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Rand Paul's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


On The Ballot: Running, Republican for U.S. Senate (KY) - Jr


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Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

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Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2022.

  • "Democrats know it is illegal to give small business loans to the big business, that is Planned Parenthood, but they are completely in the tank for taxpayer-funded abortions." (
  • "I strongly believe in the sanctity of life. I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. Under the 14th Amendment, it is the government's duty to protect life as defined in our Constitution." (
  • National Right to Life Committee rating of 100% (
  • "The Life at Conception Act legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known- that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward," Sen. Paul said. "The right to life is guaranteed to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence and ensuring this is upheld is the Constitutional duty of all Members of Congress." (
  • "I propose we cut taxes for everyone — rich and poor." ( (
  • CNN "The Situation Room" Transcript: The Fiscal Cliff Debate "BLITZER: But the president is saying that he is now willing to do what the Republicans asked back in 2001, 2003, make those Bush tax cuts permanent. And he's saying yes, the Democrats now have agreed. Democrats say they will be permanent. There will be no tax increases for 99 percent, for people making under $450,000 a year. Those will be permanent taxes. You support that. But because 1 percent are going to have to pay a little more, they're going to go from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, if you're making more than $450,000 a year, you're going to be willing to see all those millions of other middle class families suffer? PAUL: It's actually not that. Actually, if it were only that bill, Wolf, if it were just protecting the 99 percent, well, I want to protect 100 percent. I would vote for a bill that protected 99 percent. Heck, I'd probably vote for a bill that protected 80 percent, because I want to protect anybody from big government. But the thing is, is it's not just that. They're heaping on new spending. So, not only are they raising taxes, maybe on a small percentage of people, but a large amount of money, but they're also going to spend more money." (
  • "I'm a likely no, because there's a lot of new spending in it, also. And there's going to be tax increases, which I think are bad for the economy. There's also going to be increases in spending. We have a spending problem up here. And instead of trying to restrain spending, they took entitlements off the table and they've actually added in new spending. There will be new spending in this bill, which I think is the wrong direction to take the country in." (
  • "My plan will also cut spending and balance the budget in just five years. It will be the largest tax cut in American history and a tax cut that will leave more money in the paychecks of every worker in America." (
  • ThinkProgress "Paul's budget would raise the Social Security eligibility age and gives workers the option of private accounts, an idea that would demolish workers' savings during economic downturns. An October 2008 retiree, for instance, would have lost $26,000 in a private Social Security account during the Great Recession, according to one study. Paul's plan would also privatize Medicare, going a step farther than even Paul Ryan's House Republican budget did and driving up the cost of health care for seniors even more." (
  • "I will continue to work tirelessly to balance our budget. I have introduced several balanced budgets in the Senate that would cut the debt, including my Penny Plans. Instead of celebrating balanced budgets we are faced with a weakened and teetering economy. It has to stop." (
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "I believe that our criminal justice system is broken, and in need of major changes. We must focus on incarcerating violent offenders and protecting public safety, not filling our prisons with non-violent offenders. My REDEEM Act (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment) will give Americans convicted of non-violent crimes a second chance at the American Dream. This legislation will help prevent kids who get into trouble from slipping into a lifetime of crime and help adults who commit non-violent crimes become more self-reliant and less likely to commit future crimes. These steps would reduce the cost to taxpayers of our criminal justice system and increase public safety." (
  • "As Chicago and all America mourns the murder of Officer Ella French, voters need to 'just say no' to calls to defund the police!" (
  • "Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act to prohibit no-knock warrants, which allow law enforcement officials to forcibly enter a home without announcing their authority or purpose." (
  • Voted NO on S 1605 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (
  • "Endless war weakens our national security, robs this and future generations through skyrocketing debt, and creates more enemies to threaten us. For over 19 years, our soldiers have gone above and beyond what has been asked of them in Afghanistan. It is time to declare the victory we achieved long ago, bring our troops home, and put America's needs first," said Dr. Paul." (
  • Voted No on HR 6395 "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021" (
  • Voted No on S 1 "Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019" (
  • Signed a pledge stating "The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country's sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases." (
  • "In the new Congress, Republicans, the party of limited government, should propose legislation to eliminate the funding of wasteful projects--and focus on smart investments instead" (
  • "We must cut spending in all areas, particularly areas that are better run by state and local governments." (
  • "My Economic Freedom Zone legislation will establish free-market enterprise zones and dramatically reduce taxes in order to help facilitate the creation of new jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, enhance and renew educational opportunities and increase community involvement in bankrupt or economically distressed areas." (
  • "I propose we cut taxes for everyone--rich and poor." (
  • "My plan will also cut spending and balance the budget in just five years. It will be the largest tax cut in American history and a tax cut that will leave more money in the paychecks of every worker in America." (
  • Voted no on HR 6201 "Families First Coronavirus Response Act." (
  • Voted no on HR 1319 "American Rescue Plan Act of 2021" (
  • "An overgrown federal bureaucracy, mandating standards and discounting local input will not lead to innovation. In order to compete with the rest of the world, our educational system needs innovation. Parents and teachers should play an active role in their child's education and should be encouraged to choose the most appropriate educational institution for their child. We should encourage a variety of educational formats--whether it's public, charter, private, religious, homeschool or online. Our children should not be constricted to a one-size-fits-all format, as implemented by Common Core." (
  • "" believe in more local control over education, where states, localities, and parents can play a much more significant role in their children's schooling. The federal government has simply used its power to disregard parental rights, restrict teachers, and leave kids with an unsatisfactory education, unable to compete in a quickly advancing world. Innovation in education will never come from an overgrown federal bureaucracy, mandating standards and discounting local input." (
  • Has a 100% rating with American Energy Alliance in 2019-2020 (
  • Has a 100% rating with The National Mining Association (
  • Signed a letter stating "Seeking to develop alternative energy technologies is a necessary goal in the long-term, but it is not sufficient for our nation's current and foreseeable needs." (
  • "Washington's bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have made it unnecessarily difficult for energy developers to take advantage of new and innovative forms of cheap and clean energy. Cutting the red tape and encouraging energy freedom, new technologies, and discoveries will be a priority in my administration. Like all other sectors of the economy, allowing businesses to compete in a free market will not only produce the most efficient forms of energy, but will also pass along the cost savings to the consumer." (
  • Signed a letter stating "With consumers again facing $4.00/gallon gasoline, the EPA is pursuing job-killing greenhouse gas regulations that, like the failed cap-and-trade legislation, will serve as an energy tax on every consumer. The Affordable Power Alliance recently studied the impacts of this action and found that the price of gasoline and electricity could increase as much as 50 percent. To make matters worse, the EPA acknowledges that unilateral action by the United States will have no impact on the world's climate, as China and India dramatically increase their emissions." (
  • Voted no on S Amdt 4720 - Prohibits the Transfer of Firearms to Suspected Terrorists - National Key Vote (
  • "In the gun control debate, we all want more safety and less madness. But we must write legislation that targets the lawbreakers, not law-abiding gun owners. We must enforce current laws that are routinely ignored, instead of rushing to enact new laws that would do nothing to prevent these tragedies and would feasibly make the public more vulnerable." (
  • "I will not support any proposed gun control law which would limit the right to gun ownership by those who are responsible, law-abiding citizens." (
  • "I believe that our entire Bill of Rights is at risk if we allow our Second Amendment to become a watered-down, second-tier "right." Our First Amendment is only as good as our second amendment. That’s why I will never back down when it comes to defending our right to bear arms. I will not give an inch. I will protect our right to defend ourselves and preserve our 2nd Amendment rights to the fullest extent." (
  • "Good article on the lastest Obamacare ruling. "From the outset, the constitutionality of the ACA was questioned by some of us due to the inclusion of the "individual mandate" which required all Americans to purchase health insurance." (
  • Voted yes on S Amdt 271 "Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017" (
  • Voted yes on S Amdt 667 "Health Care Freedom Act of 2017" (
  • Voted no on HR 261 "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" (
  • ""As both sides debate the path forward on reforming our immigration system, the BE SAFE Act provides a constitutional answer that guarantees funding for our needs on the border without taking away from other priorities or increasing the burden on American taxpayers," said Dr. Paul." (
  • Has a rating of 100% with Federation for American Immigration Reform from 2015 to 2016 (
  • Voted in favor of S.744 "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act" (
  • "I do not support amnesty, but rather I support a legal immigration process. I recognize that our country has been enriched by those who seek the American Dream and have a desire for a better life. However, millions of illegal immigrants are crossing our border without our knowledge, and this threatens our national security." (
  • Voted yes on S 2193 "Stop Illegal Reentry Act" (
  • "We spend billions and billions of dollars sending money to countries that hate us. Why should the American taxpayer be on the hook for other countries?" (
  • "Mr. Paul, a likely presidential candidate who has emerged as one of the Republican Party's most cautious voices on military intervention, offered a very circumscribed definition of war in his proposal, which he outlined in an interview on Saturday. He would, for instance, limit the duration of military action to one year and significantly restrict the use of ground forces." (
  • "Over the last few decades, America has wasted millions of dollars and thousands of lives on unchecked, unilateral, never-ending "democracy building" overseas." (
  • "We spend billions and billions of dollars sending money to countries that hate us. Why should the American taxpayer be on the hook for other countries?" (
  • "During my time in the Senate, I have seen our national debt grow to over $28 trillion, while the U.S. has continued to increase foreign aid by 70 percent over the last decade," said Dr. Paul. "It has always been my imperative to put America's interest first. This means focusing on funding critical infrastructure projects at home, rather than infrastructure in Afghanistan. My amendment aims to cut foreign aid across the board allowing for funds to be saved or redirected back to the taxpayers and spent on projects in their own communities." (
  • Ranked 0% on Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) in 2019-2020 (
  • Voted Yes on S J Res 7 - "A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress" (
  • Voted in favor of HR 5430 "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act. (

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