Senator Richard Burr's Political Positions

Office: U.S. Senate (NC) - Sr, Republican
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Richard Burr 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?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

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 are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by the National Right to Life Committee (
  • "Today, I joined Senator Wicker (R-MS) in introducing the Life at Conception Act, a bill that defines life as beginning at conception, ensuring constitutional protections to the most vulnerable members of our society -- the unborn." (
  • Voted in favor of S.3. "Prohibit Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion bill" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a pledge stating to "[…] oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses [...]" (
  • "[…] by eliminating the holes in our tax code, we would be able to lower rates for everybody, easing the burden on families, small business and our economy." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth." (
  • "I am proud to join with my colleagues in taking the necessary steps to control federal spending and reduced our debt." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In order to turn around our economy we must empower individuals, families, and small business, not expand the size of government and increase taxes." (
  • "We need to simplify the tax code, eliminate tax loopholes, and lower rates so that small businesses can grow and families get a break. Raising taxes - on anyone - will not address the deep, fundamental problems in our tax system." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "[...] it has been proven that a one-size-fits-all approach handed down from the federal government does not work." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Keystone Pipeline -- beyond creating thousands of shovel-ready jobs - would invest billions of dollars into our economy and would also improve our energy security at a time of unrest abroad." (
  • Voted in favor of S.1. "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I believe our nation must become more self-reliant by boosting domestic supplies of traditional energy sources like oil while encouraging development of new energy efficient technologies and renewable sources of energy." (
  • "[...] I believe it is in our interest to develop new, efficient technologies for renewable sources of energy and to use American supplies of traditional sources of energy. To work on this, the federal government will need to provide incentives for investment in conventional sources of energy and also help research and develop new sources." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a pledge stating "I, Senator Richard Burr, pledge to the taxpayers of the State of North Carolina and to the American people that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue." (
  • Think Progress "While the figures vary, it is clear this massive new federal bureaucracy would lead to higher energy costs for North Carolina families and businesses with little measurable benefit for the environment." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 0% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "Richard believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Obamacare is a failure and I will continue to advocate to repeal and replace it because I believe there are better alternatives that will fulfill the promise to lower health care costs and empower patients in their health care decisions--what Obamacare fundamentally fails to do." (
  • "Defunding and repealing Obamacare is smart, and is a worthy objective." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The immigration reform package in the Senate addresses increased border security, but also rewards those who have broken the law by granting them a direct path to citizenship. It allows current illegal immigrants to receive the full array of federal benefits […]" (
  • "Tonight the President announced his intention to pursue amnesty for illegal immigrants through executive action. This decision, counter to his own statements over the last few years, represents the very height of Presidential arrogance and signifies a dangerous shift from a nation of laws to a nation of men." (
  • "The DREAM Act would reward those who have broken our immigration laws with citizenship and tuition benefits." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "My personal opinion is that it's between a man and a woman, but my role is not to influence what people believe in the state I live in or what the state does that I live in." (
  • "Traditional marriage is a core value that has strengthened our nation, and it is a value that is protected by federal law." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We are still very much in the counterterrorism business, and as long as there are threats around the world, we will continue to be involved in that [...]" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? "Yes" (


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

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North Carolina Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

Pro-lifeCandidate Answera) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Nob) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Yese) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles

I oppose abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is threatened. Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund abortions.

1) Spending

Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.

Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Slightly Decreaseb) Arts
Maintain Statusc) Defense
Slightly Increase1) Intelligence operations
Slightly Increase2) Military hardware
Slightly Increase3) National missile defense
Slightly Increase4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Maintain Status5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status6) Research and development of new weapons
Maintain Statusd) Education
Maintain Statuse) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland security
Greatly Decreaseg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical research
Maintain Statusi) Scientific research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Greatly Decreasek) United Nations
Slightly Decreasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

I believe we need to end automatic pay raises for members of congress and cut the congressional budget.

2) Taxes

Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.

Slightly Decreasea) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decreased) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Decreaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories

I believe our tax code is in need of fundamental reform.

YesCandidate Answer3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
Yes4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
NoCandidate Answer5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
6) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
Yesb) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Noc) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yesd) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
e) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles

I believe Americans should have the right to choose whether they personally would like to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in a personal account. This should be voluntary.

I oppose card check legislation.

Noa) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yesb) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Noc) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Nod) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yese) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Yesf) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yesb) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yesc) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
Nod) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
Yese) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Nob) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
Yesd) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yese) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Nob) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Noc) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yesd) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
Yese) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yesf) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
Yesg) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles

I have introduced legislation, the Next Generation Energy Security Act (S.3535), that will move our country forward in using cleaner, domestic energy (natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, etc.), but without imposing new taxes or "cap and trade" which would make energy more expensive for families and businesses. We need to invest in cleaner energy sources at home to reduce our dependence on foreign sources and end the massive wealth transfers that send so many of our energy dollars overseas.

YesCandidate Answera) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
Yesc) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Nod) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles

I believe the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right of law-abiding citizens.

NoCandidate Answera) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yesc) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
Yesd) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Noe) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Yesb) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
Yesc) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
Yesd) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
Yesb) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesc) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesd) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yese) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yesf) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesg) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yesh) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Yesi) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles

I would oppose any trade agreement that is a raw deal for North Carolina workers and businesses.

YesCandidate Answera) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Nob) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Noc) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
d) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

I believe there are three issues that are critical to restoring America's prosperity - creating jobs through pro-growth policies, tackling our national debt by cutting government spending, and fighting the threat of terrorism. These three core issues will continue to guide and drive my work in the United States Senate.

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