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Bob Goodlatte's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (VA) - District 6, Republican
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Bob Goodlatte 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, 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

  • "Earlier this month, I was proud to vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in support of H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This bipartisan legislation would ban abortions, with limited exceptions, in the United States after 20 weeks post conception -- the point at which scientific evidence shows the unborn can experience great suffering." (
  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R.36 "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" (
  • Rated 100% by the National Right to Life Committee (
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

  • "A fairer tax code also means one that eliminates the estate tax, or death tax, which penalizes many families. I recently voted in support of H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act, to permanently repeal this burdensome tax." (
  • Signed a pledge stating: "ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Unfortunately, vigorous enforcement of our federal drug laws has been repeatedly compromised by this Administration. President Obama and Attorney General Holder have repeatedly demonstrated their disregard for the Constitution and the founding principle of separation of powers. […] Directed federal prosecutors not to allege drug quantities in cases where the quantity could potentially trigger mandatory minimum sentences […]" (
  • "This bill is companion legislation to the sentencing provisions contained in the Senate bill introduced by Senators Grassley, Durbin, and others last week. Our bill makes commonsense changes to the front-end of the criminal justice system. It reduces certain mandatory minimums for drug offenses, including the three-strike mandatory life sentence to 25 years. It broadens the existing safety valve for low-level drug offenders and provides judges with greater discretion in determining appropriate sentences." (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The United States' record on spending is no secret. Despite attempts to rein in federal spending, the national debt clock ticks upward each second, surpassing levels of debt our Founders could never have imagined." (
  • "The 'stimulus' bill has failed to create robust private sector jobs. It certainly proves that the Democrats policies of higher taxes, runaway spending, government takeovers and record debt are having a chilling effect on the nation's small businesses, the economic engine of our economy." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Last week the House of Representatives, with my support, passed the bipartisan 'Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act,' which contained a critical one year extension of the payroll tax cut, which benefits all working Americans." (
  • "Ken Cuccinelli's pro-growth vision of lowering rates while closing loopholes will grow jobs and put Virginia's middle class first." (
  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R.1105 "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015" (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "All too often we see the federal government intervening in the education system, adding more red tape and bureaucracy without benefit to students. To address this growing federal overreach and eliminate some of the most troubling provisions of No Child Left Behind, the House of Representatives has begun consideration of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act." (
  • "We must continue our efforts to put the ability to make educational decisions in the hands of parents and teachers, and send education dollars directly to America's classrooms." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone Pipeline" (
  • "I supported passage of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (H.R. 3) authorizing construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline to provide jobs and energy independence for our nation." (
  • "The Keystone XL pipeline permit has been under review for nearly 5 years. How much longer will American jobs and energy security have to wait?" (
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

  • "Renewable fuels play an important role in our all-of-the-above energy policy, but should compete fairly in the marketplace and not be the beneficiary of an anti-competitive government mandate. American families and businesses should not have to shoulder the high cost of this unworkable federal ethanol mandate." (
  • "The Gulf of Mexico holds the largest and most productive oil resources in the United States, and further delays to safely producing these domestic resources will severely jeopardize our energy security and leave us more dependent on the volatile Middle East for our energy supplies." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put forth a plan to require fossil fuel fired power plants, including those using coal to generate electricity, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030. […] he EPA's proposed plan will harm job creation and raise prices to consumers as industries cut back due to higher costs." (
  • 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" (
  • "While EPA's proposed reductions acknowledge the underlying issues with the ethanol mandate, unfortunately the numbers released today remain problematic, failing to take into account current market realities, the impending blendwall, and the harm the RFS is causing." (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 92% by the National Rifle Association (
  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.1098 "Prohibits District of Columbia from Implementing Certain Firearm Laws" (
  • "I will continue to keep a watchful eye on the Obama Administration to ensure Americans' constitutional rights are protected. I respect the Second Amendment, and urge the President to halt any future actions that would infringe upon the rights afforded to all Americans." (
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.3762 "Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015" (
  • "This is the fourth time the House of Representatives has voted to fully repeal Obamacare. It's a hard thing to admit when you're wrong, but it's time for President Obama to acknowledge that this law was not the best prescription for Americans' health care needs." (
  • "We all know the status quo is not working anymore. That's why I voted in support of a budget plan that will help build a stronger America by balancing the budget, making real efforts to reduce the deficit, and repealing Obamacare in full." (
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

  • "The House of Representatives has voted to defund the President's actions, a federal judge has temporarily blocked the President's executive overreach, and President Obama himself stated 22 times that he does not have the authority to change our immigration laws, even though he decided to do it anyway." (
  • "The DREAM Act makes it easy for almost any illegal immigrant, even those who do not qualify for this amnesty, to evade the law. Once an alien, no matter who they are, files an application, no matter how spurious, the Federal Government is prohibited from deporting that illegal immigrant. This is ripe for fraud and is unfair and should be opposed." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5759 "Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014" (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I am disappointed and troubled that the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which overwhelmingly passed the House and the Senate in 1996 and was signed into law by President Clinton. Today's decision is certainly a setback for the traditional values that make up the backbone of our country." (
  • Rated 0% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "I firmly believe that preserving the institution of traditional marriage is crucial to the stability of our society and serves the best interest of American families." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We know that our intelligence agencies do not need massive amounts of private, personal information on law-abiding Americans to keep this country safe." (
  • "By weakening terrorist networks overseas, we reduce the likelihood that they will be able to successfully launch additional attacks on U.S. soil. As ISIL gains strength and momentum in both Iraq and Syria, it is clear we must work to eradicate ISIL." (
  • "We applaud the Senate for finally approving the House-passed USA Freedom Act. This strong, bipartisan bill contains the most sweeping set of reforms to government surveillance practices in nearly 40 years." (
  • "We must maintain the resolve to win the war against terrorism and Islamic extremists. That is the surest way to protect our freedom and achieve peace." (
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

  • "What is not permissible is continuing to run up debt year after year after year, and that is what endangers Social Security and Medicare and important programs for our senior citizens, and that is why this amendment is needed." (
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch "I do not support privatization [...]" (


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 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.

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. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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