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Sean Duffy's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (WI) - District 7, Republican
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Sean Duffy 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, 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 (
  • "Pro-life: I believe in the value and the potential of every human life. I will vigorously defend the right to life of the unborn and our elderly, and I will actively support policies that offer women nonviolent choices and opportunities when faced with a crisis pregnancy." (
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

  • "Let's carve them all back in. Let's reduce the complexity of the Tax Code, bring all these people back in and make them, yes, pay their fair share. What we've said that we can do is take the top rate from 35 percent and bring it down to 25 percent, and then the other rates down to 10 percent." (
  • "Many times politicians raise taxes, not knowing the full impact that those increases have on jobs. Whether it is an income tax increase or a new fee hike, every dollar taken out of the economy and given to government is another dollar that is not going to create a private-sector job." (
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, 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

  • "For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we have to act now to balance our budget. For too long, Washington has promised cuts and fiscal responsibility while only spending more of our money. I was sent here to put the brakes on this out of control spending, and that starts with a Balanced Budget Amendment." (
  • "The consequences of government spending for bailouts, budget increases, bloated entitlements, and 'stimulus' spending will be staggering and unsustainable debt that will act as a dead weight around the neck of our economy and our children's economic future." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "By cutting taxes on families and small businesses, we can reduce their costs and help jumpstart our economy." (
  • "While President Obama and the Senate Democrats push for even higher taxes that won't create a single job, or help a single business, the House is passing pro-growth tax cuts for small businesses that encourage job creation, economic growth, and re-investment." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I believe that local school districts and States know best how to teach our children and I will work to ensure that schools have the flexibility they need to teach the next generation." (
  • "I think 'No Child' created a lot of mandates and no funding." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "With the decision from the Nebraska Supreme Court this morning, every obstacle that the President has claimed was preventing him from approving the Keystone XL has been cleared. Wisconsinites and the American people want the pipeline and they want the new American Congress to lead." (
  • "This week the House will vote on the Senate's version of a bill to (yet again) approve the Keystone XL pipeline. […] If the pipeline had gone through a reasonable approval timeline, it would have been completed two to three years ago. Enough with the games, Mr. President, it's time to build." (
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

  • "Our nation's dependence on foreign oil and an aging infrastructure is almost as crippling to national security as are long-term debt obligations. The country needs to make responsible investments in our infrastructure and utilize and 'all-of-the-above' approach to energy policy that includes developing new alternative energy technologies while expanding our domestic oil and natural gas production." (
  • "As the President blocks common sense policies to pursue his 'alternative energy only' plan, I believe we need an 'all of the above' energy policy. I'm proud that Congress and the private sector will continue to work together to pursue policies that will lower energy costs, create jobs, and make us an energy independent nation." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "We are alarmed by the Department of Energy's abrupt decision to reverse course and withdraw a proposed waiver from new energy efficiency standards for water heaters used as part of utility demand response programs which will adversely affect our constituents." (
  • Signed a letter stating "We are writing to request a sixty day extension of the comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule titled Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units […] As you know, the EPA's actions have far-reaching implications, and this proposed rule affects not only coal and natural gas companies bu also energy-intensive industries like manufacturing and construction as well as average American families trying to pay their electric bills." (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 80% by Gun Owners of America (
  • "Pro-Second Amendment: Hunting and gun ownership is part of the Wisconsin way of life. Sean will always protect and defend our Constitutional right to bear arms. Sean has a 100 percent rating from the NRA." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We all agree that Health Care reform is necessary in this country, but I believe that we should work to replace Obamacare with a consumer-based approach that uses market reforms to make health care affordable again." (
  • "I hope that my friends across the aisle wills start to talk about ObamaCare and how we fix it to make it work for the American people, because right now it is not working." (
  • "Mr. Speaker, there are a number of reasons why we should all vote to repeal ObamaCare: the tax increases on middle class Americans and the debt that is going to be piled onto the next generation of Americans." (
No 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

  • "But what I do think we have to say is if you've come here and you've participated in our economy, we can offer some kind of legal status, a legal status that isn't citizenship, but it's a legal status that says we're not going to arrest you in the middle of the night. We're not going to separate you from your grandparents or your kids. You can stay in our country because the border is secure." (
  • "All of us have those stories. My parents, my great-grandparents came from Ireland. We all have the story of an immigrant. I'm here to say, let's open our hearts. Let's open our minds. Let's have a real discussion that works. But let's also first say secure the border so we don't deal with this again, and then let's do what's right by way of folks who come here and want their shot at the American Dream." (
  • Huffington Post "Most people come here to work. Most are Hispanics and work at tough jobs. We can't send 11 million people back home. We should put them on a path to citizenship." (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 0% by the Human Rights Campaign (
  • "I believe in the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. I voted for the 2006 Wisconsin amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman and I do not favor any government-sanctioned union/arrangement that looks like traditional marriage." (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While much progress has been made dismantling Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the mission of destroying Al Qaeda and keeping America safe can now be accomplished with targeted missions user smaller special-forces units and advanced technology. It's time for the Afghan armed forces to assume security responsibility for their country." (
  • Signed a letter stating "Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution." (
No 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

  • "We must ensure the solvency of Social Security […] Before expanding entitlement programs, the government ought to figure out how to ensure the solvency of the senior programs it has already committed to funding. It's just plain wrong to put our seniors' health and financial security at risk." (
  • Polifact "I have not and will not endorse privatizing Social Security because I don't believe it is the solution to making Social Security solvent." (


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 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.

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. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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