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Mike Lee's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (UT) - Jr, Republican
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Mike Lee 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.36 "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" (
  • "Yesterday I introduced legislation to end the practice of late-term abortion in Washington, DC, after 20 weeks, the point at which science tells us unborn children can feel pain, in light of the chilling details coming in from Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and various abortion clinics around the country that late-term abortions on pain-capable, unborn children are an important issue we need to debate." (
  • Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee (
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 a pledge stating "I, Michael Lee, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of Utah, 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." (
  • "Republicans have proposals and plans to reform the tax code, reduce the deficit, grow the economy, and create jobs. I have legislation that would permanently keep tax rates at their current levels so families and businesses know what to expect. It would also eliminate the death tax and stop the expansion of the 'alternative minimum tax, which is quickly becoming the 'middle-class penalty tax.'" (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Washington Post "This is where the Lee bill […] goes further. It includes a provision to decrease certain drug-related mandatory minimum sentences by half — a change Urban calls 'monumental,' with savings of 240,000 bed-years over a decade." (
  • "The SSA will give judges the flexibility and discretion they need to impose stiff sentences on the most serious drug lords and cartel bosses, while enabling nonviolent offenders to return more quickly to their families and communities." (
  • "Mandatory sentences, particularly drug sentences, can force a judge to impose a one-size-fits-all sentence without taking into account the details of an individual case. Many of these sentences have disproportionately affected minority populations and helped foster distrust of the criminal justice system." (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We've had more than $5 trillion added to the national debt under President Obama. Unemployment has exceeded 8% for 41 consecutive months. Nearly 13 million people are out of work. Millions more are underemployed or have quit looking for jobs.." (
  • "The President promised 3 years ago that the stimulus would create what he characterized as millions of jobs. But today, unfortunately, devastatingly, there are nearly 13 million people in America who are still unemployed and many millions more have even given up on looking for jobs." (
  • "Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution provides that Congress controls the purse strings, which means that we in Congress are accountable. The responsibility falls on the House and Senate -- not the American people – to reform the system, enact hard caps on future spending, and balance the federal budget." (
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 S. Amdt 2573 "Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2012" (
  • "The current tax code taxes too much, taxes unfairly, and conspires with our outmoded welfare system to trap poor families in poverty, rather than facilitate their climb into the middle class. Our reforms seek to simplify the structure and lower rates." (
  • "In short, the Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act would restore opportunities to working parents and their children to pursue happiness that right now federal policy unfairly denies them [...]" (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The federal government is currently too involved in making decisions regarding our public schools, yet are too far removed from the communities directly impacted by such decisions. Tax dollars should be returned to the states where they can be distributed most effectively." (
  • "Decisions regarding the education of our children are best made at the local level. Teachers, parents and other experts close to the community better understand the specific needs of students and are better equipped to make critical decisions pertaining to the classroom." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of S. 1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
  • "President Obama is kowtowing to the most extreme elements of the environmentalist movement by blocking the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and he has the audacity to do so while calling Congress ‘obstructionist.’ It is time for America to reject the president’s failed economic policies and embrace proven methods of job creation, and this bill is a step in the right direction." (
  • "Even today, members of the President's own party are lining up against him to oppose his tone-deaf decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline. This project would create 20,000 American jobs, it would inject much needed private sector capital into our economy, and it would increase the country's energy security, but the President has chosen to block the project as an election-year nod to his friends in the extreme leftwing of the environmentalist movement." (
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

  • "To ensure that we have an adequate supply of clean, reliable energy, we need to develop all available energy resources. No single source will prove sufficient; we need to rely on nuclear power, clean coal, petroleum oil, natural gas, oil shale, solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power." (
  • "The good ideas are not limited to fossil fuels. The Utilizing America's Federal Lands for Wind Energy Act (H.R. 2172) would streamline the application process for renewable energy projects on federal property. The Exploring for Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act (S. 1470/H.R. 2171) would do the same for various proposed geothermal projects. These bills, and others, can be part of a permanent solution to our nation's energy dependence problems." (
  • "Congress needs to authorize oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ('ANWR'). Congress also needs to direct the U.S. Department of the Interior to promulgate its long-awaited oil shale leasing program, which has the potential to unlock hundreds of billions of barrels of shale oil." (
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 letter stating "We are contacting you regarding our concerns about the EPA's announced listening tour on developing new carbon limit regulations for existing coal fired power plants. […] As your regulations will likely have a significant negative impact on the use and development of coal, and the livelihoods and energy bills for folks across rural America, it only makes sense that you should actually go to the areas that will be most impacted by your policies." (
  • "While we all agree that clean air is vitally important, EPA has an obligation to understand the impacts that regulations have on all segments of society. As one step toward fulfilling this obligation, we urge you to provide for a comment period of at least 120 days on the forthcoming performance standards for existing coal-based power plants." (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we all wanted to find answers that would reduce crime and prevent the next senseless act of violence. Unfortunately, the Senate did not consider any proposals that would achieve these objectives. Instead, the primary effect of most of the bills we voted on today, including the expansion of background checks, was to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens." (
  • Rated 0% by the National Rifle Association (
  • "The second amendment protects the individual right to bear arms. I will vigorously oppose any effort to undermine this right." (
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 S. Amdt 30 "To Prohibit the Use of Funds to Carry Out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (
  • "Mr. President, the President of the United States promised: If you like your plan, you can keep it. We all know now that simply wasn't true. Though many of us have been saying this for years, many Americans, including many in my State, are realizing the pain of the President's false statement." (
  • "First and foremost, we must work to defund and repeal Obamacare." (
Yes 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

  • Voted in favor of S.Amdt.1197 "Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border" (
  • Signed a letter stating "We write to express our alarm with President Obama's announced intention to take unilateral executive action by the end of this year to lawlessly grant amnesty to immigrants who have entered the country illegally." (
  • "First, we must end the practice of birthright citizenship. I have sponsored legislation that would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to do that. Second, we must strengthen our borders and enforce the law to discourage individuals from coming here illegally. I have cosponsored the E-Verify Act which would ensure business are not employing illegal labor." (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Marriage is, and always will be, the basic unit of human community and civilization. And we have thousands of years worth of compelling reasons to protect it in law. Traditional marriage is not a threat to freedom and equality, but a bulwark of them." (
  • "I am disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision today regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. I believe that Act was a reasonable, constitutional exercise of the federal government's power to determine the proper application of federal benefits." (
  • Rated 0% by the Human Rights Campaign (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Three months ago we had a discussion, we had a vote and there were a few of us who voted against the Patriot Act. We voted against it because we love America, because we believe in constitutional limited government, because we want to make it better, we want to make this something that can, at the same time, protect Americans but without needlessly trampling on privacy interests, including many of those privacy interests protected by the fourth amendment." (
  • "The use of military force is the most serious exercise of our national sovereignty, and it should not be taken without support of Congress and the American people. Using it in Syria for the sake of credibility is not a strong enough reason to intervene." (
Yes Inferred 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

  • "When the government tied Social Security benefits to Medicare, it limited the freedom of America's seniors to make certain retirement choices. The Retirement Freedom Act will correct that issue and allow Americans to decide for themselves how best to prepare for retirement without government interference." (
  • "Our proposal addresses the coming Social Security deficit in a responsible way without raising taxes. These ideas should be part of the larger debate over entitlement reform that we will have in the coming months." (
  • Rated 8% by Alliance for Retired Americans (


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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