Policy Differences between Oh and Beyer

September 6, 2018

Introduction: Thomas Oh (R) and Don Beyer (D) are vying for the U.S. House of Representatives seat currently occupied by Beyer: U.S. House of Representatives Virginia Congressional District #8.  Two non-partisan websites, Vote Smart[1] and OnTheIssues[2], provide excellent summaries of their positions on various issues.  There is much more information on Beyer, because he has a history of votes in the House.  He also responded to the questions in the Vote Smart survey[3].  His positions are well documented at OnTheIssues[4].  Where needed, we supplement Beyer’s positions based on statements on his website[5].  Because he has no political record, Oh is not covered in OnTheIssues.  He did respond to the Vote Smart survey; therefore, we rely on the data from the Vote Smart survey and from his website, where he is quite specific[6].  We take the list of issues from the OnTheIssues website.

The two candidates did not address every issue on the OnTheIssues website; therefore, direct comparisons are not always possible.  Major differences are evident on the issues of abortion, budget, education, immigration, and tax reform.  The following table summarizes some of the differences.

Issue Oh Beyer
Supports President Donald Trump yes no
Supports President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts yes no
Supports Common Sense Immigration Enforcement yes no
Supports Building the Wall yes no
Supports a Federal Ban on Late-Term Abortion yes no
Supports Fully Repealing Obamacare yes no
Supports Restricting Your 2nd Amendment Rights yes no
Is Pro-life yes no
Supports National Education Standards (Common Core) no yes

Positions of the Two Candidates: OnTheIssues lists the issues in alphabetical order.  We do the same.  We emphasize the differences in the positions taken by the two candidates.


Beyer considers abortion to be a woman’s unrestricted right.  On his website, Oh says that he is pro-life, allowing for abortion only in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.


Beyer would increase income taxes to balance the budget, but would not cut military spending to do so.  Oh opposes an income-tax increase and would not decrease defense spending.  Oh wants to reduce government expenditures by eliminating the waste he saw in the military and is present in other parts of the government.  He wants to eliminate the income tax and institute a national sales tax, perhaps along the lines of the Fair Tax[7].  He wants to eliminate the debt.

Civil rights (Marriage)

Oh and Beyer want full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, including banning job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  They also want men and women to be paid equally.  Beyer also wants marriage to be available to all committed, same-sex couples.


Beyer wants to close all corporate loop-holes.  Oh has no comment on this issue.


Beyer has no comment under this issue.  Oh covers this issue under “Families” below.


Beyer scores A by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law on drug reform, indicating he is for drug reform, including legalizing marijuana.  Oh covers this issue under “Families”, below. He supports the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.


Beyer opposes the elimination of the Department of Education.  Oh opposes standardized testing (e.g., via federal education standards, Core Curriculum).  He supports school choice, homeschooling, and education vouchers for alternative schools.  He wants teachers to be well paid and to educate rather than carry guns.


Beyer wants to tax carbon emissions and have the government invest in clean energy and in energy efficiency.  Oh has pledged to refuse funds from the fossil-fuel industries and to make renewable-energy affordable.  He supports government funding of renewable energy resources.


Beyer will fight for animal rights.  Beyer considers carbon emissions to be the single most important issue of our time.  Oh’s support of renewable-energy resources implies that he, too, is concerned about carbon emissions.  He wants to minimize the impact of humans on the environment.  However, he does not support federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.


Beyer co-sponsored H.R.532, which allows federal employees six weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth of a child.  Oh wants a law that will require all employers to provide seven years of unpaid parental leave in connection with the birth of a child so the child will be raised by his parents.  Oh thinks that the child and society will benefit from the parental contact and supervision.  Oh mentions studies that show that there is an increased risk for juvenile delinquency in children when there is a lack of parental supervision in the early years.  School shootings, gang violence, drugs, and bullying would be reduced if parental supervision is increased.[8]

Foreign policy

Beyer opposes having the U.N. declare Palestine to be a state unless part of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine problem.  Oh opposes Obama’s Strategic Patience approach to foreign policy because it has resulted in, for example, an asymmetrical position with North Korea.

Free Trade

Beyer co-sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives that raised the cap on outstanding loans, guarantees, and insurance for the Export-Import Bank of the United States by $25B (billion).  Such a bill is contrary to free trade.  The bill was killed in committee.  Oh prefers incentives rather than tariffs as the means for ridding tariffs on US products.

Government Reform

Beyer wants an 18-year term limit for Supreme Court justices, public financing of federal campaigns by voter vouchers, statehood for the District of Columbia, and automatic voter registration for all citizens.  Oh wants to regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions.  He declines all contributions from these two sources.


Beyer wants to close the gun show loophole and ban high capacity magazines.  Oh believes we should firmly protect the 2nd Amendment, but he does support restricting the sale, purchase, and possession of firearms by those with a serious criminal history.[9]

Health care

Beyer wants to support and improve Obamacare.  Oh wants to repeal Obamacare.

Homeland security

Beyer wants to fix the deficiencies at the Veterans Administration and veterans’ hospitals, do more to help ease the transition for military veterans to civilian life, and continue efforts to maximize opportunities for and adequately support military families.  As stated above, Oh opposes Obama’s Strategic Patience approach to foreign policy because it has resulted in, for example, an asymmetrical military position with North Korea.  He favors using military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing nuclear weapons.  He also supports increased U.S. intervention in the Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support.


Beyer wants a path to citizenship for illegal aliens who contribute to our communities.  He also wants to ensure that children who came to the United States early in life have the chance to attend college, receive in-state tuition, and work toward their dreams just like every other student. He fully supports the DREAM Act.  Oh would allow work permits to immigrants where their services are needed to fill jobs.  He wants to expand legal immigration while holding everyone to the same standard, including those in the US illegally, requiring that all illegal aliens return to their native country and apply for citizenship.  Oh opposes building a wall along the Mexican border.


There is no record of Beyer’s position on jobs.  Oh is a big advocate of Austrian Economics, free-market economics.  He supports both federal spending and lowering corporate taxes as means of promoting economic growth.

Principles and values

There is no record of Beyer’s or Oh’s position on this issue.

Social Security

Beyer opposes the privatization of Social Security.  There is no record of Oh’s position on this issue.

Tax Reform

Beyer wants to raises taxes on those with the highest income, restoring the 39.6% tax rate for the richest, as compared to the Bush-inaugurated rate of 35%.  Oh wants to abolish the income tax and replace it with a national sales tax, perhaps along the lines of the Fair Tax, thereby greatly reducing the cost of administering the income tax and the cost to industry of complying with the laws governing income tax.


There is no record of Beyer’s position on this issue.  Oh states that he wants to use his military experience as a transportation movement director to modernize the transportation system around the national capital.  He does not give any specifics.

War and peace

Beyer has stated that the Iranian development of nuclear weapons is unacceptable.  He implies that sanctions should be applied to Iran to end its nuclear development.  Oh’s position is described under Foreign Policy, above.


Beyer strongly wants to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers by increasing the EITC wage limit for eligibility, lower the age for eligibility from 25 to 21, increase the maximum tax credit from $500 to $1000.  There is no record of Oh’s position on this issue.


[1] https://votesmart.org/

[2] http://www.ontheissues.org/states/va.htm

[3] https://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/1707/don-beyer-jr/#.W3Scn_ZFzcs

[4] http://www.ontheissues.org/VA/Don_Beyer.htm

[5] http://friendsofdonbeyer.com/

[6] https://www.letuschangecongress.org/

[7] https://fairtax.org/

[8] https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/08/16/urban-violence-begins-in-broken-homes/

[9] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/2nd-amendment-moderate-republican-thomas-oh-thomas-oh/?published=t

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