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Decision 2016: Senate candidates on the issues

To help voters compare the candidates for US Senate, we've compiled a brief synopsis of all three candidates' positions on key issues from the economy to national security.
Evan Bayh (D), Lucy Brenton (L) and Rep. Todd Young (R)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Not sure who to vote for in the U.S. Senate race? Can't remember what their position on an important issue was?

To help compare the candidates, we've compiled a brief synopsis of their positions on key issues from the economy to national security.

We have included positions from all three candidates: Democrat Evan Bayh, Libertarian Lucy Brenton and Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Young. All of the quotes and summaries given below were taken from the candidates' websites, publicly delivered statements or official comments given to WTHR.com.

The candidates' responses are ordered alphabetically by their last name.


Evan Bayh: "Small businesses are the engine of our economy and we need to focus our attention on advancing policies that help them grow and prosper....Evan believes in encouraging the creation of new small businesses and easing the burden on successful ones seeking to expand and create more good-paying jobs. In the Senate, Evan will fight to reduce regulations and increase access to capital for small business owners so that they can grow their organization, and encourage long-term investments in new technologies and equipment. Evan’s plan will incentivize opportunities for research and development, making Hoosier workers more productive."

Lucy Brenton: "To allow economic growth, the government must get out of the way. Government does not create jobs – private businesses do. Remove the barriers that real people face to starting and running their business and the economic growth that follows will be real and sustainable."

Todd Young: "Jobs. Too many Americans don't have them, and folks in Washington spend too little time worrying about them....Government doesn't create jobs, it just tends to get in the way of how small businesses operate."


Evan Bayh: "America can’t continue to ignore the rising costs of a college education. America needs innovators and entrepreneurs to have big ideas and dream big dreams to keep America ahead....The 21st Century Scholars program was one of [my] greatest achievements as governor. As Indiana’s next senator, [I'm] committed to creating similar opportunities for students nationwide and making sure that no good student has to turn down college because they can’t afford it."

Lucy Brenton: "The Constitution does not create a mandate of federal control over education, therefore the U.S. Department of Education should be eliminated. Parents and local governments should maintain control of funding and curriculum as they are in the best position do determine what students need."

Todd Young: "An education is one of the most fundamental aspects of a young person’s life. It is absolutely crucial that we are able to make decisions to put our children in the best position to succeed. Unfortunately, Washington is dead set on controlling education decisions and budgets. An unelected bureaucrat in Washington is in no way more prepared to make education decisions than local and state governments. A one-size fit all approach does not set up our children for success. Additionally, the federal government’s stranglehold on higher education student financing has led to dramatically rising costs and a growing bubble of student debt. Recently, I introduced the Investing in Student Success Act of 2015, which will implement market principles and create an alternative, debt-free student financing option for higher education."

National Security

Evan Bayh: "As Indiana’s Senator, Evan Bayh will make obliterating ISIS and eliminating the root causes of terrorism a top priority. Evan will fight for intensifying the airstrike campaign against ISIS, promoting global partnership in the war against terror, and expanding the network of our intelligence community. At home, it is essential that America bolster its domestic intelligence and make sure that first responders are fully equipped and trained to keep us safe. Our national security forces must have the resources necessary to root out lone wolves before they choose to act. Evan is committed to supporting America’s longtime ally Israel by getting tough on Iran."

Lucy Brenton: "My foreign policy is simple: to make friends, not enemies. To stay out of the internal affairs of sovereign nations. To trade freely for the benefit of each. To treat other countries and peoples as we wish to be treated. To not initiate force against them and not take their stuff. In summary, to be a good neighbor. Should a country, in spite of the above, instead aggress against us, of course we defend ourselves. I would not engage in any unlawful wars. Only Congress can declare war. The endless unconstitutional wars in which we engage must be stopped immediately. The American taxpayer should not be burdened any further in wars which only make defense contractors rich and turn the world against the U.S. and its war machine."

Todd Young: "One of the most important duties of the government is providing for the public safety and national defense....[Todd Young] is committed to ensuring that the men and women in uniform have all the tools necessary to do their jobs at home and overseas. While Todd is dedicated to responsibly finding cost-savings within the Department of Defense, he knows that these savings should never come at the expense of making America less safe, or making our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines less equipped and less prepared to carry out their missions. And finally, Todd believes that we should ensure -- as we deal with situations around the globe -- that we are relying on all the instruments of national power at our disposal, and not just on our military might."

Medicare/Social Security

Evan Bayh: "Let's grapple with the problem of Social Security and Medicare, but let's not balance it on the backs of Hoosier seniors by making their lives more difficult."

Lucy Brenton: "Social Security is a ponzi scheme....When you have something that's wrong, you don't continue doing wrong, you man up and do what's right. What's right is to pay off the people who are in the Social Security system now until their benefits run out and then sunset that program."

Todd Young: "[Social Security] is an earned benefit that our senior citizens pay into. So what I have proposed is absolutely no changes whatsoever for our current seniors and those approaching retirement, say those 55 or over. But the program, according to President Obama's own actuaries, is unsustainable after 18 years. That means there's not enough money coming in in payroll taxes to pay out all the benefits. I'm in my early 40s. I'm prepared to work another couple of months to make this program sustainable."


Evan Bayh: "I'm for more research into better crops. I support Indiana ethanol; that would be good for our corn growers....We've had too many rules and regulations making it hard for Indiana's farmers."

Lucy Brenton: "Our farmers need economic prosperity and they need it without dumping tons and tons of chemicals into our soil. What I would say is if our farmers want a cash crop - and I mean a cash crop - commercial hemp is the way to go....We need to stop playing political football with our farmers' lives. Whether it's farm subsidies or deciding which crop is a winner and which crop is a loser based on who it is that's contributing to your campaign."

Todd Young: "Indiana's a farm state and we require a strong farm economy. I've consistently voted for a farm bill that gives our farm communities, our farm operations the sort of resources they need. That includes crop insurance....We need to make sure that we tackle big regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency."


Evan Bayh: "Evan has a deep respect for a woman's right to choose, and believes that it is a decision that should be made by women in consultation with their doctors--not politicians. The best thing that we can do is to put educational efforts in place to reduce unwanted pregnancies in the future."

Lucy Brenton: "I believe that unless we protect the smallest and most helpless members of society, that we protect no one. It is my fervent desire that no baby ever be aborted and that no one ever finds it necessary to seek one. Regardless of my personal view, the government should not be involved in what is ultimately a medical decision controlled by the woman in whose body the baby is growing. Personally, I believe that those who want to reduce the number of abortions must continually step forward to offer help and alternatives to women and families by creating an accepting culture that offers hope, financial resources and support in a situation where many are scared, feeling that they have run out of options. It is not the place of the federal government to pay for abortions nor legislate this issue. The Constitution has no mention of abortion and doesn’t authorize the federal government to be involved in abortion. Therefore, as a Libertarian, I would vote no on any legislation at the federal level because it is not within the purview of the Constitution."

Todd Young: "Todd knows that life begins at conception, and that the right to life – just like the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness – is of utmost importance. He also knows not every woman is prepared to raise a child. That's why Todd is also a strong advocate of adoption – support which stretches back to Todd's time in the private sector....As a member of the House Adoption Caucus, he’s trying to raise awareness of adoption and foster parent opportunities right here in Indiana."

Check out the candidates' websites for more on their positions: Evan Bayh, Lucy Brenton and Todd Young.