Mike Pence on the Issues

Image courtesy of: The Associated Press/ Times Free Press

If you hate gays, the environment, immigrants and a woman’s right to choose, and love guns, trade, war and religious-based intolerance you’ll love Trump’s running mate.

Gay Rights

As a congressman and as a governor, Pence has strictly opposed any and all gay rights initiatives.  He co-sponsored an amendment to ban same sex marriage, he voted against bills that aimed to protect gays, lesbians and transgender individuals from discrimination, he voted against the repeal of , “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and he passed the now rather infamous Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA.)  RFRA made it legal for businesses in Indiana to refuse customers based on their sexual orientation. The bill, from nearly all angles was seen for what it was, legalized discrimination under the guise of religion.  He later amended the bill after a massive, nationwide outcry led to Apple, Angie’s List, Eli Lilly, Salesforce, the NBA, NCAA and WNBA all denouncing the law.  A study by Visit Indy found that RFRA cost Indiana more than $60 million in convention business. The Human Rights Campaign, a large, non-profit, civil-rights organization which focuses on LGBTQ issues, gave Pence a score of 0 out of a possible 100.


While his views on immigration were not previously quite as extreme as his running mate’s -he initially denounced Trump’s plan to ban Muslims, only to recently fall in line– he is still very much a hard-line conservative in this realm. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) an organization known to be overwhelmingly anti-immigration awarded Mike Pence a perfect score of 100 back in 2003, and recently released this glowing statement about the governor. The U.S. Border Control (USBC,) another non-profit known for supporting closed borders and and being strictly anti-amnesty, gave Pence a 92 out of 100.  Pence voted for H.R.3722, which served to prohibit hospitals from receiving federal reimbursement for treating illegal immigrants in emergency situations unless they supplied the federal government with detailed information including: “immigration status, financial data, and employer.” In 2009, he voted for the Birthright Citizens Act, a bill which aimed to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act, which awards citizenship to every person born in the U.S. Furthermore, Pence, as Governor of Indiana, was one of a collection of Republican governors who refused to resettle any Syrian immigrants, going against a federal mandate, which prompted the ACLU to sue Pence.


Pence has been a steadfast anti-abortion crusader from day one.  He has continually sponsored and co-sponsored legislation that served to defund Planned Parenthood and all similar organizations, in addition to sponsoring the Right to Life Act, which aimed to declare a fetus a “human being” at all stages of life, thereby abolishing abortion entirely.  Every bill introduced to the house with the goal of limiting abortion access was supported or sponsored by then Representative Pence.

Gun Control

Pence is about as pro-gun as any other figure in United States politics.  He has an A rating from the NRA and has continually voted to loosen restrictions on gun purchases.  He opposes a ban on semi-automatic weapons, he voted to expand concealed carry laws across state lines, and, in 2014, he signed into law, a bill that made it legal for adults to bring firearms onto school grounds, as long as they remained locked in their vehicles and did not enter the school building.

The Environment

According to data from the League of Conservation Voters (LICV,) on environmental issues, during his in in the House, Pence cast 201 anti-environment votes and only 9 pro-environment votes.  Pence opposed curbing toxic emissions in cement plants and placing limits on carbon emissions.  He also voted to eliminate funding for climate change education and opposed an array of clean water and air safeguardsand that’s just scratching the surface.  His lifetime score from the LICV is 4%.  He’s refused to state whether or not he believes in evolution and he wrote an op-ed in 2001 (found by Buzzfeed) in which he assertively stated that, “climate change is a myth.”


Pence supports a strong, massive, interventionist approach to the U.S. military. He voted for the war in Iraq, and has opposed bills calling for a reduction of troops in the region.  Pence is no Libertarian, he’s a bit of an old school right-winger when it comes to our armed forces.

Social Programs

This is one of the only areas where Pence strays from his decidedly cookie-cutter course (a little.)  While he is widely known for being a strong fiscal conservative who is tough on non-military, government spending and government programs, he did expand Medicaid in Indiana as part of the Affordable Care Act.  He also voted to raise the Medicare age from 65 to 67, and he voted against a $70 million expansion of Section 8 housing, so, sans the Medicaid expansion, he’s been generally opposed to spending on federal, social programs.


This is where Trump and Pence differ most dramatically.  As the Washington Post and VoteSmart.org point out, Pence voted in favor of every free trade bill that hit the floor during his 11 years in the House.  He’s a supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) something his running mate called “just a continuing rape of our country” and a, “deathblow” to American industry.  As Trump has demonstrated, he is not one to bend or compromise, he’s a double-downer through-and-through.  So one would assume Pence will likely “reconsider” his position on trade to blend better with the platform he is now a significant part of.

by Jesse Mechanic




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *