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Thad Cochran's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (MS) - Sr, Republican
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Thad Cochran has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Thad Cochran is still welcome to submit the test at any time.

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 2014, 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

  • "Thad is pro-life and helped launch the Hyde Amendment to bar the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions. Thad also cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act in 2011. He is a co-sponsor of a bill that would require every health plan offered on an Obamacare insurance exchange to disclose any coverage of abortion in the plan's marketing and advertising materials. The National Right to Life Committee strongly supports this legislation and gives Thad a 100% rating for voting to protect unborn children." (
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

  • "Our nation is muddling through a period of sustained economic weakness that will not be improved by increasing taxes. All taxpayers deserve the certainty of knowing that their tax bill from the federal government will not soon increase, especially small business owners, farmers and investors that are important to job creation and economic growth," Cochran said.Cochran voted for the Republican measure (S.3413), which was stalled on a 45-54 vote. The Senator subsequently voted against the Democratic tax hike proposal (S.3412), which passed on a 51-48 tally." (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Thad believes we must get spending under control, which is why he has repeatedly co-sponsored a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Thad voted against President Obama's $838 billion stimulus bill, and supported the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, requiring the President to provide a detailed report for spending reductions. He supported the Budget Control Act of 2011, which resulted in the first significant reduction in discretionary spending in generations. He continues to oppose Obama bailouts, demonstrated by his support for legislation like the Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Thad has always opposed federal mandates for particular curricula and believes decisions about educating Mississippi's children should be made by Mississippians, not the federal government. That's why he has authored legislation to prevent the federal government from forcing Mississippi to adopt specific curricula, including Common Core." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "He is staunchly opposed to a "carbon tax" and sees it as a sure job killer, particularly in states like Mississippi that are growing manufacturing jobs. Thad has supported legislation to block EPA overregulation of American industry and energy providers. " (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The National Rifle Association gives Thad an "A+" rating. Thad believes that the Second Amendment right of the American people to keep and bear arms is not negotiable. He has countered all efforts to erode this bedrock, constitutional right, supporting legislation and legal challenges to protect that right, and opposing efforts such as the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty which threaten it. The right to arm was so important to the Founders of our nation that they enshrined it in our Bill of Rights. Thad believes that government interference in this basic American protection undermines the foundation of freedom on which our great nation was built." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Thad continues to fight against Obamacare. He has voted to oppose, defund or repeal Obamacare's overreach 102 times on the Senate." (
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "However, as a member and first chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that secures our borders, Thad knows better than almost anyone that before solving the nation's border security or law enforcement problems, we must not consider a path toward citizenship for those here illegally. " (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Thad also is a cosponsor of the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, which would bar the federal government from discriminating against individuals and organizations based upon their faith-founded belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In addition, Senator Cochran is dedicated to programs and policies that will protect the United States homeland from domestic and foreign terrorist threats." (
  • "Thad Cochran's Appropriations subcommittee approved the funds necessary for the specific training, equipment, and simulative environments necessary for mission success in the apprehension of Bin Laden." (
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

  • "U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced his support for legislation that would allow seniors to decline Medicare Part A without the threat of losing their Social Security retirement benefits.Cochran has agreed to cosponsor the Retirement Freedom Act (S.1317), which would overturn regulations that now automatically force seniors to forfeit Social Security benefits if they choose to pay for private health care insurance rather than enroll in the voluntary Medicare Part A hospital insurance program."I believe this issue is a matter of fairness. The Social Security and Medicare programs are by law both voluntary and independent programs. They shouldn't be linked in a manner that penalizes those who choose to use private health care instead of drawing from Medicare," Cochran said.The legislation, introduced by Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), would allow seniors who choose a private health plan to receive Social Security benefits by eliminating a Social Security-Medicare link established in regulations by the Social Security Administration. It would also allow seniors to opt back into the Medicare system without penalty, following guidelines set by the Secretary of Health and Human Services." (


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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