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Brett Guthrie's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


On The Ballot: Running, Republican for U.S. House (KY) - District 2


Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

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.

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Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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." (
  • "ENDORSED by National Right to Life Committee, and is 100% pro-life. VOTED to defund Planned Parenthood." (
  • "Today I was proud to support this lifesaving bill that would that would prevent government-funded abortions." (
  • "We must protect all of the unborn as well as babies who survive abortion attempts. Sadly, Democrats in the Senate don't agree. I support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and will do everything I can to get this bill passed in the House." (
  • "Reforming our tax code to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer." (
  • Rated 95% by National Tax Limitation Committee. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (
  • "The Democrats' Medicare for All plan will force millions of Americans off of their health care plans and will stifle innovation. I join my @HouseCommerce colleagues in calling for the committee to hold a hearing on this disastrous bill." (
  • Rated 0% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (
  • "Right now, we are looking for ways to reform our entitlement system, which is failing certain beneficiaries who feel stuck in the status quo. An important part of this effort is helping people reenter the workforce." (
  • "We are here reforming an entitlement program for the first time since the 1990s. It is a very sound, solid way, and a way that preserves and protects the program and prevents the program from imploding on itself within a decade." (
  • Rated 0% by End Citizens United. (
  • "House Democrats think it's a good idea to use taxpayer dollars for their political campaigns during the current public health emergency," said Guthrie. "House Democrats also want to take away power to make certain decisions on how to run elections away from state and local governments and give it to bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. While I believe we need to protect the integrity of our elections, I do not think federalizing our elections is the solution, and the U.S. Constitution gives state and local governments the primary authority to run elections. This partisan election bill is written by and for the benefit of politicians, and I hope House Democrats change their course this Congress and start working with Republicans on important issues to help all Americans." (
  • Rated 0% by Common Cause. (
  • Voted against HR 1 "For the People Act of 2021." (
  • "BACK the blue and support police officers and border patrol agents who keep our communities safe" (
  • "I do not believe defunding the police, as the bill we voted on tonight does, is the best to way to address police reform. I am a cosponsor of the JUSTICE Act, which would make a number of changes, including banning chokeholds and creating better law enforcement through stronger training and hires to the police force. Reforms that are included in the JUSTICE Act are needed to help rebuild trust between all communities and law enforcement. I hope that we can put partisanship aside and reach an agreement that will rebuild trust in our communities and heal our nation." (
  • "I say without fear of contradiction that everyone who knows Senator Scott knows he is perhaps the most sincere person in Congress. I was proud to cosponsor Senator Scott's JUSTICE Act in the House. Unfortunately, the JUSTICE Act was blocked by Democrats in the Senate. Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer did not even try to work with Senator Scott to come to a compromise. Speaker Pelosi said that Senate Republicans - led by Senator Tim Scott - has the "murder of George Floyd on its hands." We tried to work with House Democrats, but they wouldn't allow us to offer amendments to their bill. I am very frustrated." (
  • Voted against HR 1280 "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021." (
  • Voted in favor of S 1605 "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022." (
  • "FUND military priorities, including giving soldiers a pay raise and securing better military equipment" (
  • "Our top priority must be to keep our country safe and this bill provides for the largest increase in security spending in many years. The bill reverses the harmful effects of sequestration, and with more funding for the military, including the largest pay raise for our troops in six years." (
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "I can't support raising the debt limit to burden generations to come with new debt as Democrats also pursue a reckless $3.5 trillion budget that would lead to the highest sustained federal spending levels our country has ever seen." (
  • "PROMOTED rural broadband, for greater internet access for Kentucky's people." (
  • Rated 100% by Council for Citizens against Government Waste. (
  • Voted against HR 3684 "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (
  • Rated 95% by National Tax Limitation Committee. (
  • "By cutting the corporate tax rate to make the U.S. competitive globally, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has given businesses the opportunity to pass along savings to their customers." (
  • "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we need to help them during this unprecedented time," said Guthrie. "The PPP is designed to help small businesses stay open and continue to pay their employees. I encourage any small business owner in the Second District to apply for the PPP, even if you were initially denied because funding ran out. We want to help as many businesses as we can while sadly many parts of our economy are temporarily shut down." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 266 - Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. (
  • "Thank you Senator Mitch McConnell for introducing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Now is the time for us to come together to deliver relief to Main Street and to American families during the coronavirus outbreak. I look forward to the Senate passing it and its immediate consideration in the House." (
  • "I support the First Amendment, and parents should have the right to have their voice heard on their child's education. I cosponsored a resolution in the House of Representatives that expresses the First Amendment rights of parents at school board meetings should not be infringed." (
  • Rated 0% by National Education Association. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1119 - SENSE Act. (
  • "As more renewable energy sources come online, we need to ensure that we do not sacrifice our energy independence or hurt Americans with higher energy costs and by destroying jobs." (
  • "I was proud to join @POTUS at the @EPA as he revoked harmful Obama-era energy regulations." (
  • Rated 89% by American Energy Alliance. (
  • Voted against HR 9 "Climate Action Now Act." (
  • Rated 89% by American Energy Alliance. (
  • "This week I cosponsored the Trillion Trees Act. This effort to grow and restore trees in the U.S. and around the world would sequester 2/3 of manmade carbon emissions in the atmosphere right now. This is a creative solution to help our environment while also supporting jobs." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1119 - SENSE Act. (
  • Rated 92% by National Rifle Association. (
  • Voted against HR 1446 "Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021." (
  • "#Obamacare meant chaos for our insurance markets. American Health Care Act will stabilize the market, meaning affordable care." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1628 - American Health Care Act of 2017. (
  • "I am glad that Republicans and Democrats were able to come together to respond to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. This bill will increase testing capabilities across the country. This bill also includes emergency measures to ensure that employees can take sick leave and that children have access to food services. I commend President Trump for declaring a National Emergency and Governor Beshear for declaring a State of Emergency. These measures will help ensure that Kentuckians have additional resources to combat the coronavirus." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • "STRONGLY SUPPORT President Trump's plan to crack down on illegal immigration. SUPPORTS THE WALL, and measures to keep Mexican-produced methamphetamines out of Kentucky." (
  • Rated 80% by NumbersUSA. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 3219 - Make America Secure Appropriations Act. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 3003 "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act." (
  • "In 2014, the President exceeded his authority by unilaterally granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. This resolution is an important step to ensure that President Obama's executive actions are stopped." (
  • Rated 80% by NumbersUSA. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 3004 "Kate's Law." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1698 "Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act." (
  • "Congressman Guthrie voted in favor of H.R. 757, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act, which he previously cosponsored. This bill is designed to hold the North Korean regime accountable and provide the tools needed to stifle their terrorism financing." (
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 3898 "Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act." (
  • Voted against H J Res 37 "Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress" (
  • "President Trump acted in America's best interest when he ordered the strike that killed Iranian General Soleimani," said Guthrie. "This afternoon, I voted against Speaker Pelosi's War Powers Resolution that would undermine President Trump's authority to protect American troops in the Middle East. This resolution fully ignores President Trump's clear ongoing efforts to avoid war and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and it would further prevent President Trump from keeping our troops safe. I will continue to pray for our brave men and women abroad, and I stand ready to work with President Trump and my colleagues to negotiate with Iran on a deal that keeps our nation safe." (
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • Voted against S J Res 7 "Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress" (
  • Signed a letter stating: "Accordingly, we appreciate your support for farmers and ranchers in the face of Chinese retaliation, and we encourage the Administration to work diligently in its negotiations with China to address China's trade practices in a manner that will avoid retaliation, helping to return our agriculture industry to a state of certainty and back on the road to prosperity." (
  • "BIG news from the White House today: President Trump has officially signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement into law! The #USMCA trade agreement will be great for Kentucky farmers and manufacturers." (
  • Rated 0% by Public Citizen. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 5430 "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act." (
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 legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
X c) Abortions should be legal only when pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should always be illegal.
X f) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and parental notification requirements.
X g) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.
h) Support "buffer zones" by requiring demonstrators to stay at least 15 feet away from abortion clinic doorways and driveways.
i) Other
No j) Should Kentucky government funding be provided to clinics and medical facilities that provide abortion services?

Indicate the principles you support (if any) concerning affirmative action. State government agencies should take race and sex into account in the following sectors:

Undecided a) College and university admissions
No b) Public employment
No c) State contracting
d) Other

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

X a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
X b) Support contracting with private sector firms to manage medium security prisons.
X c) End parole for repeat violent felons.
X d) Expand the use of the death penalty for additional circumstances relating to murder.
e) Oppose the death penalty.
X f) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
X g) Inform communities when a convicted sex offender moves into the community.
h) Increase state funds for programs which rehabilitate and educate inmates during and after their prison sentences.
i) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
X j) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
X k) Strengthen penalties and sentences for sex offenders.
X l) Lower the limit defining drunk driving to .08 blood alcohol content.
X m) Prosecute juveniles who commit murder or other serious violent crimes as adults.
X n) Increase pay for police officers.
o) Other
Undecided p) Do you support the Racial Justice Act, which allows accused killers to seek review of whether race played a role in their death penalty prosecution?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning the economy and employment.

X a) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
X b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X c) Support limits on cash damages in lawsuits against businesses and professionals for product liability or malpractice.
X d) Increase funding for state job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
e) Support collective bargaining for public employees.
f) Implement a deposit on beverage bottles and cans.
g) Increase the weight limit on coal trucks.
h) Other

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

X a) Increase state funds for professional development of public school teachers and administrators.
X b) Encourage private or corporate investment in public school programs.
X c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
X d) Favor charter schools where independent groups receive state authorization and funding to establish new schools.
X e) Support sex education programs which stress abstinence.
f) Support sex education programs which stress safe sexual practices.
X g) Increase state funds for school construction and facility maintenance.
X h) Increase state funds for hiring of additional teachers.
X i) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
X j) Support additional funding for a literacy research center and literacy intervention programs in elementary schools.
k) Other
Yes l) Do you support requiring students to take a statewide exam (CATS) and provide financial rewards or penalties to schools based on the results?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

a) Require the use of cleaner burning fuels in order to prevent pollution.
X b) Support "self-audit" legislation which creates incentives for industries to audit themselves and clean up pollution.
X c) Require a cost/benefit analysis to determine the economic impact of proposed environmental regulations before they are implemented.
X d) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.
e) Provide funding for recycling programs in Kentucky.
X f) Request added flexibility from the federal government in enforcing and funding federal environmental regulations.
X g) Suspend participation in unfunded, federally mandated environmental protection legislation.
X h) Restructure the electric utility industry to allow consumers to choose their power company.
i) Block new mining permits for coal companies controlled by other companies that have violated environmental regulations.
j) Support stricter regulations on large scale hog production.
k) Other
Yes l) State environmental regulations should not be stricter than federal law.
No m) Do you support the Kentucky Forest Conservation Act that requires logger training and the use of certain techniques to reduce erosion?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding government reform.c) Do you support current limits on the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?

No a) Do you support amending the Kentucky Constitution to limit the number of terms of State Senators and Representatives?
Yes b) Do you support the current law which limits the number of terms the Governor can serve? (2, 4-year terms)
No 1) Individual
No 2) PAC
No 3) Corporate
Yes d) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
No e) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
No f) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Yes g) Would you vote to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring an annual balanced federal budget?
Undecided h) Would you support an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution requiring the legislature to meet every year?
i) Other

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

a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
b) Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
c) Maintain state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
X d) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.
e) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
f) Other

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

X a) Provide tax incentives to small businesses that provide health care to their employees.
b) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care, through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care where necessary.
c) Support the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program (KCHIP) that provides access to health care for uninsured children.
d) Use state funds to continue some Medicaid coverage for legal immigrants.
e) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
f) Guaranteeing medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Support state-funded incentives that increase the supply and retention of health professionals in rural areas.
h) Other
i) Do you support the current law that allows insurers to charge more for people with poor health?
j) Do you support the current law that allows insurers not to provide coverage for people with certain conditions such as AIDS, strokes and cancer?
k) Do you support recent changes to the Medicaid program that brought it under a managed care system?

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

a) Increase state funding for programs to prevent teen pregnancy.
X b) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
c) Increase state funds to provide child care to children in low-income working families.
X d) Deny or suspend state-issued permits and licenses to parents who are delinquent in paying court-ordered child support.
e) Favor banning smoking in public places.
f) Increase state funding for Head Start in order to serve additional children and/or increase services from a half to a full day.
g) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
h) Support state funding of programs for at-risk youth such as guaranteed college loans and job training and placement.
i) Other
No j) Do you believe that the Kentucky government should include sexual orientation in Kentucky's anti-discrimination laws?
No k) Do you believe that the Kentucky government should recognize same-sex marriages?

Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories. Select one level only.

Maintain Status a) Agriculture
Slightly Increase b) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increase c) Education (Higher)
Maintain Status d) Environment
Maintain Status e) Health care
Slightly Increase f) Law enforcement
Maintain Status g) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)
Greatly Decrease h) Welfare
i) Other

Indicate the tax levels you will support. Select one level only.

Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Decrease b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gas taxes
Greatly Decrease f) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Greatly Decrease g) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Slightly Decrease h) Property taxes
Slightly Decrease i) Sales taxes
j) Other
Yes k) Do you support a flat tax structure for state income taxes?
Yes l) Do you support the proposed constitutional amendment allowing the Kentucky legislature to change or eliminate taxes on personal property?

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

X a) Maintain the current time limits on welfare benefits.
X b) Require able-bodied recipients to participate in work activities in order to receive benefits.
c) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
X d) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
e) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
f) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
X g) Allow welfare recipients to remain eligible for benefits while saving money for education, starting a business, or buying a home.
X h) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
i) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
j) Other
1. A "K-R" (kindergarten through Retirement) education system that educates our children, prepares our young adults for careers, and provides opportunities for adults to train for better jobs. 2. Reduce taxation, regulation, and litigation so that Kentucky will have a better business climate.

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