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Jim Inhofe's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)



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.

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.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

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

Jim Inhofe has failed to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2020 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

What is the Political Courage Test?

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 2020.

  • "I believe that an unborn child is a life, and as such, shall be guaranteed the right to life." (
  • Rated 0% by Planned Parenthood. (
  • Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (
  • "This is a Reagan tax cut -- a truly pro-growth reform that will grow our economy and create jobs." (
  • "this tax cut will only do more to drive the engine of the American economy to new heights and benefit hardworking families." (
  • Rated 4% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (
  • "Additionally, federally administered programs like Medicare and Medicaid must be reformed to address costs and gaps in coverage." (
  • "It is imperative that we secure Social Security for current and future retirees. At the same time, the status quo has put Social Security on an unsustainable path. We must make smart reforms to the program to ensure that the program is secure for retirees both now and in years to come." (
  • "I am outraged that Senate Democrats are refusing to even allow us to debate the JUSTICE Act. It's even more proof that the Democrats aren't interested in policy or governing -- they are only concerned about politics. The American people want to see us debate and discuss these issues. The legislation before us today includes dozens of bipartisan priorities and is roughly 80 percent identical to the House legislation our Senate Democrat colleagues have endorsed." (
  • "It should be obvious that defunding our law enforcement--those who are here to keep us safe--is not the answer. Rather, we should use better training and stronger accountability measures to hold those who choose to abuse their badge accountable for their actions. In the midst of this tragedy of the killing of George Floyd and other Americans, I am hopeful our colleagues across the aisle will join us in standing for meaningful reforms with the passage of the JUSTICE Act." (
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "'I'm already working to end sequestration and ensure our military receives sufficient funding so our capacity, capability, and readiness can grow to meet necessary requirements." (
  • "Unlike any other time in our nation's history, we are facing diverse and wide-ranging threats. It has never been more important to ensure our military has the stable, reliable, adequate and on time funding they deserve." (
  • "The president was exactly right today--we need a sweeping infrastructure proposal to rebuild our nation's infrastructure. A major infrastructure bill is more than just legislation--it is an investment in the economic future of individuals and communities around the country." (
  • "By unlocking the overbearing and duplicative permitting process and aggressively leveraging private and local investment with federal dollars, we can stimulate investment, streamline regulations and invest in rural America while providing jobs and economic opportunity across the country." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 22- Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (
  • "This is a Reagan tax cut -- a truly pro-growth reform that will grow our economy and create jobs." (
  • "this tax cut will only do more to drive the engine of the American economy to new heights and benefit hardworking families." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 748 - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. (
  • "The main problem with having Washington hold the reins of the nation's education system is the fact that education is not one size fits all." (
  • Rated 0% by National Education Assocation. (
  • "Each state, and each school district, has specialized needs that cannot be mandated by a Washington cookie cutter. In Oklahoma, we want education reform that sets standards created and certified by Oklahomans, not reform enforced by bureaucrats in Washington made possible through Common Core." (
  • "President Trump's executive orders confirm what we know in Oklahoma--that responsible production of coal, oil and gas will fuel the economy and provide affordable energy for American families to cook their meals and heat their homes." (
  • Rated 100% by American Energy Alliance. (
  • "This favoritism also extends to the way the government thinks about the adaptability of our nation to changing circumstances. Renewable energy requires massive amounts of land to make very small quantities of power, but the government seems to ignore this fact. One recently constructed solar farm takes up 5 square miles but only makes enough electricity to power 140,000 homes. By contrast, a typical natural gas power plant may, in total, take up only a half square mile but can generate enough power to support over one million homes. Despite the true impacts of renewables on the environment, the Administration continues to turn a blind eye to them. It's my hope that during this hearing, we'll be able to uncover some of these facts and provide a better framework for comparing the relative benefits and costs of different forms of energy." (
  • "The Supreme Court has delivered a major blow to President Obama's legacy on climate change. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to stay the implementation of the so-called Clean Power Plan while the legal challenges to that plan are proceeding is a sign the court recognizes that the Obama administration has over reached its authority." (
  • Rated 5% by League of Conservation Voters. (
  • "There is no reason to impose regulations on our nation's oil and gas sector when the industry is already voluntarily reducing methane emissions." (
  • "He is strongly opposed to placing additional requirements on U.S. gun manufacturers, and is committed to protecting the rights of hunters, sportsmen, and all lawful gun owners." (
  • Rated 100% by National Rifle Association. (
  • Voted in favor of S Amdt 667 - Health Care Freedom Act of 2017. (
  • "ObamaCare has amounted to a failed law and a broken promise to the American people, and I continue to support its full repeal," (
  • Voted against HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • Rated 84% by NumbersUSA. (
  • "We need to build the wall along the southern border--President Trump has called for the wall and I agree." (
  • "DACA is enticing families to send their young children on the dangerous journey to the U.S-Mexico border, exposing them to treacherous and often times deadly conditions," said Inhofe. "Without President Obama's campaign promise of amnesty we would not have the tens of thousands of unaccompanied alien children crossing our southern border, and we would have one less crisis for the country to confront. I am proud to stand with Sens. Cruz, Sessions, and Vitter against the President's amnesty approach to immigration reform and will continue to work with my colleagues to find a solution that will secure our southern border and put an end to this crisis that is leaving vulnerable children in the crosshairs." (
  • Rated 84% by NumbersUSA. (
  • "The Trump administration has taken appropriate action against the largest state sponsor of terrorism today by issuing sanctions against Iran, especially in light of the latest missile tests. I am glad the current administration is taking a strong stance against Iran so that the United States as well as our friends and allies may remain safe and secure." (
  • "President Trump has done the right thing by pulling out of the flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and reinstating sanctions on Iran. It was a bad deal from the beginning that only paused Iran's nuclear development and did nothing to address their malign behavior in the region or their ballistic missile capabilities." (
  • "President Trump is right to push for real progress on North Korea denuclearization and for being willing to walk away from a bad deal. We must stand strong with our allies and insist on complete, verifiable denuclearization." (
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • Rated 100% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "I urge the president to clarify our nation's long-term strategic objectives and provide our commanders on the ground with the forces and the rules of engagement they need to achieve those objectives. This is what will truly give our military and Afghan partners the best opportunity to succeed in the war against terrorism, not only in Afghanistan but throughout the region." (
  • "While I welcome the president's decision to retain 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, his continued incremental withdrawal of U.S. troops is based on politics and not conditions on the ground. The president is now set to leave office with a concluding note of ambiguity, having failed to assure our allies and warn our enemies that our nation remains resolved in our commitment to Afghanistan and its people." (
  • "The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is a good deal and we need to make it a reality," Inhofe said. "One year after President Trump's announcement of the USMCA, Speaker Pelosi still hasn't brought it up for a vote. This deal replaces the outdated NAFTA agreement that I opposed because it harmed American truckers and put our businesses at a disadvantage. Oklahoma farmers, ranchers and manufacturers demand trade certainty and this will provide them with just that. Speaker Pelosi needs to put her partisan politics aside and make this deal happen." (
  • Rated 11% by Public Citizen. (
  • "I am pleased to see President Trump working to ensure that our country gets a fair shake in trade agreements," Inhofe said. "As President Trump evaluates the trade agreements negotiated under the Obama Administration, I encourage him to swiftly negotiate new deals with our allies around the globe. Maintaining productive trade relationships with our allies will ensure access to international markets for Oklahoma's farmers, ranchers and energy producers. Breaking down barriers to allow exports of more American goods will create jobs in Oklahoma and strengthen our domestic economy." (
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 illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legally available.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
X d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
X e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
X f) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles

Budgetary PrioritiesUsing the key below, indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.

Maintain Funding Status a) Agricultural
Maintain Funding Status b) Arts
Greatly Increase Funding c) Defense
Slightly Increase Funding d) Education
Maintain Funding Status e) Environmental
Maintain Funding Status f) International Aid
Slightly Increase Funding g) Law Enforcement
Slightly Increase Funding h) Medical Research
Maintain Funding Status i) National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA)
Maintain Funding Status j) National Parks
Slightly Increase Funding k) Public Health Services
Slightly Increase Funding l) Scientific Research
Greatly Increase Funding m) Terrorism Prevention
Greatly Increase Funding n) Transportation and Highway Infrastructure
Maintain Funding Status o) Welfare
p) Other or expanded categories

Defense SpendingUsing the key below, indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following categories. Select one number per category.

Greatly Increase Funding a) Armed Forces personnel training
Greatly Increase Funding b) Covert intelligence operations
Greatly Increase Funding c) Military hardware
Greatly Increase Funding d) Pay for active duty personnel
Greatly Increase Funding e) National Missile Defense Program
Greatly Increase Funding f) Programs to improve military retention rates
Greatly Increase Funding g) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increase Funding h) Troop and equipment readiness
i) Other or expanded categories

TaxesUsing the key below, indicate what levels you support concerning taxes, deductions, and tax credits in the following categories. Select one number per tax.Income Taxes - Family IncomeIncome Taxes - Retiree IncomeOther TaxesDeductions/Credits

Slightly Decrease a) Less than $25,000
Slightly Decrease b) $25,000 - $75,000
Slightly Decrease c) $75,000 - $150,000
Slightly Decrease d) Over $150,000
Slightly Decrease e) Other or expanded categories
Slightly Decrease f) Over $40, 000
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Decrease b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Eliminate f) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Charitable deductions
Slightly Decrease b) Medical expense deductions
Maintain Status c) Mortgage deductions
Maintain Status d) Child tax credit
Maintain Status e) Earned income tax credit
Maintain Status f) Student loan tax credit
g) Other or expanded categories


Yes 2) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
No 3) Would you use Social Security surpluses to balance the budget?
Make Bush tax cuts permanent.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and governmental reform issues.

a) Support public taxpayer funding for congressional candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
X b) Increase the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
c) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Provide free or low-cost television advertising to candidates who agree to voluntary campaign spending limits.
e) Ban unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
X f) Prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making soft money contributions to national parties or party committees.
g) Require full disclosure of funding sources of issue advocacy commercials which appear within 60 days of an election.
h) Remove all contribution limits to federal candidates and parties.
i) Require congressional candidates to raise over half of their campaign money from their home state.
X j) Require that unions give members the option of not having membership dues used for political purposes.
No k) Support the federal government mandate that creates national voting system standards.
Yes l) Do you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms that members of Congress can serve?
Undecided m) Do you support voting on-line?
n) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
X b) Increase spending to build more federal prisons.
X c) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
e) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
f) Increase funding for community policing programs.
g) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
h) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
i) Enforcement of civil rights should primarily be the responsibility of the federal government.
X j) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
k) Support programs that provide job training and placement services for at-risk youth.
l) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning illegal drugs.

X a) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
X b) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
c) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
d) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
X e) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
f) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the "war on drugs."
g) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any publicly-funded school.
X c) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
X d) Support charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
e) Increase funding for block grants to states to help them hire additional teachers.
X f) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
g) Increase funding for computers and computer training in public schools.
h) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
X i) Eliminate restrictions on federal education funding, giving educators or local school districts more flexibility to design and implement their programs.
j) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
k) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
X l) Other or expanded principles
Support Impact Aid for local school districts - full funding.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment and affirmative action.

a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
X b) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X c) Establish empowerment zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.
d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
e) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
f) Eliminate any federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
g) Increase the federal minimum wage.
h) Considering race and gender in government contracting decisions is appropriate for the federal government.
i) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
j) Continue federal affirmative action programs.
k) Discontinue federal affirmative action programs.
l) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding America's environment and natural resources.

a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
X c) Support opening a select portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
d) Support the U.S. re-entering the current Kyoto treaty process to limit global warming.
e) Require states to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately owned land.
X f) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
g) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
h) Provide tax credits for state and local bonds to preserve open spaces, build parks, improve water quality and redevelop brownfields.
i) Support the National Forest Protection and Restoration Act prohibiting commercial logging in our national forests.
X j) Provide states and local communities with more flexibility to address their respective environmental problems.
X k) Other or expanded principles
Support policies based on sound science

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

a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
b) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
X d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
X e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
X g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
h) Require a license for gun possession.
i) Raise the minimum age for ownership of handguns from 18 to 21.
j) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
X c) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights to define and enforce the rights of insured patients, including greater access to specialists and emergency rooms, wider choice of health care providers, and appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
d) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to sue when claims are denied.
X e) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
X f) Support legislation to provide prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
X g) Increase research funding of the human genome to find cures for diseases such as cancer, AIDS/HIV, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.
X h) Increase federal funding for training health workers to recognize and respond to the release of biological agents.
X i) Prohibit the procedure of cloning human embryos.
X j) Other or expanded principles
Support Medical Savings Accounts, Medical malpractice reform

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

a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.
c) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.
X d) Increase the immigration quota for computer scientists and other information technology workers.
X e) Establish English as the official U.S. language.
f) Collect fingerprint data from all U.S. visa applicants which would be accessible to all federal immigration-related agencies.
g) Allow legalization for certain illegal immigrants working in the U.S.
h) Other or expanded principles

International AidIndicate which principles (if any) you support regarding U. S. economic assistance.

X a) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
X b) Aid should be granted to countries when it is in the security interests of the U. S.
c) Aid should be granted to countries that are close allies of the U. S. and in need of financial/military assistance.
d) Aid should be eliminated for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
e) Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated except for extraordinary circumstances.
f) Other or expanded principles

International PolicyIndicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United States-United Nations relationship.

a) The U.S. should take military action against Iraq only as part of an international effort.
b) The U.S. should end the economic embargo against Iraq.
c) The U.S. should not continue to play a prominent leadership role in the peace process between Israel and the Palestine Authority.
d) The U.S. should support the formation of a Palestinian state.
e) Other or expanded principles
X a) The U.S. should participate in United Nations peacekeeping missions only when vital U.S. interests are involved.
b) The U.S. should not commit military troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
c) The U.S. should withdraw completely from the United Nations.
d) Other or expanded principles
No 3) Should the U.S. have full diplomatic relations with Cuba?
Yes 4) Should the U.S. recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?
Yes 5) Should the U.S. increase its financial support to Colombia for the "war on drugs?"
Yes 6) Do you support the cooperative threat reduction programs with Russia to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons? ___ Yes ___ No ___ Undecided
Yes 7) Do you support the recent withdrawal of the U.S. from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty in order to deploy a national missile defense system?
Yes 8) Should the U.S. hold nations accountable for terrorists who operate from their country?
9) Other or expanded principles

International Trade

No 1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No 2) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
3) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
No 4) Do you support China becoming a member of the World Trade Organization?
Yes 5) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) trading status with the United States? ___ Yes ___ No ___ Undecided
Yes 6) Should the President have "fast-track" authority to negotiate trade agreements?
Yes 7) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
8) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.

Yes 1. Do you support the President using military tribunals to try terrorist suspects when the President deems ordinary civil courts to be inappropriate or impractical?
Yes 2. Should the U.S. adopt higher qualification rules for student visa applications from nations known to sponsor terrorism?
Yes 3. Should law enforcement agencies be granted greater discretion to read mail and email, tap phones, and conduct random searches to prevent future terrorist attacks?
Yes 4. Should federal law enforcement agencies share intelligence data with local law enforcement agencies?
Yes 5. Should the federal government provide states with funding for homeland security?
6. Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.

X a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
c) The federal government should invest a portion of Social Security's assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of U.S. Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to better finance Social Security in its current form.
e) Lower Social Security's annual cost-of-living increases.
X f) Support a "lock box" measure, limiting Congress's ability to spend Social Security and Medicare surpluses on any other federal programs except Social Security and Medicare, until each program's long-term solvency is guaranteed.
g) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Continue the moratorium on Internet sales taxes.
b) Implement regulation of Internet content by the federal government.
X c) Regulation of the Internet should not be controlled by the federal government.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
e) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding poverty and the welfare system.

a) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
b) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to defray the cost of an apartment.
X c) Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through TANF block grants.
X d) Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants.
e) Restore food stamp programs to legal immigrants.
f) Transfer homeless housing programs to states through block grants.
g) Provide continued Medicaid benefits for those welfare recipients who have moved from welfare to work.
h) Require states to return any unused welfare block grant funding to the federal government.
i) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
j) Provide states with additional funding for Medicaid programs to alleviate increasing state budget deficits.
k) Other or expanded principles
In a total of seventy-five (75) words or less, please explain what your top two or three priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional funding needed to implement these priorities.

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