Representative Lamar Smith's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (TX) - District 21, Republican
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Lamar Smith has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Texas Congressional Election 2016 Political Courage Test

Pro-lifeCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles
NoIn order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
NoCandidate AnswerIn order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Other or expanded principles
Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

I support the disclosure of sources of indirect expenditures.

YesDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
YesInferred Answer Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations
  • "The Sentencing Commission has released four reports in the last 15 years on this subject, each time urging Congress to amend the cocaine sentencing laws. Unfortunately, those pleas have fallen onto deaf ears in Congress. The commission, as well as the Federal Judicial Conference, has urged Congress to remove the unfair mandatory minimum sentences. Each time they remind us that those mandatory minimums often violate common sense." (
  • "The bill before us today, S. 1789, lowers the ratio for Federal crack cocaine offenses from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1. The bill also eliminates the mandatory penalties for crack cocaine possession, making it only a misdemeanor under Federal law. Why enact legislation that could endanger our children and bring violence back to our inner-city communities?" (
Other or expanded principles

It depends on the circumstance and nature of the crime.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles
NoInferred Answer Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations
  • "Members of the Texas Republican Congressional delegation, led by Congressman Michael C. Burgess (R-Lewisville), today introduced legislation to repeal language in last month's education funding bill that discriminates against only the state of Texas, and could prevent Texas from receiving its fair share of the federal education funding." (
  • Signed a letter stating "We are writing you urge you to remove previously House-passed language included in Sen. AMDT. 4575 that solely discriminates against our State. Again, this amendment singles out only the state of Texas. […] According to the Congressional Research Service, the State's share of the $10 billion is estimated to be over $830 million. By adding the additional two-year requirement, the House language only punishes Texas students and teachers." (
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
NoDo you support increased regulations on the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
Other or expanded principles
Do you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
NoInferred Answer Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations
  • "The cornerstone of the White House sweeping Climate Action Plan is EPA's power plant regulation. Extending well beyond the power plants themselves, this rule will increase the cost of electricity and the cost of doing business. It will make it harder for the American people to make ends meet." (
  • "The EPA should not saddle the American people with extensive and burdensome regulations, especially if the regulations have little environmental impact." (
Other or expanded principles

The impact of emissions is complex and often inconclusive. We must not burden the American people with costly regulations that will kill jobs until we have all of the facts.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you generally support gun-control legislation?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations
  • "Border security is another area neglected by the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress. Congressman Smith believes that the United States has every right to secure its borders. The enforcement of immigration laws is the key to achieving this. It is a national security issue as well as an economic issue, especially with millions of American citizens and legal immigrants out of work." (
  • "I am encouraged by today's decision to uphold a Texas judge's injunction preventing the Obama administration from forging ahead with unilateral amnesty actions. I will continue to be a vocal supporter of the Texas-led, 26-state lawsuit and our nation's rule of law." (
Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations
  • "Congressman Smith thinks that the government needs to stop treating terrorists like citizens and stop treating citizens like terrorists. In Congress, he has fought the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and the transfer of dangerous terrorists to our shores. And he has made strengthening our national defenses against terror one of his highest priorities." (
  • "I am glad the president continues to affirm his resolve to defeat the Islamic State and groups with ties to Al Qaeda who have plotted against the U.S. and our allies. Our enemies must once more fear us as we stand against forces of evil in the world that would do harm to our nation." (
YesShould the U.S use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the United States from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles


Indicate what federal spending 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
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Maintain Statusc) Defense
Slightly Decreased) Education
Slightly Decreasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Slightly Decreaseg) International aid
Maintain Statush) Medical Research
Maintain Statusi) Scientific Research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Slightly Decreasek) United Nations
Slightly Decreasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories


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) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Decreaseb) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Small business taxes
Slightly Decreased) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Slightly Decreasee) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Slightly Decreasef) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decreaseh) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Decreasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Eliminatej) Inheritance taxes
Slightly Decreasek) Payroll taxes
l) Other or expanded categories
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.

My top priority will be to continue to rein in bloated and federal agencies. Costly and burdensome regulations from the Federal Government are costing jobs and decreasing economic activity.

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