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Andy Barr's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (KY) - District 6, Republican
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Andy Barr 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

  • Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee (
  • "As a strongly pro-life father of two young girls, I consider protecting the unborn and the most vulnerable among us as one of my greatest responsibilities as a parent and legislator. In Congress, I maintain a pro-life legislative agenda that aims to enact laws protecting innocent human life and mothers." (
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

  • "We ought to certainly reduce taxes, we need to think about reducing the marginal rates making it a flatter tax. Short of the national sales tax or the fair tax, if we don't have the vote for that, we certainly need to reduce the rate, make it a flatter tax and reduce the marginal rates." (
  • "I believe the best way to grow the economy and create jobs would be to cut taxes and get the government out of the way. We should make the Bush tax cuts permanent, extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all taxpayers. We should reduce the number of tax brackets and lower marginal rates on those that remain to allow families and small businesses keep more of what they earn. Ultimately, we should abandon our needlessly complex and unfair tax code with an alternative system that promotes work, saving and investment." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "We are writing to urge the Subcommittee to maintain resources for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and fund it at $250 million. This program has been critical for state and local law enforcement in combating drug abuse in our nation's communities." (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Today, the politicians in Washington continued their reckless spending spree with a massive $26 billion bailout of the states. Taxpayers simply cannot afford this bill, which will not create a single private sector job. When will liberals in Washington stop their big government, tax and spend agenda and work to create jobs?" (
  • "The President's economic advisors warned that if Congress did not pass the $787 billion stimulus bill in February 2009, unemployment would rise above 8 percent. A full year after passage of the massive spending legislation, unemployment surpassed 10 percent – the highest in a generation. It is almost 11 percent in Kentucky.Since the stimulus bill was enacted, over 3 million jobs have been lost nationwide – and nearly 60,000 in Kentucky alone." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We need to cut taxes. The best way to prevent politicians from spending too much money is to prevent the politicians from getting the money in the first place. And so I would say, let's cut taxes at the federal level and let the American people keep more of what they earn." (
  • "I believe the best way to grow the economy and create jobs would be to cut taxes and get the government out of the way. We should make the Bush tax cuts permanent, extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all taxpayers. We should reduce the number of tax brackets and lower marginal rates on those that remain to allow families and small businesses keep more of what they earn. Ultimately, we should abandon our needlessly complex and unfair tax code with an alternative system that promotes work, saving and investment." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I supported H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for Fiscal Years 2014-2019. This legislation eliminates and consolidates more than 70 redundant or poorly functioning federal programs, saving taxpayer money. By prohibiting the Department of Education from imposing certain conditions and state standards and assessments on state and local school systems and streamlining how federal money goes to our public schools, this legislation empowers local teachers, administrators, and parents." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The 113th House of Representatives has passed several bills with my support that would facilitate domestic energy production and create thousands of jobs. These include measures that would require congressional approval of Executive Branch Agency regulations expected to have an impact of $100 million on the economy; give congressional approval to the Keystone XL pipeline that will carry oil to the United States from Canada; facilitate the creation of new hydropower projects; streamline permitting for oil and natural gas pipelines; and increase energy production on federal lands." (
  • Voted in favor of S.1 "A Bill to Approve 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

  • "I believe that the United States needs a real 'all of the above' energy strategy – one that engages our domestic energy industries as partners in an all-out effort to create jobs, lower electricity and gas prices, and achieve American energy security. This strategy must set a rational course toward sustainable and renewable energy by employing today’s proven resources as a bridge to the technologies of the future. However, any realistic approach must prioritize energy security and recognize the need for a diversity of fuel sources, including the life-improving power of fossil energy. Whether you’re a coal miner, an autoworker, a farmer, a construction worker, or the head of your household budget, odds are your livelihood is significantly impacted by the availability of affordable and reliable fuel and electricity." (
  • "Taking these steps will give entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers time to develop reliable, cost-effective and economically viable alternatives to fossil fuels, including nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Cap and trade would eliminate Kentucky's competitive advantage and result in a mass exodus of jobs to states in the Northeast, on the West Coast, and overseas. Even worse, because other industrializing nations with inferior power generation technologies such as India and China have made no similar carbon reduction commitments, cap and trade would likely increase the world's overall carbon footprint." (
  • "I have opposed at every turn the President’s Climate Action Plan that would prevent the construction of new coal plants and gradually shutter existing facilities. This would be harmful to the nation’s economy – which receives nearly 40 percent of its electricity from coal – but absolutely devastating to Kentuckians, who receive over 90 percent of their electricity from coal. The job losses in the coal fields would be just the beginning as skyrocketing electric rates ripple across the economy, adding tens of thousands of individuals to the unemployment lines." (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 93% by Gun Owners of America (
  • "I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. Responsible gun ownership constitutes a vital part of our nation’s heritage, and remains central to Americans’ ability to defend themselves and their families." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I have voted for full repeal of Obamacare and I will not stop my fight until Kentuckians are granted relief from Obamacare’s job killing, price increasing policies." (
  • "As I have traveled throughout the Sixth Congressional District, I have been very upfront about my opposition to the President’s health care law. I frequently hear from constituents that Obamacare is simply making their life more difficult and their health care more unaffordable." (
  • "If you want a Congressman who will cut wasteful spending, balance the federal budget, reduce the national debt, and repeal Obamacare, I respectfully ask for your vote." (
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

  • "I think we ought to make sure that local and state governments have that 287g authority to process the local law enforcement, basically to deputize law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law and expedite those deportation proceedings. We've gotta make sure we adequately fund our border patrol and border security." (
  • "Any effort to fix our deficient system must first start by sealing our borders and ensuring that our border security system employs 21st century technology, among other resources, to permanently stop the flow of illegal border crossings. Without this necessary reform, any new immigration legislation would be ineffective since we would soon find ourselves back in the same position with millions of undocumented immigrants flowing into our country." (
  • "Kentuckians want Congress to secure our border first and the House has already passed legislation to do that with my support. We must act to secure the border first, strengthen the immigration system and protect American citizens." (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "My Christian faith teaches me that every human being should be treated with love, dignity and respect. That same religious tradition teaches me that marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman. The people of Kentucky decided to amend our state Constitution to protect this traditional definition of marriage. Regardless of one's personal views about that decision, I believe it is inappropriate and inconsistent with the constitutionally limited role of the judiciary for the Supreme Court to deprive the people of this Commonwealth -- or of any other State -- the ability to either preserve that decision or change it for themselves through the democratic process." (
  • 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

  • "Why don't we do what our ally, Prime Minister al-Abadi, in Baghdad, wants and has asked us for, which is more U.S. air power, more U.S. special operators on the ground for better coordination of the air campaign, more funding for the Iraqi train and equip fund? We must do more to help the moderate forces, the indigenous forces on the ground, such as the Kurdish Peshmerga, to take back territory controlled by ISIL." (
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

  • "I know how important Social Security is to the seniors, survivors of deceased workers, and disabled workers who rely on it for economic security. This is why the program must be protected for current retirees, and its sustainability ensured for the future." (
  • "In protecting and strengthening Social Security for the future, we should do our best to minimize the impact of any changes made. By providing adequate advance time for America's taxpayers and future beneficiaries to prepare, any bipartisan legislative fixes can be phased-in gradually." (


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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