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James Lankford's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (OK) - Jr, Republican
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James Lankford 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

  • "In one of my first speeches in Congress, I pleaded with the nation to stand with me to recognize the right to life for every child. I continue to fight for the most basic human right, life." (
  • Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee (
  • "I'm proud to stand with Senator Lindsey Graham as a co-sponsor of the 'Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.' This act will protect an unborn child who is 20 weeks or older from abortion in most cases since research has made clear the child can feel pain." (
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

  • "The tax code has also become a vehicle for taking money from one group and giving it to another in the name of 'job creation.' That is not job creation; that is redistribution of wealth." (
  • "[…] let's make our Tax Code as neutral as we possibly can. What can we do to make it simple, neutral, straightforward, so that whether you're an American that makes $20,000 a year or whether you're an American that makes $2 million a year, you feel like it's fair to you, there's not some sense of somebody else gets more benefits than I do out of this Code." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I look forward to continuing my work with the House Budget Committee this spring to work through the budget process for FY15. We must return to the real budget and appropriations process to protect future generations from the mounting national debt due to deficit spending that ignores federal waste." (
  • "To be clear, the debt problem is a spending problem, not a tax problem. Tax receipts are the highest ever. But, the federal government wastes billions of hardworking taxpayer dollars in unnecessary programs, indiscriminate foreign aid and horrible financial management." (
  • "Now, in 2009, this Congress passed an almost trillion-dollar stimulus bill where they took money from each other as Americans and tried to redistribute it to say it would fix the economy. Actually, what it did was it skyrocketed our debt, and we will be paying for it for generations." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We should not increase tax rates, we should eliminate the wasteful spending in government. We should also create more tax payers, not more taxes." (
  • "While we're all required to pay taxes, my duty as your Representatives should prioritize protecting my neighbors and fellow taxpayers from mismanagement, waste and fraud. My job should focus on saving tax-payer money, more than spending tax-payer money." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Parents, local districts and states should set education policy. I would think that's something we should agree on, not a massively centralized, controlled bureaucracy." (
  • "The curriculum and standards in each public school should be determined by the local districts and the state of Oklahoma, not a national body. While some suggest that the 'Common Core' is only a testing standard, those in the classroom can tell you that the subjects on the test are also the subjects of the curriculum." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Keystone XL pipeline infrastructure project would infuse billions of dollars into our economy and it would support thousands of good-paying American jobs, all in an environmentally responsible way." (
  • Voted in support of S1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While we rely on these traditional resources, we must open doors to increasing private research and development for renewable and alternative energy such as wind, solar, nuclear, and biofuels. Diversifying supplies as well as increasing conservation efforts are key components to a comprehensive energy plan." (
  • "We cannot penalize traditional energy sources while we wait more than 20 years for sufficient quantities of alternative energy sources to come online, yet the EPA seems to think that depriving American oil and natural gas producers of jobs and more capital will somehow help power our cars and heat our homes." (
  • "Wind, geothermal, solar, and hydroelectric all show great promise for the distant future, but right now all of them combined can provide only a tiny fraction of our energy needs. We must explore, develop and transport all forms of American energy in a safe and efficient way for all Americans." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I, James Lankford, pledge to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma to the American people that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue." (
  • Rated 20% by Environment America (
  • Signed a letter stating "[…] Madame Administrator, we believe this carbon dioxide regulation - whose implementation is legally questionable at best - would do untold harm to the American people and our economy for decades to come." (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The rights of citizens to buy, sell and trade their guns is no different than their right to buy sell and trade any other legal possession. Those who would work to take away that right must hear loud and clear that 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'" (
  • Rated 0% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "As a staunch Second Amendment advocate, I remain committed to the principle that any federal proposals must be constitutionally consistent and work to solve the societal problems we face." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In January of 2011, I voted to repeal ObamaCare. It was one of the first votes I took as a new member of Congress. More than 40 times in the past three years I have voted to repeal, replace or delay the Obamacare law […]" (
  • "We must replace Obamacare with more healthy options for you and our economy. Now is the time to put decisions back in the hands of doctors and patients where they belong." (
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

  • "Immigration is not about race or poverty, it is about the rule of law and a commitment to respect each person as created in the image of God. But, amnesty should be prohibited and each person must be held accountable for their actions." (
  • "As long as our border remains unsecured and President Obama refuses to enforce existing laws, we will not have a willing partner to fix our broken legal immigration system, prevent illegal immigration or prosecute individuals who come here illegally in the future." (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We are and always have been a nation of families. In America two adults are free to live any lifestyle they choose, but marriage has always been a man and a woman committed for life to each other […]" (
  • "We can encourage a culture that respects natural marriage, life for children and an opportunity for everyone." (
  • "I spoke today on the Supreme Court steps to defend the right of Oklahoma to maintain natural marriage." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • CNN "Well, we need to get rid of ISIS. There's not an issue on that. That's clear. They're a rising power." (
  • The Diplomat "[w]e are in a war with individuals who are hiding with civilians. [The administration] does an extremely good job of trying to check and recheck their systems, and when they do a strike, it is not flippant. They are very, very efficient and very, very careful." (
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

  • Rated 0% 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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