Representative Morgan Griffith's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (VA) - District 9, Republican
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Morgan Griffith 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?

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

  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R.36 "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" (
  • "The federal government has no business subsidizing abortion. American citizens should not be forced to finance a procedure that many consider morally wrong. Accordingly, I will continue to fight to ensure abortion is not supported by your taxpayer dollars." (
  • "In the General Assembly, Morgan amassed a solid record of voting for the pro-life position according to the Virginia Society for Human Life and has carried and passed legislation on their behalf." (
  • Rated 100% by the National Right to Life Committee (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a pledge stating "I, Morgan Griffith, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of Virginia, and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." (
  • "If the Bush tax cuts are not extended, the tax will return to a top marginal rate of 55 percent for all assets above $1 million dollars. For a lot of farmers and small businesses, this means they can't pass their farm or small business on to the next generation." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Still Congressman Griffith wants you to know he isn't pushing legalization of marijuana, but he says the outright ban on weed for any medical reason is nonsensical." (
  • "Illegal drugs have no place in our communities. Drug abuse affects a person's physical and mental health and has serious legal, social, and financial consequences. It also has a direct impact on the safety of our families and communities. I have never used illegal drugs, but as a criminal defense attorney, I saw hundreds of lives damaged or destroyed when someone thought they could use illegal drugs 'just once.' " (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "The spending debate has shifted from cutting billions to trillions; a direction in which we should be going. We have got to stop spending money we do not have." (
  • "The safety of our nation's highways and bridges must be improved. Among other things, a finalized transportation plan must encourage private investment through public-private partnerships so that we can use the least amount of taxpayer dollars and accelerate the construction of priority projects." (
  • "For the sake of our children and grandchildren, I hope all of my colleagues are aware of today's news and recognize that we have an obligation to stop spending money we don't have. We must learn to live within our means, and borrowing 40 cents on every dollar we spend is unacceptable." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a pledge stating, "I, Morgan Griffith, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of Virginia, and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." (
  • "Supports the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013 (H.R. 2429), which would permanently repeal the estate tax." (
  • "Morgan will make job creation for Southwest Virginia his top priority as your next Congressman. He will help create new economic opportunities in the region by supporting tax cuts for businesses that create new jobs in our underserved rural areas." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.9 "Income Tax Deduction for Small Businesses" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Believes the primary focus of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) should be on giving flexibility back to the states and local school districts." (
  • "About 6% of the education budget in Virginia comes from the federal government, the rest of it's state and local taxes. In fairness, the 6% that comes from the federal government comes with a whole lot of red tape and strings attached while some of those strings are very appropriate, I do think that some of the red tape needs be cut out and that we could do a whole lot better if the federal government would just send the state the money. I feel fairly strongly that if we cut back some of that regulatory red tape that could do a little bit better." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone Pipeline" (
  • "A solution to create jobs and energy is to work with our friends in Canada and support the Keystone XL pipeline." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Supports common sense policies that safeguard our ability to have clean air and clean water without jeopardizing thousands of jobs or burdening American families with unbearable energy costs." (
  • "Coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro-power, domestic oil, and biomass all may play a critical role in America’s energy future. The United States possesses a tremendous amount of natural resources, and we must take full advantage of all options to unlock America’s full potential." (

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" (
  • "Morgan opposes the Obama/Pelosi/Boucher "cap and trade" scheme. Their program will result in massive job cuts in Southwest Virginia's coal industry while raising electricity, gasoline, and heating prices for all consumers." (
  • "I would submit that the courts must have their say on the legality of the so-called "Clean Power Plan' before states are required to spend a significant amount of money and resources on its implementation. I believe the EPA's arguments are very weak in regards to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Strongly opposes limitations on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. We must not hinder the ability of law-abiding citizens to bear arms." (
  • "Morgan is a solid supporter of your right to own and carry a firearm. He has consistently received "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association and he has been a leader in the House of Delegates in the fight to defend your rights against liberal gun-grabbers." (
  • Rated 100% by the National Rifle Assoication (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.3762 "Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015" (
  • "Supported legislation to fully repeal Obamacare (H.R. 45) and voted to defund Obamacare during the most recent debt ceiling negotiations." (
  • "Consistently supports repealing and replacing Obamacare to end, in my opinion, a massive government takeover of the health care industry." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.5759 "Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014" (
  • "I am of the view that proposals allowing illegal immigrants to simply come into the United States and stay here without consequence undermine our national security, encourage more illegal immigration, and are unfair to law-abiding legal immigrants. In other words, I am against amnesty." (
  • "According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are a total of nearly 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States. Allowing illegal immigrants to come into the United States and work here is unfair to law-abiding legal immigrants, undermines our national security, and encourages more illegal immigration." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "When President Obama concluded that the law is unconstitutional, he declined to do his job and invited Congress to defend the statute in his place. Thus, I applaud Speaker Boehner's decision to convene the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Groupto defend DOMA on behalf of the House of Representatives." (
  • Rated 0% by the Human Rights Campaign (
  • " I oppose any attempt to redefine marriage and repeal DOMA." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "ISIS is a very dangerous terrorist organization, and action must be taken in order to defeat them." (
  • "The United States of America cannot allow terrorists to kill its citizens with impunity, and it is long overdue that those responsible are held accountable. We ask that you act immediately and use whatever necessary resources to find, arrest and bring to justice those responsible for these attacks." (
  • "Supported the RECLAIM Act (H.R. 1212), which would have ended the use of force by American troops in Libya and stoped any funds used in the force against Libya. I believe the President was in direct violation of the Constitution, and we should have ceased all military actions in Libya until he requested approval from Congress. If President Obama would have come before Congress to request the appropriate authority for action in Libya, I would have voted in favor of authorizing the mission." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Privatizing Social Security is not the answer to reducing the deficit." (


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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Virginia State Legislative Election 1999 National Political Awareness Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.

a) Abortions should always be legally available.
Xb) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
c) Abortions should be legal when pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xd) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xf) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and parental notification requirements.
Xg) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.
h) Support "buffer zones" by requiring demonstrators to stay at least 15 feet away from abortion clinic doorways and driveways.
i) Other
No2) Should Virginia government funding be provided to clinics and medical facilities that provide abortion services?

Indicate the principles you support (if any) concerning affirmative action. State government agencies should take race and sex into account in the following areas:

Noa) College and university admissions
Nob) Public employment
Noc) State contracting
d) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.

a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
c) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
d) Support the use of the death penalty.
e) Oppose the death penalty.
f) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
g) Inform communities when a convicted sex offender moves into the community.
h) Increase state funds for programs which rehabilitate and educate inmates during and after their prison sentences.
i) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Xj) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
Xk) Strengthen penalties and sentences for sex offenders.
l) Support the blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
m) Prosecute juveniles who commit murder or other serious violent crimes as adults.
Xn) Other

We already did A,C,D,F,G & M. It has been the law in Va. for almost 20 years. On L which Blood Alcohol are you asking for .02, .08 or .10?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning the economy and employment.

Xa) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
c) Support limits on cash damages in lawsuits against businesses and professionals for product liability or malpractice.
d) Increase funding for state job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
e) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

a) Increase state funds for professional development of public school teachers and administrators.
Xb) Encourage private or corporate investment in public school programs.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
d) Favor charter schools where independent groups receive state authorization and funding to establish new schools.
Xe) Support sex education programs which stress abstinence.
f) Support sex education programs which stress safe sexual practices.
Xg) Increase state funds for school construction and facility maintenance.
Xh) Increase state funds for hiring of additional teachers.
i) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
j) Support the Board of Education's new higher standards for teacher certification.
k) Adopt performance-based funding for Virginia's 38 state universities and community colleges.
Xl) Increase state funding to public universities and community colleges so they can lower tuition rates.
Xm) Other

On D I favor the Va. charter plan that gives local school boards the option. I is not constitutional according to the Supreme Court not a legitimate this time in history.

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

a) Require the use of cleaner burning fuels in order to prevent pollution.
Xb) Support "self-audit" legislation which creates incentives for industries to audit themselves and clean up pollution.
Xc) Require a cost/benefit analysis to determine the economic impact of proposed environmental regulations before they are implemented.
Xd) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately-owned land.
e) Provide funding for recycling programs in Virginia.
Xf) Request added flexibility from the federal government in enforcing and funding federal environmental regulations.
g) Suspend participation in unfunded, federally-mandated environmental protection legislation.
h) Restructure the electric utility industry to allow consumers to choose their power company.
Xi) Shut down landfills that are most damaging to ground water and do not meet current standards of environmental safety.
Xj) Other

On i the key to the question is "damaging ground water".

Undecided2) Should state environmental regulations be stricter than federal law?

3) Indicate the level of regulation you will support for non-hazardous waste disposal. Select one level only.

Maintain Statusa) Mega-landfills that meet current environmental standards
Slightly Increaseb) Smaller, older landfills
Maintain Statusc) Limits on the amount of trash in privately-owned Virginia landfills
Greatly Increased) Trash barge traffic on Virginia rivers
Slightly Increasee) Trash trucks on Virginia highways

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding government reform.

a) Do you support limits on the number of terms of the following Virginia officials?

No1) State Senators and Delegates
Yes2) Governor

b) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?

Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yesc) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Undecidedd) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
e) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Yesf) Do you support Virginia relying more on the private job market as a guide in setting public employee salaries?
Yesg) Do you support requiring voters to show identification when voting?
h) Other

Elected officials who receive more than $10,000 from regulated industries allegedly for "work" they perform should be required to file monthly detailed reports of the money on the "work . . .

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.

a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
b) Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
c) Maintain state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
Xd) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
Xe) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.
Xf) Allow citizens to carry concealed firearms.
g) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on firearms.
Xh) Other

We already did E

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.

Xa) Provide tax incentives to small businesses that provide health care to their employees.
b) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care when necessary.
c) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
d) Use state funds to continue some Medicaid coverage for legal immigrants.
e) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
f) The guarantee of medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Increase state funding for informing parents about the Children's Medical Security Insurance Plan, the free health program for uninsured children.
Xh) Other

We already did E

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.

a) Increase state funding for programs to prevent teen pregnancy.
b) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
Xc) Increase state funds to provide child care to children in low-income working families.
Xd) Deny or suspend state-issued permits and licenses to parents who are delinquent in paying court-ordered child support.
e) Ban smoking in public places.
f) Increase state funding for Head Start in order to serve additional children and/or increase services from a half day to a full day.
g) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
h) Support state funding of programs for at-risk youth such as guaranteed college loans, and job training and placement.
Xi) Other

We already did D

Noj) Do you believe that the Virginia government should include sexual orientation in Virginia's anti-discrimination laws?
Nok) Do you believe that the Virginia government should recognize same-sex marriages?

1) Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories. Select one level only.

Slightly Increasea) Education (K-12)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increasec) Environment
Maintain Statusd) Health care
Slightly Increasee) Law enforcement
Greatly Increasef) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)
Slightly Decreaseg) Welfare
h) Other

E is only a 2 because of the large increase we made in the level already.

2) The state budget surplus should be:

Returned to Virginia citizens
Invested in state programs

Both in varying degrees.

Indicate the tax levels you will support. Select one level only.

Eliminatea) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusb) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusc) Corporate taxes
Greatly Decreased) Food taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
h) Natural Resources taxes
i) Property taxes
Maintain Statusj) Sales taxes
k) Other

The state does not control Property Taxes, that is a function of local gov't. I would need you to define Natural Resources.

Undecidedl) Do you support a flat tax structure for state income taxes?
Yesm) Do you support accelerating the five year phase-out of the local automobile tax?
Non) Do you support raising gasoline taxes to meet a shortfall in highway construction funds?
Undecidedo) Do you support freezing local real estate taxes for homeowners over the age of 65?
Explain what you will do as a state legislator to address this concern.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.

Xa) Maintain current time limits on welfare benefits.
Xb) Maintain the requirement that able-bodied recipients work in order to receive benefits.
Xc) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xd) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
e) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
Xf) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
g) Allow welfare recipients to remain eligible for benefits while saving money for education, starting a business, or buying a home.
h) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
i) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
j) Other
Please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.

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