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Pat Roberts' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (KS) - Sr, Republican
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Pat Roberts has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests.

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 2014, 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

  • As my record clearly shows, I oppose abortion on demand and the federal funding of abortions. (
  • "Americans have a right to know if a plan they are purchasing covers abortion," Roberts said. "Millions of pro-life Americans oppose the use of their money to cover abortion services, but as current law is written, it is difficult to obtain information about which exchange plans provide such services. My bill further requires this information to be prominently disclosed so consumers can make informed, values-based decisions." (
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

  • "Pat Roberts doesn't believe Americans should be taxed more -- he believes the federal government should spend less! He supports the Fair Tax and other efforts to simplify the tax system to encourage economic growth and job creation. He wants Kansas families to keep more of the money they earn" (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Pat Roberts not only wants to cut bloated federal spending, he has introduced and passed bills that save the taxpayer billions of dollars. He has fought against out-of-control government spending by repeatedly voting against corporate bailouts and stimulus plans. Roberts is a long-time champion for a balanced budget amendment." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "'Setting high standards for our schools, our teachers and our children is the right thing to do, but those standards should be decided in Kansas, without bribes or mandates from Washington,' Senator Roberts said. 'We need to get the federal government out of the classroom, and return community decisions back to where they belong - in the community.'" (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • I want to express my deep disappointment in this administration's repeated delay of the final approval of the Keystone Pipeline. (
  • He supports construction of the Keystone Pipeline and the development of wind and renewable fuels to increase affordable domestic energy production. (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Agriculture--what? the three horsemen of the regulatory apocalypse--have proposed a rule that after careful review and study we believe would allow the EPA to further expand its control of private property--control of private property--under the guise of the Clean Water Act." (
  • "A carbon tax would be a new tax burden added to commodities that are already over-taxed. The folks trying to sell this idea will spend a lot of time talking about how the revenues from this tax can be offset by reducing other taxes. That is nonsense. Proposed as a small tax, it would be hidden in a way that would make it easy to raise over time, like nearly every other tax.A carbon tax would be a hardship for consumers and disastrous for the economy, but don't be surprised if this new tax proposal gets a lot of attention in coming months. As a senior member on the Senate Finance Committee, I will fight this idea at every turn." (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • I am a strong supporter of congressional efforts to preserve our Second Amendment right to bear arms. Furthermore, I am opposed to actions that infringe on those rights and do not effectively reduce crime and violence. Rather than chipping away at fundamental liberties backed by the Constitution, firearm laws should only be enacted with the intent to punish criminal activity. (
  • "I will fight proposals in the Senate that threaten our 2nd Amendment rights and fail to take real action to curb a culture of gun violence in America. I fully support enforcing the gun laws currently on the books instead of creating new ones that erode basic rights of self-protection. It has been statistically proven that passing gun legislation has no effect on removing guns from the hands of criminals. In the end, it is law-abiding citizens who are punished by gun control." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Given the widely-held belief by the American people that the Affordable Care Act will not fulfill its promises and will result in higher costs for American families, we implore you to listen to the American people. This law is unworkable and harmful to the economy and to American families, and your actions to delay the employer mandate are an acknowledgement of this fact. (
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted Yea - S Amdt 4214 - National Guard Deployment on Southern U.S. Land Border - Key Vote (
  • Voted Yea S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Key Vote (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Along this line, I was a cosponsor of the Marriage Protection Act during the 109th Congress. The resolution proposed to amend the Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. I supported the amendment because I believe it is wrong for a select minority to impose their definition of marriage on the nation, as we have witnessed through the actions of some state supreme courts.Kansas adheres to a longstanding policy that does not recognize same sex marriages. That policy was confirmed in April 2005 when seventy percent of Kansans voted overwhelmingly in favor to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. I continue to support efforts that preserve the institution of marriage as a cornerstone of our society." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Tonight, the President finally recognized the grave and serious threat posed by ISIS. The President laid out his plan to address this threat; however, President Obama's strategy remains much too vague and leans far too heavily on foreign partners. I am deeply concerned that the President's plan is focused on the long-term solution and fails to address the immediate need to stop ISIS in its tracks and turn back its cancerous spread throughout the region. ISIS remains a threat to the Middle East, to global security, and to the homeland, and I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Senate and our military leaders to eliminate the terrorist group, ISIS." (
  • "Clearly, our nation faces a new kind of threat in the War on Terrorism. The oceans no longer protect us. We know that terrorists continue to plan attacks against the United States and other civilized societies. I believe that through a strong foreign policy and firm commitment to the basic rights of all people, we will overcome those that use violence and intimidation to threaten our way of life. I believe through principled engagement with all nations, the United States creates opportunities to address current threats and their root causes, thereby improving our security and prosperity." (
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

  • "Social Security is an important component of American workers' retirement planning and also serves as a vital safety net for individuals with disabilities and those surviving families of workers who have passed away. During my service in Congress, I have fought hard to protect and strengthen both Social Security and Medicare for generations to come." (


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.

Congressional Election 1996 National Political Awareness 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.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate all principles you support concerning abortion.
a) Abortions should always be legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal in all circumstances as long as the procedure is completed within the first trimester of pregnancy.
Xc) Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape or when the life of the woman is endangered.
d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and notification requirements as decided by each state government.
f) Abortions should always be illegal.
g) Other
Indicate your position concerning affirmative action programs.
a) The federal government should consider preferences to minority-owned businesses in granting government contracts.
b) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the public sector.
c) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the private sector.
d) The federal government should provide affirmative actions programs as long as such programs do not include quotas.
e) The federal government should not provide any affirmative action programs.
f) Other
YesDo you support amending the US Constitution to require an annual balanced federal budget?
1) Indicate what changes you support (if any) concerning levels of federal funding for the following categories. Select one number only.
Maintain Statusa) AIDS Programs
Slightly Decreaseb) Arts funding
Maintain Statusc) Education (K-12)
Slightly Decreased) Environmental programs
Greatly Decreasee) Housing projects
Slightly Increasef) Job training programs
Slightly Increaseg) Law enforcement
Maintain Statush) Medicaid
Maintain Statusi) Medicare
Slightly Decreasej) NASA
Maintain Statusk) Student loan programs
Greatly Decreasel) Welfare (AFDC)
m) Other
n) Other
o) Other
2) Do you support the use of block grants given to states, rather than federal spending, in the following areas?
Noa) Agriculture
Yesb) Education
Noc) Farm subsidies
Nod) Food stamps
Yese) Law enforcement
Yesf) Medicaid
Nog) Medicare
Yesh) School lunches
Yesi) Welfare
j) Other
Indicate which principles you support regarding campaign finance reform.
a) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
b) Establish spending limits on congressional campaigns and provide public funding for complying candidates.
Xc) Support legislation that would increase the federal limits on individual contributions.
Xd) Pass legislation that would encourage full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information.
e) Remove all legislative limits on campaign financing.
f) Other
Indicate which principles you support to address crime.
Xa) Broaden use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Increase spending to build more federal prisons.
Xc) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
Xd) Support the use of "boot camps" as alternative sentencing for adult first-time felons.
Xe) Limit the number of appeals allowed to inmates on death row.
Xf) Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
g) Expand funding for community policing programs.
Xh) Increase penalties for the possession of any illegal firearms.
Xi) Prosecute youths accused of murder as adults.
j) Increase funding for local Boys & Girls Clubs and other independent organizations in communities with at-risk youth.
k) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xl) Deport all permanent resident aliens convicted of a felony.
m) Other
Indicate what changes you support (if any) regarding funding for the following categories. Select one number only.
Maintain Status1) CIA appropriations
Maintain Status2) Defense plant conversion
Slightly Increase3) Military hardware
Slightly Decrease4) Military space shuttle missions
Slightly Increase5) Pay for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase6) Development of new weapons
Slightly Increase7) Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
Slightly Increase8) Armed Forces personnel training
9) Other
Yes1) Do you support amending the United States Constitution to allow voluntary prayer and/or moment of silence in public schools?
No2) Do you support funding the National Service Program (Ameri-Corps) in which young people receive money from the federal government for college in return for performing community service?
3) Indicate which principles you support concerning education.
a) Maintain the national standards and goals set forth in "Goals 2000".
b) Provide parents with vouchers to send their children to any publicly funded school.
c) Provide parents with vouchers to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
d) Implement charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
Xe) Eliminate the Department of Education, thereby giving state and local government greater control over educational issues.
f) Other
Indicate which principles or programs you support regarding America's environment and natural resources.
a) Transfer public lands, such as federal forests and range lands, to the jurisdiction of state and local governments.
Xb) Require the federal government to reimburse citizens when environmental regulations limit use of privately owned lands.
c) Strengthen the Clean Water Act.
Xd) Change the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to limit the number of habitats eligible to be designated as endangered.
Xe) Utilize cost-benefit analysis to determine economic impacts of proposed environmental protection and cleanup legislation.
f) Increase fees charged to ranchers who graze cattle on federal lands.
g) Revise the 1872 mining law to increase the amounts charged to mining companies using federal lands.
Xh) Encourage development of alternative fuels and electric cars to reduce pollution.
i) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel powered engines, including cars and trucks.
j) Increase federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels to promote conservation and alternative fuel development.
k) Require that a percentage of purchases made by federal agencies include recycled components.
l) Promote the selling of pollution credits to encourage industries to decrease amount of pollution.
m) Other
Indicate which level of government should have primary responsibility for the following services. Select one level only.
Federal1) Border security
State2) Civil rights enforcement
State3) Education
State4) Environmental cleanup
Federal5) Job training
Local6) Law enforcement
State7) Low-income housing
State8) Medicaid
Federal9) Medicare
State10) Welfare (AFDC)
11) Other
No1) Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba?
Yes2) Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Vietnam?
3) Should the US recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?
Yes4) Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty?
No5) Should the US continue funding for Radio Marti and TV Marti?
Yes6) Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Asia?
No7) Do you support the deployment of US troops to the former Yugoslavia?
8) Indicate your position concerning economic aid to Russia and the former Soviet republics.
a) Economic aid to Russia and the former republics should be increased to facilitate democracy and market reforms.
Xb) Economic aid to Russia and the former republics should be continued unless Russia exports nuclear weapons or related technology.
c) Economic aid to Russia and the former republics should be decreased and/or eliminated.
d) Other
9) Indicate which principles you support regarding US economic aid to foreign countries.
a) Foreign aid should only be given when extraordinary circumstances and disaster threaten the lives of civilian populations.
Xb) Foreign aid should be given to countries only when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Foreign aid should be eliminated from any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) Foreign aid should be maintained at current levels.
e) Other
10) Indicate which principles you support regarding the United States - United Nations relationship.
a) The US should contribute more funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
Xb) The US should participate in UN peacekeeping missions only when vital US interests are directly threatened.
c) The US should use military force only when the US border or territories are attacked or American citizens are in danger.
d) The US should pay the money it owes to the United Nations.
e) The US should withdraw from the UN completely.
f) Other
Indicate which principles you support concerning gun issues.
a) Expand the nationwide ban on the sale or transfer of assault weapons to include all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
b) Increase restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
Xc) Maintain all federal registration procedures and restrictions on possessing firearms.
d) Ease procedures on the purchase and registration of firearms.
e) Repeal all bans and measures that restrict law-abiding citizens from owning legally-obtained firearms.
f) Allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms that are legally owned and registered.
g) Other
Indicate which principles you support regarding America's health care system.
a) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
b) Provide vouchers to the working poor so they can buy into a private health care plan.
c) Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to that of Canada.
d) Support a "managed competition" health care plan to contain costs and improve access that does not include mandated health alliances, government cost control powers, or employer/employee mandates.
Xe) Provide tax incentives for small businesses to help provide health care to their employees.
f) Allow middle and low income families to deduct yearly health care costs from their taxable income.
Xg) Establish limits on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xh) Encourage tax-free medical savings accounts, which would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.
i) The federal government has no responsibility in providing health care.
j) Other
Indicate which principles you support concerning illegal drugs.
Xa) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
Xb) Impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
c) Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers.
Xd) Require drug testing for federal employees in sensitive positions (Air Traffic Control, National Park Police, Secret Service, etc.).
e) Strengthen current laws dealing with non-controlled substances, including inhalants and commercially available pills.
Xf) Increase funding of federally-sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
g) Decriminalize the possession and private use of marijuana.
h) Other
Indicate which principles you support regarding issues relating to immigration.
a) Further limit the number of immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.
c) Ease citizenship requirements in order to make it easier for immigrants to become United States citizens.
Xd) Establish English as the official and recognized language of the United States.
e) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.
f) Restrict the eligibility of legal immigrants for certain social programs (i.e. AFDC, HUD housing, food stamps, etc.).
g) Children of illegal immigrants, born in the United States, should not automatically receive US citizenship.
h) Other
YesShould the President be allowed to veto certain items of legislation while signing spending or tax bills into law?
The American people have consistently mentioned the decline of morals and ethics in America as a major problem facing the country. Explain what you will do as a member of Congress to address this concern.

Strengthen the Family; Provide Jobs; Cut Taxes

Indicate which principles you support regarding the poor and homeless.
Xa) Provide tax incentives for companies to hire and train homeless people who want to work.
b) Increase funding of homeless shelters and low income housing projects.
c) Increase funding of programs that help alcoholics and drug addicts recover and find steady work.
Xd) Increase the minimum wage.
e) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment.
f) Provide government jobs for those who wish to work and cannot find a job in the private sector.
Xg) Increase the income tax deduction on individual contributions made to charities that help the poor and homeless.
Xh) Implement enterprise zones in communities with high unemployment.
i) Other
1) Indicate the changes you support (if any) concerning the tax levels for the following categories. Select one number only.
Income Taxes
Slightly Decreasea) Retiree income over $40,000
Slightly Decreaseb) Family income less than $25,000
Slightly Decreasec) Family income $25-75,000
Slightly Decreased) Family income $75-150,000
Slightly Decreasee) Family income over $150,000
Other Tax Issues
Maintain Statusf) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Decreaseg) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Decreaseh) Charitable deductions
Maintain Statusi) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusj) Corporate income taxes
Slightly Decreasek) Earned income tax credit
Greatly Decreasel) Estate taxes
Greatly Decreasem) Medical expense deductions
Maintain Statusn) Mortgage deductions
o) Other
Undecided2) Do you support replacing the US income tax structure with a flat income tax?
No3) Do you support replacing the US income tax structure with a broad-based consumption tax?
No1) Do you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms which members of Congress can serve?
2) If you support term limits, how many years should each serve?
Senator (years)
Representatives (years)
Indicate which principles you support concerning terrorism.
a) Relax current guidelines that forbid the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from investigating terrorist groups when there is a "reasonable indication" of terrorist activities.
b) Relax wiretapping restrictions to give the FBI broader authority to investigate terrorist suspects.
c) Require that chemical tracing agents be added to commercially-sold products that can be used to produce explosives.
d) Implement tighter restrictions on firearm sales in an effort to hinder terrorist groups from stockpiling weapon arsenals.
Xe) Grant broader authority to the US Immigration and Naturalization Service to deny entrance visas to terrorist suspects.
f) Maintain limits on the authority of federal agencies investigating suspected terrorists.
g) Restrict the investigative authority of the FBI and other governmental agencies.
h) Other
Yes1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No2) Do you support broadening NAFTA to include other countries?
Yes3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
No4) Do you support the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
No5) Do you support lifting the trade embargo imposed against Cuba?
No6) Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?
No7) Should a nation's human rights record affect its "most favored nation" trading status with the United States?
Indicate which principles you support regarding unemployment.
Xa) Provide tax credits for companies that move job-creating industries into areas with high unemployment.
Xb) Increase funding for national job-training programs.
c) Increase funding for public works projects such as the repair of roads and bridges.
Xd) Eliminate government regulations of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
e) Establish enterprise zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.
Xf) Overhaul the current unemployment system by focusing on training and education in skills needed in certain industries.
g) Eliminate any governmental programs designed to reduce unemployment.
h) Other
Indicate which principles you support regarding the US welfare system.
Xa) Strengthen child support collection procedures and increase penalties for parents who do not pay child support.
Xb) Impose a two-year limit on welfare benefits for recipients who are able to work.
Xc) Require welfare recipients to accept some form of government-sponsored job after two years if unemployed in the private sector.
Xd) Require that unwed teenage mothers live with a parent or guardian (if possible) and attend school to receive benefits.
Xe) Limit the benefits given to single women if they have additional children while receiving welfare benefits.
Xf) Provide child care services to welfare recipients who work or attend school.
g) Provide rent or housing supplement vouchers for low-income families.
h) Make no substantial changes at this time.
i) Increase funding of programs that prevent teen pregnancy and family break-up.
j) Support programs that give incentives for employers to hire and train welfare recipients.
k) Other
1) Explain your two main legislative priorities if elected to Congress.

Balanced Budget; Tax Reform; Jobs

2) Should your priorities require additional government funding, please explain how you intend to obtain the additional funding.
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