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Scott DesJarlais' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Scott DesJarlais did not provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2022 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

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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.

  • Voted in favor of HR 36 "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Congressman DesJarlais believes that all life should be cherished and protected. He has received a 100% score by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the oldest and the largest national pro-life organization in the United States." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Democratic Socialists (Democrats) support Medicare for All, promising to give away for free what Tennessee seniors have worked their entire lives for. It’s unfair! Not only that, their plan would bankrupt the system." (www.facebook.com)
  • "I believe, like many folks across Tennessee's Fourth Congressional District, that ensuring the long-term solvency of the Social Security program is an issue of the utmost importance. Since its establishment in 1935, Social Security has provided an essential benefit to our senior citizens and many Americans depend on these payments to cover the necessary costs of daily life. However, due to changing conditions over time, issues have arisen that now threaten the programs future sustainability. When the program was first conceived, there were approximately forty workers paying into the program for every person receiving benefits. Now, there are less than three workers for every beneficiary and, as more and more Americans retire and average life expectancy increases, we are now facing a situation where Social Security benefits paid out have already begun to exceed payroll taxes. Now, our nation is facing unprecedented budget cuts due to a skyrocketing national debt and many individuals have proposed the idea of cutting Social Security benefits as a way of solving these problems. While I acknowledge that many difficult cuts need to be made, I do not believe that we can undermine the obligations we have to our seniors who have paid into this system throughout their lives. As such, I have and will continue to strongly oppose any changes to the program for current retirees. Instead, it is imperative that we examine our options in a cautious manner and look at making incremental reforms, adjustments that do not impact our current or near retirees, in order to ensure the programs viability, not only for today's seniors, but for their children and grandchildren. Furthermore, we cannot allow politicians to circumvent budget cuts by raiding Social Security to pay for other programs." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "People and organizations of every political background and persuasion agree on the fiscal reality that Medicare will be broke in ten years. Social Security funds, which were originally designated to be untouchable except for beneficiaries, have been raided year after year by short-sighted politicians of every description. If these programs are not reformed, our present day leadership will have irresponsibly failed to address one of the most crucial challenges faced in our lifetime for our country’s peace and prosperity. We must phase in incremental solutions to give younger generations an opportunity to participate in these programs and to secure their futures, while keeping the promises made to our current seniors 55 and older." (scottdesjarlais.com)
  • "Today the House will begin consideration of H.R. 1, For the Politicians Act. This bill seeks to weaken our democracy by overhauling our election system. Under this legislation the D.C. swamp will be given sole authority and central control of election regulation, which belongs to the states. It also takes away voter ID laws, gives 16-year-olds the right to vote and government matches campaign donations from your tax dollars. We have a tough fight ahead of us today. Conservative lawmakers will attempt to offer amendments and convince our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to look at how dangerous this will be to our election security. I want my constituents in the Fourth District to know I stand opposed to any legislation that leaves our election system vulnerable." (www.facebook.com)
  • Rated 0% by Common Cause
  • Voted against HR 1 "For the People Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 1280 "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Tonight, Democratic Leadership chose to hastily push through legislation that gives an absurd amount of federal control over policing and election security. Speaker Pelosi and her progressive posse took power away from state governments and local municipalities and put it in the hands of the D.C. swamp. Legislation to reform policing practices must be done in a way that protects both individual citizens and officers of the law. H.R. 1280 hands power over to members of Congress that have no clue what it is like to serve and protect on the frontlines. This bill is a direct result of cancel culture that seeks to demonize all law enforcement officers. Taking away vital resources and legal protections leaves both U.S. citizens and agents of the law vulnerable." (www.facebook.com)
  • "Wanted to let you know that I recently signed Heritage Action's "Police Pledge," a pledge that offers unwavering support for America's police officers and commits to opposing any legislative efforts to "defund the police." Law enforcement in Tennessee's Fourth District are full of hard working, dedicated men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect us. They shouldn't be treated like criminals, and we should be supportive of them when we ask them to deal with those who have no respect for law and order. There are two opposition camps out there right now: those that want to completely "defund police," and those that want to hide from the "defund" language but support initiatives to lessen a law enforcement presence and punish officers by using the courts, decriminalize lawless behavior, and use civilians in place of law enforcement to deal with civil unrest. All of these initiatives are radical and dangerous, and I will never support any effort in the Congress to reduce or lessen our support for law enforcement. Officers that break the law are already subject to criminal penalties, and we don't need to create a back door trap that discourages anyone with a badge from being able to do their job." (www.facebook.com)
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security Policy (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "America’s national defense must be a budget priority as we continue to see an increase in threats from China and other adversaries. The #BidenBudget fails to keep up with the rising inflation rate in the US and leaves the safety of our citizens vulnerable." (www.facebook.com)
  • "As a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, Scott DesJarlais believes in maintaining a strong national defense, protecting American interests both home and abroad, and providing the necessary resources to our men and women who have volunteered to serve. Our military must always be a top priority of the Congress." (scottdesjarlais.com)
  • Voted in favor of S 1605 "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 5376 "Build Back Better Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "They said inflation was negating workers' rising wages. Turns out, inflation is normal, and wages are rising at the fastest rate in a decade. They said tax cuts were a middle class "tax hike." Only the rich would pay less. Turns out, the vast majority of Americans received a cut. Only a small percentage of wealthy blue state residents are paying more. They said tax cuts would worsen the deficit. Turns out, because of tax cuts, higher economic and wage growth, federal tax receipts are climbing. Spending is the problem!" (www.facebook.com)
  • "This crisis underscores that we must cut wasteful federal spending to preserve our ability to respond in times of true need." (www.facebook.com)
  • "Our country, which only a few weeks ago was seeing a record economic expansion, will emerge from this temporary crisis stronger than ever. To ensure that, I voted for the CARES Act, unprecedented legislation for an unprecedented problem, the severe slowdown or closure of industries and businesses, as we all work to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The President has already taken extraordinary action, and nearly identical legislation could have passed earlier, if Democrats had not insisted on larding today’s bill with pork for the National Endowment for the Arts and other unrelated causes. However, essential elements of the CARES Act remain intact and necessary: funding for rural and veterans' health care, more medical supplies and vaccine development, as well as expanded unemployment insurance and small-business loans. The costs may be great, but the costs of doing nothing would be much greater. This crisis underscores that we must cut wasteful federal spending to preserve our ability to respond in times of true need. It also proves Donald Trump's America First agenda to reduce our country’s reliance on Communist China is the right course." (www.facebook.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 266 "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "My constituents in Tennessee can rely on me to vote the way they would in Congress to rein in reckless spending -- a threat to Social Security, Medicare, even national security. We cut income taxes. Now let's cut spending that serves only bureaucrats, their political cronies and special interests in Washington." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "President Biden in his State of the Union address just last week advocated for economically detrimental Build Back Better policies that Americans have made clear they do not want. The Consolidated Appropriations Act gives way to many of the failed policies that are responsible for the massive inflation we are facing in our country." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "This administration is more focused on jamming through another 2,300 page bill full of political payoffs rather than taking the time to address the economic crisis plaguing our Nation. Inflation is at record highs, gas and grocery prices are skyrocketing and this year will mark the most expensive Thanksgiving in our country's history. Even a generous score from the Congressional Budget Office proved that the bill was not paid for and that it will add hundreds of billions more to our nation's debt - despite President Biden and Speaker Pelosi's claims to the contrary. All the while adding over 87,000 new IRS agents to wage war on middle class families, create tax incentives for millions of illegal migrants and allocate $550 BILLION for the Green New Deal." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 5376 "Inflation Reduction Act of 2022" (votesmart.org)
  • "In June, I introduced legislation to block President Biden’s efforts to mass cancel federal student debt. Student Loans are a personal responsibility. Canceling these federal loans will only worsen our Biden-induced economic crisis." (twitter.com)
  • "There's a lot of people out there that took out loans and maybe didn't get their dream job, but don't pay them back. So to somehow decide that they no longer need to have skin in the game, it kind of disincentivizes people from succeeding, in my opinion." Last month, the Biden Administration announced plans to cancel $10,000 for individuals making less than $150,000 per year and married couples making less than $300,000 per year. DesJarlais' bill is aggressive and encompasses any attempt by the executive branch to forgive or cancel federal student loans, not just previously proposed plans." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Under this legislation the D.C. Swamp will be given sole authority and central control of election regulation, which belongs to the states. It also takes away voter ID laws, gives 16-year-olds the right to vote and government matches campaign donations from your tax dollars." (twitter.com)
  • Voted against HR 5746 "Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act" (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by National Association of Manufacturers (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "We have an abundance of natural and technological resources in our country and should not be held hostage by foreign energy suppliers or by regulatory agencies in Washington. The process for oil exploration should be streamlined and expedited while we open up more regions of our country for domestic production. Our energy producers should not be overburdened with regulations that drive up prices and limit supply. An “all of the above” responsible approach should utilize our domestic oil and gas supplies, nuclear energy capabilities, coal and hydroelectric production as well as renewable energy efforts." (scottdesjarlais.com)
  • Voted against HR 9 "Climate Action Now Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 4447 "Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1119 "SENSE Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Because of the natural gas revolution, the U.S. is leading global carbon reductions, while Paris Climate Accord signers are raising fuel taxes to meet impossible standards. To wealthy liberals, high costs hardly matter, but they punish working people. Donald J. Trump rightly canceled U.S. involvement in the scheme." (www.facebook.com)
  • "Huddled with the new Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation president, Jeff Aiken, VP Eric Mayberry and Board Member James Haskew ahead of the House Agriculture Committee hearing today to discuss pressing issues facing the ag industry in Tennessee. Excessive federal regulations like the EPA'S WOTUS rule have put a strain on rural economies across the U.S. and are burdening hardworking families in Tennessee. I look forward to working with the new leadership at the TN Farm Bureau to address these concerns and continue to send well wishes to former president Lacy Upchurch in his retirement." (www.facebook.com)
  • Rated 100% by National Association of Manufacturers (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "The right to bear arms is a constitutionally protected right and we will fight to make sure those rights are not eroded. Congressman DesJarlais has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and will always vote to protect those cherished rights." (scottdesjarlais.com)
  • "I have long been a proponent of protecting our 2nd Amendment rights. The overwhelming majority of the people of Tennessee’s 4th District have continued to express that as well this past week, and I will oppose the bills Democrats have announced that they will bring to the floor next week. Tonight, President Biden said he does not want to take away your guns, then announced his support of returning to the ban of certain “assault” weapons simply based on their appearance. He also would like to ban “high capacity” magazines because three 10-round magazines are safer than one 30-round magazine, by his logic. In both of these circumstances, the administration was silent on their intentions for current owners of these firearms and magazines. In addition, the Left wants to sue gun manufacturers into extinction instead of suing the actual perpetrators of crime and violence. All of these rehashed proposals do nothing to address the root of the problem. The Uvalde and Sandy Hook murderers were troubled children who turned into troubled young adults. They clearly needed more mental health options. It goes without saying that parents and guardians must also take a more proactive role in raising their children as well. In all of these instances, this was not a spontaneous decision. There were many, many warning signs that existed for years that were either ignored or left unaddressed. Eliminating and restricting constitutional rights are not the answers here. It is not an either/or proposition. We can make our schools and communities safer while also protecting the long enshrined freedoms and rights that are the foundations on which this country is based." (www.facebook.com)
  • Rated 92% by National Rifle Association (NRA) (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 38 "Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "My constituents in Tennessee can rely on me to vote the way they would in Congress to rein in reckless spending -- a threat to Social Security, Medicare, even national security. We cut income taxes. Now let's cut spending that serves only bureaucrats, their political cronies and special interests in Washington." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • “Medicare for All” crew, proposing trillions in federal spending that would bankrupt the entire government, is blaming Donald Trump for trying to put Medicare on solid financial footing. The biggest threat to programs for seniors is socialist Democrats’ unlimited spending spree!" (twitter.com)
  • Voted against HR 1425 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act" (votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 6201 "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" (votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 6833 "The Affordable Insulin Now Act" (votesmart.org)
  • "Weak border security and bad laws are causing a humanitarian crisis at the southern border and in our local communities. Erecting more effective physical barriers would prevent drug and human smuggling into the U.S. We need more border agents and ICE officers, too, but Democrats oppose a wall, a fence and even ICE itself. But over ninety percent of heroin crosses into the U.S. from Mexico, killing Americans, and cartels and gangs are also smuggling women and children. Illegal immigration is overwhelming our court system." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Illegal immigration burdens taxpayers, compromises national security, increases criminal activity, and erodes the significance of being an American citizen. We must secure our border with physical barriers to illegal entry and devote resources to enforcing current immigration law, which includes partnering with state and local law enforcement organizations." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 3003 "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Barack Obama's unconstitutional "DACA" program granting work permits and other benefits to illegal aliens, almost all adults, was also indiscriminate in its application, awarding special immigration status to many gang members and other criminals. If the federal government cannot guarantee the record of a illegal alien already here, do you think it has the ability to discern between Syrian terrorists and refugees? We have borders and laws for a reason. Let's start thinking more about American citizens and helping other countries do better by their own." (www.facebook.com)
  • "Illegal immigration burdens taxpayers, compromises national security, increases criminal activity, and erodes the significance of being an American citizen. We must secure our border with physical barriers to illegal entry and devote resources to enforcing current immigration law, which includes partnering with state and local law enforcement organizations." (scottdesjarlais.com)
  • "Imagine what would happen to you, an American citizen, if you broke the law. In some sanctuary cities, they’re simply refusing to arrest law-breaking illegal aliens, because socialist liberals refuse to cooperate at all with federal law enforcement. I support defunding sanctuary cities and new special units to round up dangerous aliens. Sanctuary laws that protect criminals are making officers’ jobs, and our daily lives, more dangerous." (www.facebook.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 3003 "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 6968 "Suspending Energy Imports from Russia Act" (votesmart.org)
  • "However, our forces in the Middle East are well positioned to protect U.S. interests, and we have other means of punishing bad behavior, such as economic sanctions on Turkey. The President is reconstructing broken alliances that will help to stabilize the situation. I could not support this week's resolution, because it lacks many of these important details." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "The governments of North Korea, Iran and Russia are in different ways actively seeking to harm Americans and our interests abroad. Just yesterday, the U.S. Navy fired a warning shot at an armed Iranian patrol boat in the Persian Gulf," said Rep. DesJarlais. "Stronger sanctions send a clear message that America will punish aggressive behavior towards our people." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of S 3522 "Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022" (votesmart.org)
  • "My constituents in Tennessee can rely on me to vote the way they would in Congress to rein in reckless spending -- a threat to Social Security, Medicare, even national security. We cut income taxes. Now let's cut spending that serves only bureaucrats, their political cronies and special interests in Washington." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Congressman DesJarlais believes that hard working American should keep more of their earnings rather than send it to Washington for unnecessary spending. He supports tax reductions and simplifications for middle class Americans and job creators. He also supports a reduction in costly, burdensome government regulations that do nothing but increase costs of farmers and small businesses." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (votesmart.org)
  • Signed Letter to United States Trade Representative: We have watched with growing concern the negotiations over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Our constituents, many of whom work in the motor vehicle industry, have benefited from more open trade around the world. For the automotive industry in particular, NAFTA has led to increased vehicle production in the United States, more secure jobs for those working in the industry, and a globally competitive U.S. motor vehicle industry that leads the world in innovation...While we agree that NAFTA should be updated to help our companies better address the challenges of the 21st century economy, it should not be terminated. Unfortunately, it appears that several U.S. proposals under discussion in the NAFTA negotiations, including the U.S. motor vehicle rule of origin proposal, would eliminate the competitive advantages provided to the U.S. auto industry under the current NAFTA rules -- or lead to rejection by Canada and Mexico and the end of the agreement. Either outcome would adversely affect the U.S. auto industry - reducing sales, production, and exports and harming U.S. workers in the process." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "Nancy Pelosi is refusing to bring to a vote a trade deal Donald Trump and his team have successfully negotiated, which lowers trade barriers to American agriculture products, while criticizing tough negotiations with China that will become more favorable to the United States, when USMCA becomes law. Supporting farmers means supporting the USMCA and a deal with China that ends that its predatory trade practices, hurting farmers, manufacturers and small businesses." (www.facebook.com)
  • Rated 0% by Public Citizen (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 5430 "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act" (justfacts.votesmart.org)

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