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Dave Brat's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (VA) - District 7, Republican
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Dave Brat 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 the National Right to Life Committee http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/152270/dave-brat/2 (votesmart.org)
  • "I was proud to cosponsor the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits late-term abortions after 20 weeks. Seeing the growing scientific evidence confirming that babies feel pain after 20 weeks of gestation in the womb, the House passed the bill today." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/974240/brat-cosponsored-pain-capable-unborn-child-protection-act-passes-house#.VYmwnXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Human life is sacred, as proclaimed by our founding documents, and I will always support laws that protect life." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886820/issue-position-uphold-human-life#.VYmwZnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R.36 "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/53364 (votesmart.org)
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, David Brat, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of Virginia 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." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/813534/americans-for-prosperity-federal-taxpayer-protection-pledge#.VYmxXHUVhHx (votesmart.org)
  • "Regardless of the wealth of those who are hit with it, this tax is just plain immoral. And it's not just the super wealthy who are affected. It's also small business owners and farmers whose wealth may not be in cash and stocks, but in the value of their land and equipment." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/971369/brat-statement-on-repealing-death-tax#.VYmxCXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must balance the federal budget by reducing spending. I will support a balanced budget amendment which will force Congress to rein in the out-of-control federal spending and restore confidence in the American economy." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886805/issue-position-fiscal-responsibility#.VYmzBHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "The House passed a budget that takes aim at fixing some of the greatest threats facing our nation -- Washington's habit of spending more than it takes in each year, our $128 trillion debt, and Obamacare's economy-suffocating costs and mandates." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/962077/rep-dave-brat-on-the-passage-of-the-house-budget#.VYmyy3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Yesterday, I voted against a highway bill that continues to take road users' fees and redistribute them to transit, bike paths, sidewalks, and other projects that don't contribute to the Highway Trust Fund. While many of these are worthy projects, they shouldn't be an excuse to underfund the highways, roads, and bridges that provide Americans with the vast majority of their mobility. I was glad to see that the House included a few reforms, however, and I hope they survive negotiations with the Senate." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1031063/rep-brat-there-is-a-better-way-to-improve-our-infrastructure (votesmart.org)
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 H.R.1105 "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/54353 (votesmart.org)
  • "This budget fulfills Republicans' pledge to voters to repeal Obamacare in its entirety -- including all of the tax increases, job-killing regulations, and mandates -- saving our nation more than $2 trillion." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/962091/statement-on-house-republican-budget-resolution#.VYrC7nUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a pledge stating, "I, David Brat, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of Virginia 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." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/813534/americans-for-prosperity-federal-taxpayer-protection-pledge#.VYmxXHUVhHx (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I am absolutely opposed to Common Core and top-down education. I’m a teacher. I’m in the classroom every day and the teachers, you have to trust your teachers." http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/15/common-core-education-standards-a-divisive-issue-i/?page=all (www.washingtontimes.com)
  • "As an economist and educator for 18 years, I understand the value of a good education. This is why I oppose top-down approaches by the federal government such as Common Core and No Child Left Behind." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886810/issue-position-education#.VYq54HUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating, "We write to urge you to bring H.R. 240 to the floor as soon as the Senate completes consideration of Keystone XL. We believe that Senate Republicans must honor the promise they made to the American people last year to stand firm against the President's lawless actions and preserve Congress' constitutional role as a lawmaking body." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/959614/letter-to-mitch-mcconnel-senate-majority-leader-bringing-hr-240-to-the-floor/?search=Keystone#.VafJ9HUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of S 1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VafIKXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No 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 support a broad-spectrum energy approach that relies on the free market. The private sector must be set free to invest in natural gas, wind, solar, oil, nuclear, and other forms of energy as we move forward. Ending our reliance on foreign oil and moving toward energy independence is vital to the future of America." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886815/issue-position-energy#.VYq833UVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "He faulted the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for placing a burden on industry and not doing much to protect the environment. He feels there needs to be a balance between more regulation on the one hand with economic competitiveness with the rest of the world on the other hand." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/926768/the-catholic-virginian-house-of-representatives-candidates-interviewed#.VYq-lHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • 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" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/54616 (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating "By setting a nationwide energy efficiency standard that precludes a consumer from choosing to install a noncondensing furnace, DOE will be forcing many homeowners either to abandon the use of natural gas to heat their homes or to pay substantially more for the installation of a furnace that meets the new standard. Each of these options will cost residents, regardless of in what part of the country they reside, thousands of dollars." http://brooks.house.gov/uploads/2015-6-8%20Congressional%20Letter%20to%20Sec.%20Moniz.pdf (brooks.house.gov)
  • "I support a broad-spectrum energy approach that relies on the free market." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886815/#.VafNPHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 86% by the National Rifle Association http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/152270/dave-brat/37 (votesmart.org)
  • "I will oppose any efforts to undermine or limit the constitutional right to bear arms." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886809/issue-position-2nd-amendment#.VYrBanUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating, "The "Framework, however, establishes an unduly restrictive standard, does not comport with the letter or spirit of the law, and will interfere with Second Amendment rights by disrupting the market for ammunition that law abiding Americans use for sporting and other legitimate purposes." http://judiciary.house.gov/_cache/files/53c0eaf3-fa56-47df-8536-2389a56dfc17/030415-atf-letter.pdf (judiciary.house.gov)
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 H.R. 596 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51284#.VYh6PHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "He said his three top priorities if elected to Congress would be 1) balancing the budget; 2) securing the border, especially now with the threat of terrorism; and 3) repealing Obamacare and "curbing excessive regulations on job creators." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/926768/the-catholic-virginian-house-of-representatives-candidates-interviewed#.VYrASXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Obamacare has proven to be an economically disastrous law and an unconstitutional power grab by our federal government. The government cannot and should not be permitted to run and regulate nearly 20% of our nation's economy. We must restore the relationship between doctor and patient. We must restore the relationship between price and service in medicine or we will continue on the Road to Serfdom. I support a plan to defund the law and replace it with free-market solutions that lower costs, improve quality, and increase access to care." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886804/issue-position-obamacare (votesmart.org)
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

  • "An open border is both a national security threat and an economic threat that our country cannot ignore. I reject any proposal that grants amnesty and undermines the fundamental rule of law." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886806/issue-position-immigration#.VYrByHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "The President's amnesty scheme is not only illegal, it is patently unconstitutional. It creates a dangerous precedent where future Presidents can ignore laws they don't agree with and expand their own power beyond its legal boundaries, threatening the very liberty of the American people." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952293/stop-obamas-executive-amnesty#.VafQr3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The United States faces an unprecedented terror threat level at home due to the continued failure to destroy Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and effectively neutralize other extremists. At a time of ongoing unrest in the Middle East, homegrown terrorists threats within the U.S., and the current crisis at our borders, keeping this nation safe, free, and prosperous is a complex undertaking. I have been and will continue to actively advance Americans' security." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1108400/issue-position-national-security/?search=Iraq (votesmart.org)
  • "A strong military is essential to the success of our nation. We must secure our borders, support the Armed Forces, both at home and abroad, and maintain a strong national defense in order to secure our country's future. In addition, I support a full investigation into the Benghazi attacks." http://votesmart.org/candidate/public-statements/152270/dave-brat/61/national-security (votesmart.org)
  • "Whether it is the NSA violating our 4th Amendment Rights by collecting phone records, the IRS violating our 1st Amendment rights by targeting conservative organizations, or President Obama violating our 5th Amendment rights with the indefinite detention of American citizens, our freedoms have been under attack and they must be restored." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/886818/issue-position-individual-freedoms#.VYmw3XUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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

  • "And it’s not just little marginal changes, right, in order to avoid those insolvency issues with Medicare and Social Security, you’re going to have to do some major cuts." http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2014/nov/02/jack-trammell/trammell-brat-says-seniors-should-get-back-what-on/ (www.politifact.com)
  • "Virginians who entrusted their hard-earned money to the Social Security trust fund must receive the benefits to which they are entitled. For younger Virginians, entitlement reform is critical in order to ensure the solvency of Medicare and Social Security." http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2014/nov/02/jack-trammell/trammell-brat-says-seniors-should-get-back-what-on/ (www.politifact.com)

Key

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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