Political positions of Duncan Hunter

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Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter

2008 presidential campaign
Political positions
Campaign website: gohunter08.com
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The political positions of Duncan Hunter - fourteen-term Representative from California - are self-described "tru[ly] conservative." Following are the positions he has taken on some pertinent political topics.

Social issues[edit]

Duncan Hunter is pro-life and has said that if Roe v. Wade were overturned it would be a "good day" for America. Hunter received a 100 percent approval rating from the National Right to Life Committee. Hunter received a zero percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. He voted in support of a bill making it a crime to harm a fetus and supported the 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

I would amend the U.S. Constitution and provide blanket protection to all unborn children from the moment of conception by prohibiting any state or federal law that denies the personhood of the unborn. Likewise, I have also introduced the Right to Life Act, which would legally define “personhood” as the moment of conception and, therefore, guarantee all constitutional rights and protections, including life, to the unborn without utilizing a constitutional amendment.[1]

Hunter is opposed to embryonic stem cell research voting "no" in May 2005 for governmental funding. However, Hunter does support Adult stem cell research.

Hunter is opposed to same-sex marriage and civil unions. In 1999, he supported a bill to prohibit gay adoptions in Washington, D.C. He voted in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage in July 2006.[2]

Hunter opposes recreational drug use and supports pursuing the war on drugs. In September 2001 he voted in favor of military border patrols to stop the movement of terrorists and drugs. He voted "yes" in October 1999 to prohibit medicinal marijuana use in Washington D.C. He supports random drug tests to Federal employees voting in favor of a bill providing this in 1998.

Hunter was rated 100 percent by the Christian Coalition of America. He supported reducing the Marriage Tax Penalty in March 2001 and voted "yes" in April 2003 to implement a nationwide AMBER alert system.

I strongly believe Congress needs to remain actively involved in ensuring parents’ rights are protected and I have significant concerns with recent judicial rulings recognizing “de-facto” or “psychological” parents, individuals who assist in raising a child. These types of decisions undermine parental authority, allowing any adult with an association with the child to make parental claims.[1]

Domestic issues[edit]


In February 1995 Hunter voted "yes" on making federal death penalty appeals harder. He is a supporter of the death penalty and believes it should be used more often. In April 1994 Hunter voted "no" on replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment. Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) gave him a 30% approval rating showing an anti-rehabilitation crime voting record.


Hunter was rated 17% by the National Education Association (NEA) indicating a record in opposition to teachers' unions. He supports student vouchers, school prayer and mandatory testing for schools. He supported the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001.

I believe we can educate students more effectively by returning school curriculum prerogatives to the states, local communities and, most importantly, to the family. State agencies charged with conducting education policies do not need expensive and inefficient mandates from a federal agency and I support streamlining the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Education toward a goal of working in cooperation with local and state governments to meet local and state learning levels.(Hunter) [1]


Hunter voted "no" on prohibiting oil drilling and development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He opposed raising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations on fuel incentives for alternative fuels. Hunter supports energy independence from the Middle East and offering tax breaks or credits for alternate fuels. He opposes the Kyoto Protocol, voting "no" against it in June, 2000.

Gun control[edit]

Hunter is given an A+ by the National Rifle Association (NRA). He voted "yes" on the prohibition of lawsuits against gun manufacturers and gun sellers because of misuse. In June 1999, he voted in favor of a shorter Federal handgun waiting period (from three days to one).


Hunter opposes illegal immigration, and has publicly advocated for the deportation of United States citizens born on U.S. soil who are the children of illegal immigrants.[3] Hunter has stated that the current administration has the "slows" in building a border fence. He supports the Minutemen and voted "no" on immigrant visas for skilled workers. In September 2006 voted "yes" on the building of a border fence along the Mexican border. "The cornerstone of our responsibilities as elected officials is to defend and protect the American people. This was reinforced with the attacks of September 11th, which immediately made border security a national security issue. Protecting our homeland begins at our nation’s borders and it is imperative that our border enforcement agencies be provided with the necessary resources to ensure that we know both who and what are entering the country. I believe in providing Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement corps with sufficient strength to secure our borders and providing for interior enforcement throughout the country because it is imperative in our fight to protect Americans. To not do so can only be characterized as irresponsible."

When you discover an effective deterrent to crime, you use it. I know fencing helps secure our nation’s borders because criminal activity in every statistical category has been eliminated or decreased since we built the border fence in San Diego County. What was once a porous border, susceptible to illegal aliens, drug trafficking and terrorism, is now the standard mode in preventing drug smugglers from bringing narcotics into our neighborhoods and allowing border enforcement personnel to reinforce areas of greater need. These results led me to write the Secure Fence Act, extending the San Diego fence 854 miles across California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Building fences in strategic locations along our international borders is a proven method of keeping America safe and, despite recent attempts to undo the Congressional mandated funding provided for this effort, I am committed to this effort and confident the fence will be built. (Hunter) [4]

However, his recent votes[when?] indicate strong support for H-1B visa expansion.[citation needed]

In 2005, Hunter introduced legislation calling for the construction of a reinforced fence along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. He cited crime statistics as measures of its success:

  • Illegal alien apprehensions along the fenced region were reduced from over 202,000 in 1992 to approximately 9,000 in 2004. Further, it is estimated that the apprehensions vs. attempts ratio increased to over 90%;
  • Following the establishment of the San Diego Border Fence, crime rates in San Diego have fallen dramatically. According to the FBI Crime Index, crime in San Diego County dropped 47.3 percent between 1989 to 2000.[5]


Duncan Hunter supports the PATRIOT Act, voting to make it permanent in December 2005. He voted "yes" to allow electronic surveillance without a warrant. Hunter was rated only seven percent by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Our success in protecting America from terrorists is completely dependent upon our ability to obtain and utilize reliable intelligence data. Our national intelligence and defense communities must be provided with the tools necessary to identify, track, stop and prosecute terrorists before they have the opportunity to strike. The fact that America has not been attacked since September 11th indicates to me that we are on the right course. I am confident we can remain on that course by providing our intelligence agencies with the resources they need while, at the same time, maintaining our commitment to the continued protection of our civil rights.[6]

Economic issues[edit]

Hunter was given an 83 percent rating by the United States Chamber of Commerce, indicating a generally pro-business voting record.

Taxes and budget[edit]

Duncan Hunter supports low taxes for middle income families. He voted "yes" on making George W. Bush's tax cuts permanent in April 2002. He is opposed to the estate tax and supports an increase in the child tax credit. In 1994 Hunter supported a balanced budget amendment, a fiscally conservative position.

I support a balanced federal budget, with additional revenue provided by economic growth, not increased taxes. Further, I support limiting growth in non-defense areas.[1]

Foreign trade[edit]

Hunter was given a 24 percent approval by the Cato Institute, showing a generally low free trade voting record. Hunter was opposed to the creation of the Central America Free Trade Agreement, but supports a free trade agreement with Australia. He opposes free trade agreements with Singapore, Chile, and China.

American workers are the most productive and innovative labor force in the world. Unfortunately, they are asked to compete in an unfair environment against other workers who make only a fraction of a living wage and are employed by companies that face few, if any, responsibilities to the environment or the long-term prospects of their employees. Our domestic manufacturers are forced to compete against foreign companies that benefit from their country’s currency and regulatory regimes. Ominously, China is cheating on trade and using billions of American trade dollars to build ships, planes and missiles at an alarming rate while, at the same time, taking millions of American jobs. I will reverse this “one-way street” with a new policy of fair trade for the American worker.[7]

Hunter contends that free trade policies directly impact America's manufacturing base and contribute to the country's trade deficit. Hunter cites that China has a 17 percent subsidy for its manufacturers, a 17 percent tax on U.S. imports, and the Chinese devalue their currency at 40 percent, making Chinese goods cheaper and leaving U.S. manufacturers at a 74 percent disadvantage.[8]


In 2006, Hunter earned an "environmental harm demerit" from the watchdog group Republicans for Environmental Protection for "efforts to downsize Channel Islands National Park by seeking to transfer Santa Rosa Island to the Department of Defense.[9] The organization assigned Hunter a score of -4 for that year, indicating anti-environment action on 10 out of 12 issues deemed critical; however, REP did recognize the representative for voting in favor of designating wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.[10] The nonpartisan League of Conservation Voters issued Hunter the lowest possible environmental score for 2006; his lifetime rating from the LCV is nine percent.[11] The group singled him out for criticism when in 2003 he and Senator John Warner "succeeded in removing the Senate's bipartisan language and adding broad military exemptions from both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.[12]


Hunter was rated 11 percent by the American Public Health Association (APHA). In June 2003 he voted "yes" on small business associations for buying health insurance. He voted "yes" on allowing individuals to sue health maintenance organizations, but under federal rules and limited award in August 2001. In July 2003 he voted in favor of allowing reimportation of prescription drugs. Hunter was given an 11 percent approval rating by the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), showing an anti-social security voting record. He supports the privatization of social security. In September 1994 Hunter voted to limit welfare to two years and cut welfare spending.

Foreign policy[edit]

United Nations[edit]

Hunter has said that the United Nations is ineffective. He strongly opposes the Law of the Sea Treaty because he feels it helps the United Nations and contrasts with a precedent set by Ronald Reagan. In regards to the Treaty, Hunter stated, "Rest assured no treaty that infringes on the sovereignty of the United States, or further empowers the United Nations, will get anything but a trip to the waste basket in a Hunter Administration." [13]


Hunter voted in favor of the Iraq War and believes that the cost of the fight has been worth it. He favors handing off the burden of security to Iraqi leadership after training and voted "no" on redeploying US troops out of Iraq in 90 days in May 2007. Hunter has announced his support for the troop surge earlier in 2007. Hunter's son Duncan Duane Hunter served in Iraq.


Hunter favors pre-emptive tactical nuclear bombings against Iran if they keep centrifuges and there are no other solutions.

I would authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons if there was no other way to preempt those particular centrifuges [in Iran].[14]


See also[edit]