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Richard Shelby'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.

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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.

Richard Shelby has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 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 2016.

  • "Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have and will continue to support efforts to preserve the lives of unborn children. I strongly believe that it is our moral and ethical duty to protect the dignity of human life, particularly when it comes to the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society." (
  • Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee (
  • "The federal government must constrain itself to spend only what it takes in and not continue to saddle future generations with debt. This does not mean, however, that we should increase taxes. Senator Shelby adamantly opposes tax increases, as our budget shortfall is not the result of insufficient tax revenues, but rather excessive government spending." (
  • "The Tax Simplification Act establishes a flat income tax of 17 percent on all income and places real spending limits on the federal government. My proposed flat tax would replace our current incomprehensible tax code with a flat tax rate of 17 percent on all income." (
  • Signed a letter stating "The excessive mandatory minimum sentences associated with drug offenses have led to an overrepresentation of people convicted of drug offenses in the federal criminal justice system. Restoring federal judicial discretion in drug cases by eliminating mandatory minimum sentences would allow people to receive punishments more proportional [...]" (
  • Rated 76% by Club for Growth (
  • "In order to create a healthy economy and for the private sector to flourish, it is imperative that we cut wasteful government spending, simplify the tax code, and put an end to burdensome regulations." (
  • "The federal government must constrain itself to spend only what it takes in and not continue to saddle future generations with debt. This does not mean, however, that we should increase taxes. Senator Shelby adamantly opposes tax increases, as our budget shortfall is not the result of insufficient tax revenues, but rather excessive government spending." (
  • "Senator Shelby adamantly opposes tax increases, as our budget shortfall is not the result of insufficient tax revenues, but rather excessive government spending." (
  • "Higher corporate taxes will only lead to less capital for companies to invest into their businesses and make it more difficult for them to hire more workers. I oppose the President’s call for a higher corporate tax rate and will continue to push to lower taxes to allow for more opportunity and investment in America." (
  • "Federal intervention into our nation’s education system will only lead to bureaucratic red-tape and will reduce the autonomy of parents and teachers. Rather than top-down federal mandates, I support efforts to send federal money directly to the classroom so that state and local officials can address the needs of their communities without needlessly diverting funding through layers of government bureaucracy." (
  • "I would be very wary of Common Core for the simple reason (that) sooner or later you’re going to have a federal mandate, probably enforced through the Department of Education all across the country." (
  • "Delivering on our promise, the Senate passed legislation today to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. [...] It's time for President Obama to stop obstructing this job-creating project." (
  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of S.1 "A bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline (
  • "I believe that we should explore all economically viable potential energy sources and expand our use of domestic oil, natural gas, solar, wind, and geothermal power, among others. All of these policies must be a part of a comprehensive, market-based plan to move the United States toward energy independence." (
  • "We must also encourage diversification away from oil, with technology development that can compete in the market in its own right. The development of oil shale and coal-to-liquids technology are promising sources of domestic energy, as is hydrogen fuel and renewable energy resources such as solar, hydropower and biomass." (
  • "This past summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced sweeping new regulations in the Clean Air Act in a purported effort to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from existing power plants. These unilateral federal regulations from the EPA will lead to closures of coal units at three power plants in Alabama. […] These regulations are the face of executive overreach, and it is absolutely unacceptable that families and communities will suffer as a result of the EPA’s actions." (
  • "I am adamantly opposed to the cap and trade legislation before Congress." (
  • Rated 0% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "I believe that gun control legislation violates both the letter and the spirit of the United States Constitution." (
  • "To address concerns of gun crimes and criminal possession of firearms, Senator Shelby does not believe that the answer is to create laws that deny law abiding citizens the ability to defend themselves." (
  • "Opposition to ObamaCare is not responsible for its failures, and commitment to it will not negate its deep flaws. Mr. President, the only way to achieve the goals we all share is to begin by repealing this failed law so we can replace it with a plan that works." (
  • "Obamacare is the largest social and spending legislation in recent American history. Instead of a massive government takeover of health care, I support repealing and replacing Obamacare with real reforms that cut costs and increase coverage – not expand the government's role in the lives of the American people. I have voted multiple times to repeal this deeply flawed law and I will continue to fight against it in the 114th Congress." (
  • "Please know that as the Senate considers immigration legislation, I will continue to oppose any proposal that endorses, supports, or includes amnesty for illegal immigrants." (
  • "The omnibus fails to properly address President Obama’s action to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants through executive fiat. I remain firmly opposed to providing amnesty to those who have broken our laws and I stand ready to fight against the President’s executive overreach [...]" (
  • "I believe that marriage was created as a sacred union between one man and one woman, and we must do all within our power to protect this union. To that end, I support an amendment to the Constitution that would strictly define marriage as a union between a man and a woman throughout the country." (
  • Rated 0% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "I've always believed and still believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I voted on that in the U.S. Senate." (
  • "I continue to believe that it is in our national interest to promote order and stability in the world and to starve the vicious forces of extremism and terror. We cannot allow the tragic events of September 11, 2001, to be forgotten. [...] I believe that we must continue to fight terrorism and root out its practitioners throughout the world in order to advance our own national security." (
  • "While I appreciate President Obama's efforts to utilize airstrikes and provide assistance to Kurdish and Iraqi ground forces, his strategy has failed to destroy ISIS's capacity to wreak havoc in the region, as evidenced by Russia's intervention to fill the void. I firmly believe that the United States must be a leader in the fight to stop ISIS's barbaric acts of violence and ensure that they do not continue with their destructive territorial ambitions." (
  • Rated 11% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "While I support the underlying principle of personal retirement accounts, I am skeptical of any plan that places a significant burden on future generations and could endanger the economic well-being of our country. " (

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