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Daniel Coats' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (IN) - Sr, Republican
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Daniel Coats refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

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 2010, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-life Inferred Answer Abortion Issues: Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 1997. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. June 16, 2010. "Coats supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 1997." (
  • Daniel Coats. HR 1122. Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion Bill. Project Vote Smart Summary. Daniel Coats voted YES on 18 September 1998. (
  • "Indiana Senate Candidate Dan Coats Gets Support From Pro-Life Organization." 26 May 2010. "The National Right to Life political action committee, today, announced its endorsement of Dan Coats in his campaign for U.S. Senate from Indiana. [?] National Right to Life political director Karen Cross told Coats has a longstanding pro-life record from his days in Congress. "As a member of both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Dan Coats was a leading champion for pro-life policies," she said. "Dan Coats was the author of key pro-life amendments, including a law that prevents the government from penalizing medical training programs for refusing to provide training in abortion. In addition, he was part of successful efforts to curb federal funding of abortion and an early supporter of the successful pro-life campaign to ban partial-birth abortion," Cross said." (
  • National Right to Life Committee. 1997-1998. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 16 June 2010. "Coats supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 100 percent in 1997-1998." (
  • National Right to Life Committee. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 28 September 2010. National Right to Life Committee endorsed Daniel Coats in the 2010 General Election. (
  • Planned Parenthood. 1993-1996. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 16 June 2010. "Coats supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood 6 percent in 1993-1996." (
  • Daniel Coats. Issue Position: Pro-Life. "Dan Coats has a strong record of protecting the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception. Dan has opposed federal funding of abortion, was one of the original supporters of the Partial Birth Abortion Act and was an original co-sponsor of legislation to prohibit minors from crossing state lines in order to avoid laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. As the father of three and grandfather of seven, this is an issue close to Dan's mind and heart. His commitment to life has earned Dan the endorsements of National Right to Life, Indiana Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony." (
Yes Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Tax Issues: Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Daniel Coats signed American Family Business Institute: Death Tax Repeal Pledge. (
  • Daniel Coats. Coats Releases Plan for Economic Growth and Job Creation. 18 August 2010. "The Dan Coats Plan for Economic Growth and Job Creation includes: Repealing the estate tax." (
No Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Tax Issues: Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Daniel Coats. Coats Releases Plan for Economic Growth and Job Creation. 18 August 2010. "On releasing the plan, Dan Coats said, "Job creation has eluded the United States because Washington insists on massive spending, ever increasing taxes, intrusive mandates and more burdensome regulations that have shackled the businesses and industries that employ American workers. Such actions create an atmosphere of uncertainty about the future fiscal health of the nation." Coats added, "My Plan for Economic Growth and Job Creation is an effort designed to reignite our economic engine by incentivizing the employment sectors Hoosiers count on for jobs the most by fighting for lower taxes, less regulation and encouraging innovation." (
  • Daniel Coats. Issue Position: Economy. "While Democrats focused on healthcare for the better part of 2009, Americans were concerned about the economy and jobs. Nearly ten percent of Americans, inclu (
  • Daniel Coats. The Dekalb Star - Coats Brings Campaign to Auburn. 2 September 2010. "Coats said to stimulate the economy and create jobs he would vote to reinstate the Bush tax cuts and cut high government spending..."It's obvious that the policies (the Democrats have) enacted for dealing with this recession have not worked," Coats said." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Business and Employment Issues: Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Schweizer, Micah. Indiana Public Media: Coats Talks Social Security on Ellsworth's Home Turf. 12 October 2010. "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Coats made a lunch-time address to the Evansville Rotary Club Tuesday. During the question and answer session, Coatstalked aboutthe so-called third rail of American politics, Social Security. "Touch that and you'll be accused of taking away people's Social Security," he said. "When we're trying to prolong it sand make it safer. Nope, we're going to nail you on this. And we're hearing that this year." Coats has proposed fixes to Social Security like raising the eligibility age, changing how standard of living increases are calculated, or cutting back on benefits for the wealthy." (
  • Daniel Coats. Indiana Senate Debate. 11 October 2010. RESPONDED: "These funds are facing some funding crises in the future. Now, ofr years?congress has just kind of kicked the can down the road and said 'well we'll let the next congress deal with that, or the next president deal with that.' But really the time has run out. We need to look at how we can restructure those programs in a way that preserves and saves the hard earned payments that taxpayers have put into those funds and the guarantees that we have provided their retirement income that they had planned on through their working lives. And so yes, there needs to be a look at a whole variety of a menu of options regarding how we can do that. Raising the retirement age has been one thing that has been suggested. I think we can take a serious look at that. We did that in 1984, we've moved it to 66 in a couple of months. Maybe moving it to 67 or 67 and a half is a way to go forward to preserve social Security to make sure we're not taking people off of that. There are also sensible changes, long-range changes that can be looked at, that ought to be on the table. We ought to have an adult conversation. We ought to step up and stop playing politics with this, we're talking about people's retirement and peoples medical care and we want to preserve those both." to the question: "Are you in favor of privatizing Social Security in any way, and are you in favor of raising the age at which Americans can receive Social Security retirement benefits?" (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime Issues: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education Issues: Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Wolf Jr., James D. 2010. Post Tribune: Health, Bank Reform Top Concerns. 24 May 2010. "When asked about education and the recent problems with teachers being laid off in Indiana, he said he views education "as an essential to future prosperity" but as a local and not federal issue. But local governments "shouldn't stifle the ability to go experiment," Coats said." (
No Inferred Answer Environment and Energy Issues: Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Daniel Coats signed Americans for Prosperity: No Climate Tax. 20 July 2010. (
  • Daniel Coats signed the Contract from America. "Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation's global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Gun Issues: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Daniel Coats. S Amdt 1152. Prohibiting the Possession of Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons. Project Vote Smart Summary. Daniel Coats voted YES on 17 November 1993. (
  • Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. 1990-1993. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "On the votes that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence considered to be the most important in 1990-1993, Coats voted their preferred position 29 percent of the time." (
  • National Rifle Association. 1993-1994. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Coats supported the interests of the National Rifle Association 50 percent in 1993-1994." (
  • Daniel Coats. HR 1025. Brady Handgun Bill. Project Vote Smart Summary: Daniel Coats voted YES on 20 November 1993. (
No Inferred Answer Health Issues: Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Daniel Coats signed the Contract from America. "Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn't restricted by state boundaries." (
  • Daniel Coats signed the Repeal It! Pledge. "I hereby pledge to the people of my district/state upon my election to the U.S. House of Representatives/U.S. Senate, to sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government." 2010. (
  • Daniel Coats. Coats: Voting 'Yes' On Obamacare and Enormous Error. 19 March 2010. "There are plenty of reasons to oppose the Obama-Pelosi health care plan including the massive tax increases and government intervention in personal health care decisions [?]." (
  • Daniel Coats. NWI Times - Coats Hears Metal Worker Concerns. 10 May 2010. "He stood firm in opposing the single-payer system of health care, saying the system lowers quality and raises wait times. [?] He supports the same flexibility for health insurance as for home or car insurance, he said." (
  • Daniel Coats. Ellsworth's ObamaCare Vote Costing Hoosiers Even More. 26 August 2010. "As time goes on, we will continue to expose the growing number of negative consequences President Obama and Speaker Pelosi's health care bill will have on Hoosier families. Billions of dollars in tax increases, a job-killing federal power grab of the student loan industry and drastic cuts to Medicare are apparently only the tip of the iceberg." (
  • Daniel Coats. Issue Position: Health Care. 16 June 2010. "After repealing the damage that has been done, we must seize the opportunity to ensure that constructive solutions to address the health care problems we face are the result of listening to the American people. Health care costs are out of control; we can make improvements without sacrificing personal freedoms and without tax increases and more deficit spending. [?] We must avoid creating a government run health care -- take a number and wait -- system." (
  • Greninger, Howard. 2010. Tribune Star: GOP Senate Candidate Dan Coats Supports Repeal of New Health Care Law. 8 July 2010. "Dan Coats, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, on Wednesday told a Terre Haute group of about 20 health care providers, including physicians and community leaders, that he supports repeal of the new national health care law and starting all over. "I think this package is unmanageable and fatally flawed," he said during a campaign stop in Terre Haute at the Holiday Inn...Coats said to be realistic, as a repeal requires two-thirds of both the House and Senate to overturn a presidential veto, health reforms must also be considered. "I don't think it is an either-or, but a both-and," Coats said of repeal and health reform. Coats said Indiana is among several states trying to repeal the new national health legislation as unconstitutional." Coats said he advocates putting "sensible non-bank-busting policies in place that provide quality care and access for people that control costs." (
No Inferred Answer Immigration Issues: Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 1996. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Coats supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 25 percent in 1996." (
  • Daniel Coats. Issue Position: Immigration. "I'm the son of an immigrant. My mother came from Sweden with five sisters and two brothers and her mother. Her father had come earlier and started a farm and they were coming to join him -- after they had legally qualified. My mother shared with us a story I will never forget: On the ship coming into Ellis Island, her mother gathered the family and said "From this point forward, I never want to hear another word of Swedish, we are Americans now.' Immigration has to be addressed and addressed immediately. And it has to be limited to legal immigration. No excuse, no other circumstance, no other reason that allows illegal immigrants to stay in this country should be accepted. No other country in the world allows illegal immigration and neither should the United States. My record on immigration related issues has been strong and consistent. I voted to: * Curb illegal immigration * Expedite deportation * Prohibit the payment of Federal benefits to illegal immigrants * Prohibit illegal aliens from receiving direct federal benefits such as Social Security * Add English competency to the qualifications for a new category of "independent" immigrants * Hire more immigration officers * Increase penalties on those who smuggle illegal workers * Increase penalties for document fraud * Establish pilot programs for worker verification * Reimburse states for costs resulting from the Federal Government's failure to control our borders and curb illegal immigrants * Reimburse States for the cost of incarcerating illegal aliens * Impose an overall cap on immigration * Exclude illegal immigrants in the Census count used for reapportionment * Oppose the increase in the number of immigrants * Oppose providing a temporary stay of deportation for certain eligible immigrants. The Obama Administration has made clear their desire to bring forward immigration legislation. I will work hard to fight against amnesty and keep our borders secure." (
  • Daniel Coats. Obama's Lawsuit Against Arizona Misguided. 6 July 2010. "Dan Coats, Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, released the following statement following the official filing of a lawsuit by the federal government against Arizona's recently passed immigration law: "The Obama Administration's lawsuit against the State of Arizona is a move based purely on politics, not sound Constitutional principles. As much as Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi want to make this about legal immigration, this is about illegal immigration and Arizona has taken reasonable steps to address it. Our federal government has been asleep at the switch in curbing illegal immigration. Americans have waited too long for their government to fulfill its Constitutional responsibility to secure and protect our borders. With the crisis at our southern border continuing to grow out of control every day, Arizona was compelled to take action in order to protect their own state from the federal government's failure to lead. The Obama Administration should acknowledge this failure and allow Arizona's law to stand and take effect." (
Yes Inferred Answer International Policy Issues: Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Holland, Marianne. Coats And Ellsworth Discuss Iraq And Afganistan. 6 October 2010. "Coats, a Republican, believes withdrawal timelines in either country are a mistake. 'Anytime you put an arbitrary date on it, it's a naïve type of thinking that for political purposes sets a deadline which simply sends a signal to those who are trying to defeat all that we've done there, and just say 'wait it out' and we'll just take it over after they leave.'" (
  • Daniel Coats. Issue Position: National Security. "Terrorism is still an extremely important issue requiring a great deal of attention and focus even in the midst of economic crisis. We live in the reality that there are people out there who want to kill us, take down our country, destroy our economy, and destroy America. And they have to be dealt with, not through nice diplomacy, not through kowtowing to the world press, but simply by doing what is necessary in order to deny them the means and the access to our country. There's always been this thought that we've taken too strong of a position. If we just open up our hands and embrace our enemies, they will see the folly of their ways and their policies. That was a theoretical position of liberals. Once they got in charge of everything they tried it. And it has been a failure across the board. By attempting to take away the reasonable tools of gathering intelligence needed in the name of protecting our security, we leave ourselves open to tragic consequences. Once something happens, Americans will demand to know why we treated terrorists who want to kill us as simply criminals down the street that deserve all the rights and protections of American citizens. It is in our best interests to keep these tools in place to ensure the security of our Nation." (
  • Daniel Coats. - Playing Nice Won't Protect Us. 23 October 2010. "Our Constitution mandates the federal government protect its citizens from threats both foreign and domestic, in times of war and peace. With Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and North Korea, as well as the potential spread of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction technology, there is no shortage of national security and diplomatic challenges facing our nation today. Our engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq provides an ongoing array of serious matters that leaders must address. Iraq is now on firmer footing thanks to the valor and perseverance U.S. troops demonstrated during the surge -- the very strategy that President Obama had opposed strongly during the presidential primary campaign. But in Afghanistan, our past gains may now be in jeopardy because of the president's decision to set a date certain for withdrawal from the country, thus encouraging our enemies to hunker down, wait us out and plot a return to power. As the leader on the world stage, the United States should set the example for relations with other countries. We must stand on principle and not force our allies into strategic concessions for the tactical sake of a fleeting international public relations win. [...] This is a very different approach from that of President Obama, whom my opponent supports. This president appears to think that playing nice with bad actors around the world can convince them to change their ways. Hoosiers know better. (
Yes Inferred Answer Social Issues: Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Daniel Coats. HR 3396. 103rd Congress. To define and protect the institution of marriage. Project Vote Smart Summary: Daniel Coats voted YES on 12 July 1996. (
  • Schuman, Ben. 2008. Georgetown Law Journal: Gods & Gays: Analyzing the Same-Sex Marriage Debate from a Religious Perspective. "Senator Dan Coats said that "when we prefer traditional marriage and family in our law, it is not intolerance. Tolerance does not require us to say that all lifestyles are morally equal." (


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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