Senator Jim Inhofe's Political Positions

Office: U.S. Senate (OK) - Sr, Republican
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Jim Inhofe 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?

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

  • "There is no more important mission than standing for the sanctity of human life.The U.S. Declaration of Independence guarantees each American the right to, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I believe that an unborn child is a life, and as such, shall be guaranteed the right to life. Denying life to the unborn conflicts with these stated protections and undermines the value of life in our society." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The American taxpayer is over-burdened due to fiscally irresponsible policies in Washington. Lower taxes are key to improving the economy. The more money taxpayers and businesses have to spend and invest, the more money they have to fuel economic growth" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I pledge to oppose any debt limit increase unless all three of the following conditions have been met:1. Cut - Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.2. Cap - Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget.3. Balance - Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses." (
  • "Americans know that more government is not the solution to our problems. The federal policies of bailouts, stimulus, and unprecedented growth of federal programs must stop. Americans need individual freedoms and not a federal government intruding more into our lives." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I believe Oklahoma parents and local officials know how to best educate Oklahoma's children, not Washington bureaucrats. I have consistently supported shifting more of the decision-making power in education from the federal level to state and local levels and will continue to do so." (
  • "So if we want to create jobs, this is how we can do it. We should embrace our energy future and aggressively expand production. If we want fewer people to lose their jobs in the future, we should prevent the EPA's regulations from moving forward, at least until they fully study the impact the rules will have on job losses." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • ""Building the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline would create 42,000 jobs immediately and tens of thousands more jobs would be supported in the manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, President Obama seems more concerned with helping his party pocket $100 million and more in campaign cash by continuing to block Keystone rather than encourage economic opportunity for all Americans. The pipeline is a safe and sensible way to transport Canadian oil sands through the United States, and research has found that the pipeline's development would have little effect on so-called man made climate change," Sen. Inhofe said. "If President Obama continues to stall, we risk handing the Keystone pipeline to China, which is eager to refine and distribute this energy resource. It's time President Obama makes good on his word when he said in Cushing, Oklahoma, two years ago that he would "break through bureaucratic hurdles' and make the pipeline a "priority.'"" (
  • Vote: (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Unfortunately...many current environmental regulations are not based on science. As a result, they usually do harm and put undue restrictions upon the freedoms of many Americans. Additionally, poorly designed environmental regulations have been a large contributor to the energy problems we now face. If we rethink environmental regulation, we could be in a better position in the future and find ourselves in a place where we can have far greater environmental protection, more reliable and diverse energy sources and a strong economy." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Senator Inhofe is a leading advocate for Second Amendment Rights in the U.S. Senate, believing--as most Oklahomans do--that gun ownership is a fundamental right which the nation's founders specifically sought to protect in the U.S. Constitution. He is strongly opposed to placing additional requirements on U.S. gun manufacturers, and is committed to protecting the rights of hunters, sportsmen, and all lawful gun owners." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "It's time we repeal and replace ObamaCare with common-sense solutions that truly makes healthcare choices accessible and affordable for Americans" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I insist on that immigration solutions do not grant amnesty, shortcut the naturalization process, or ignore our nation's laws by rewarding illegal activity." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I have consistently supported and defended traditional marriage between one man and one woman as a cornerstone to the strength of our society. I strongly oppose the Obama Administration's attack on traditional marriage and attempts to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. I am proud of my pro-family record, and I believe that traditional marriage is best for the nurturing and development of children, and, as such, is critical to the success of our nation." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Having travelled overseas on numerous occasions to visit our troops on the front lines and stationed around the world, I know that a strong national defense that protects this nation and defends liberty is the most important function of our federal government. We need to address shortfalls in the military's budget that have occurred over the years, so that our forces remain the world's elite. I have also worked to build global partnerships with allies throughout the world. It is crucial to train and equip our allies to be able defend themselves against terrorist influences throughout the world. I was one of the first Members of Congress to visit the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO) in 2002, and often was one of the lone voices in the Senate that has advocated for keeping it open. No other facility in the world can safely house and try terrorist detainees better than GITMO, period. Since the detention facilities in GITMO opened after the September 11, 2001 attacks, President Obama has repeatedly tried and failed to close GITMO. He even tried to bring the terrorists onto American soil.I have also been a strong advocate for our missile defense systems, and have repeatedly fought to protect and improve our missile defense programs." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "It is imperative that we secure Social Security for current and future retirees. At the same time, the status quo has put Social Security on an unsustainable path. We must make smart reforms to the program to ensure that the program is secure for retirees both now and in years 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

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Congressional Election 2002 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 which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legally available.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
Xd) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xe) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
Xf) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles

Budgetary Priorities

Using the key below, indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.

Maintain Funding Statusa) Agricultural
Maintain Funding Statusb) Arts
Greatly Increase Fundingc) Defense
Slightly Increase Fundingd) Education
Maintain Funding Statuse) Environmental
Maintain Funding Statusf) International Aid
Slightly Increase Fundingg) Law Enforcement
Slightly Increase Fundingh) Medical Research
Maintain Funding Statusi) National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA)
Maintain Funding Statusj) National Parks
Slightly Increase Fundingk) Public Health Services
Slightly Increase Fundingl) Scientific Research
Greatly Increase Fundingm) Terrorism Prevention
Greatly Increase Fundingn) Transportation and Highway Infrastructure
Maintain Funding Statuso) Welfare
p) Other or expanded categories

Defense Spending

Using the key below, indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following categories. Select one number per category.

Greatly Increase Fundinga) Armed Forces personnel training
Greatly Increase Fundingb) Covert intelligence operations
Greatly Increase Fundingc) Military hardware
Greatly Increase Fundingd) Pay for active duty personnel
Greatly Increase Fundinge) National Missile Defense Program
Greatly Increase Fundingf) Programs to improve military retention rates
Greatly Increase Fundingg) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increase Fundingh) Troop and equipment readiness
i) Other or expanded categories


Using the key below, indicate what levels you support concerning taxes, deductions, and tax credits in the following categories. Select one number per tax.

Income Taxes - Family Income

Slightly Decreasea) Less than $25,000
Slightly Decreaseb) $25,000 - $75,000
Slightly Decreasec) $75,000 - $150,000
Slightly Decreased) Over $150,000
Slightly Decreasee) Other or expanded categories

Income Taxes - Retiree Income

Slightly Decreasef) Over $40, 000
g) Other or expanded categories

Other Taxes

Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Decreaseb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Eliminatef) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories


Maintain Statusa) Charitable deductions
Slightly Decreaseb) Medical expense deductions
Maintain Statusc) Mortgage deductions
Maintain Statusd) Child tax credit
Maintain Statuse) Earned income tax credit
Maintain Statusf) Student loan tax credit
g) Other or expanded categories


Yes2) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
No3) Would you use Social Security surpluses to balance the budget?
4) Other or expanded principles

Make Bush tax cuts permanent.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and governmental reform issues.

a) Support public taxpayer funding for congressional candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
Xb) Increase the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
c) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Provide free or low-cost television advertising to candidates who agree to voluntary campaign spending limits.
e) Ban unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
Xf) Prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making soft money contributions to national parties or party committees.
g) Require full disclosure of funding sources of issue advocacy commercials which appear within 60 days of an election.
h) Remove all contribution limits to federal candidates and parties.
i) Require congressional candidates to raise over half of their campaign money from their home state.
Xj) Require that unions give members the option of not having membership dues used for political purposes.
Nok) Support the federal government mandate that creates national voting system standards.
Yesl) Do you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms that members of Congress can serve?
Undecidedm) Do you support voting on-line?
n) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.

a) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
Xb) 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.
d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
e) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
f) Increase funding for community policing programs.
g) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
h) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
i) Enforcement of civil rights should primarily be the responsibility of the federal government.
Xj) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
k) Support programs that provide job training and placement services for at-risk youth.
l) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning illegal drugs.

Xa) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
Xb) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
c) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
d) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Xe) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
f) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the "war on drugs."
g) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning education.

a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any publicly-funded school.
Xc) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
Xd) Support charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
e) Increase funding for block grants to states to help them hire additional teachers.
Xf) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
g) Increase funding for computers and computer training in public schools.
h) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
Xi) Eliminate restrictions on federal education funding, giving educators or local school districts more flexibility to design and implement their programs.
j) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
k) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
Xl) Other or expanded principles

Support Impact Aid for local school districts - full funding.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment and affirmative action.

a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
Xb) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Establish empowerment zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.
d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
e) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
f) Eliminate any federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
g) Increase the federal minimum wage.
h) Considering race and gender in government contracting decisions is appropriate for the federal government.
i) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
j) Continue federal affirmative action programs.
k) Discontinue federal affirmative action programs.
l) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding America's environment and natural resources.

a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
Xc) Support opening a select portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
d) Support the U.S. re-entering the current Kyoto treaty process to limit global warming.
e) Require states to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately owned land.
Xf) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
g) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
h) Provide tax credits for state and local bonds to preserve open spaces, build parks, improve water quality and redevelop brownfields.
i) Support the National Forest Protection and Restoration Act prohibiting commercial logging in our national forests.
Xj) Provide states and local communities with more flexibility to address their respective environmental problems.
Xk) Other or expanded principles

Support policies based on sound science

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.

a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
b) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Xd) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Xe) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
Xg) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
h) Require a license for gun possession.
i) Raise the minimum age for ownership of handguns from 18 to 21.
j) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
Xc) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights to define and enforce the rights of insured patients, including greater access to specialists and emergency rooms, wider choice of health care providers, and appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
d) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to sue when claims are denied.
Xe) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
Xf) Support legislation to provide prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
Xg) Increase research funding of the human genome to find cures for diseases such as cancer, AIDS/HIV, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.
Xh) Increase federal funding for training health workers to recognize and respond to the release of biological agents.
Xi) Prohibit the procedure of cloning human embryos.
Xj) Other or expanded principles

Support Medical Savings Accounts, Medical malpractice reform

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.

a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.
c) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.
Xd) Increase the immigration quota for computer scientists and other information technology workers.
Xe) Establish English as the official U.S. language.
f) Collect fingerprint data from all U.S. visa applicants which would be accessible to all federal immigration-related agencies.
g) Allow legalization for certain illegal immigrants working in the U.S.
h) Other or expanded principles

International Aid

Indicate which principles (if any) you support regarding U. S. economic assistance.

Xa) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) Aid should be granted to countries when it is in the security interests of the U. S.
c) Aid should be granted to countries that are close allies of the U. S. and in need of financial/military assistance.
d) Aid should be eliminated for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
e) Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated except for extraordinary circumstances.
f) Other or expanded principles

International Policy

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.

a) The U.S. should take military action against Iraq only as part of an international effort.
b) The U.S. should end the economic embargo against Iraq.
c) The U.S. should not continue to play a prominent leadership role in the peace process between Israel and the Palestine Authority.
d) The U.S. should support the formation of a Palestinian state.
e) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United States-United Nations relationship.

Xa) The U.S. should participate in United Nations peacekeeping missions only when vital U.S. interests are involved.
b) The U.S. should not commit military troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
c) The U.S. should withdraw completely from the United Nations.
d) Other or expanded principles
No3) Should the U.S. have full diplomatic relations with Cuba?
Yes4) Should the U.S. recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?
Yes5) Should the U.S. increase its financial support to Colombia for the "war on drugs?"
Yes6) Do you support the cooperative threat reduction programs with Russia to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons? ___ Yes ___ No ___ Undecided
Yes7) Do you support the recent withdrawal of the U.S. from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty in order to deploy a national missile defense system?
Yes8) Should the U.S. hold nations accountable for terrorists who operate from their country?
9) Other or expanded principles

International Trade

No1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No2) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
3) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
No4) Do you support China becoming a member of the World Trade Organization?
Yes5) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) trading status with the United States? ___ Yes ___ No ___ Undecided
Yes6) Should the President have "fast-track" authority to negotiate trade agreements?
Yes7) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
8) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.

Yes1. Do you support the President using military tribunals to try terrorist suspects when the President deems ordinary civil courts to be inappropriate or impractical?
Yes2. Should the U.S. adopt higher qualification rules for student visa applications from nations known to sponsor terrorism?
Yes3. Should law enforcement agencies be granted greater discretion to read mail and email, tap phones, and conduct random searches to prevent future terrorist attacks?
Yes4. Should federal law enforcement agencies share intelligence data with local law enforcement agencies?
Yes5. Should the federal government provide states with funding for homeland security?
6. Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.

Xa) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
c) The federal government should invest a portion of Social Security's assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of U.S. Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to better finance Social Security in its current form.
e) Lower Social Security's annual cost-of-living increases.
Xf) Support a "lock box" measure, limiting Congress's ability to spend Social Security and Medicare surpluses on any other federal programs except Social Security and Medicare, until each program's long-term solvency is guaranteed.
g) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding technology.

Xa) Continue the moratorium on Internet sales taxes.
b) Implement regulation of Internet content by the federal government.
Xc) Regulation of the Internet should not be controlled by the federal government.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
e) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding poverty and the welfare system.

a) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
b) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to defray the cost of an apartment.
Xc) Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through TANF block grants.
Xd) Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants.
e) Restore food stamp programs to legal immigrants.
f) Transfer homeless housing programs to states through block grants.
g) Provide continued Medicaid benefits for those welfare recipients who have moved from welfare to work.
h) Require states to return any unused welfare block grant funding to the federal government.
i) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
j) Provide states with additional funding for Medicaid programs to alleviate increasing state budget deficits.
k) Other or expanded principles
In a total of seventy-five (75) words or less, please explain what your top two or three priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional funding needed to implement these priorities.

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