a young age and had served in the military or gone to college." (
  • "Finally, while I oppose blanket amnesty, I am open to considering proposals that address earned citizenship." (
  • "Finally, there are numerous proposals that would grant citizenship or legal status to those currently here in an undocumented status and I would be willing to consider those proposals, so long as the other provisions I support are addressed in a meaningful way." (
  • "I am working to stem the flow of illegal immigration, and I will not support an amnesty policy to address this issue." (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Las Vegas Sun "He believes marriage is between a man and a woman. During a recent interview on KNPR, he said marriage equality is a state issue for the courts to decide." (
  • Las Vegas Review-Journal "Asked by interviewer Jon Ralston if it hurts anybody for members of the same sex to get married, Heck said 'it is not hurting anyone,' but 'it is my personal belief' against the practice." (
  • "[...] it is clear that same-sex couples joined in marriage, civil unions and registered domestic partnerships should be deemed eligible for spouse-based benefits, regardless of where they live." (
  • Rated 0% 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

  • "I support the President's decision to expand air strikes against ISIL so that ground forces in Iraq can go on the offensive and agree that we must attack this enemy wherever they pose a threat to the United States." (
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

  • Rebel Yell "I’ve never said that I support privatizing social security." (
  • "I believe that any individual should have the right to voluntarily take their portion of Social Security withholding and invest it as they deem appropriate. It is arrogant of government to think that they can invest someone's money better than they can." (


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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