Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, February 20, 2013
Americans for Prosperity, a non-profit organization committed to educating Americans on economic policy and mobilizing them to become advocates in the public policy process, released today the third annual “Americans for Prosperity Congressional Scorecard,” measuring how the members of the 112th Congress voted on key economic issues. The scorecard can be viewed at www.afpscorecard.org.
“With so many anti-free market damaging policies coming out of Washington, it is more important than ever to watch how our lawmakers are voting,” AFP President Tim Phillips said in an email to supporters introducing this year’s scorecard. “You didn’t send them to Congress to hike your taxes and restrict your economic freedom. Elected officials must be held accountable and now you can see their votes easier than ever.”
This year, AFP made the scorecard completely interactive, allowing people to look up each member of Congress by name, issue, state or zip code. The organization will also create a realtime scorecard for the 113th Congress, updating each member’s score after each key vote is held.
In general, Republicans performed better than Democrats on the scorecard. According to AFP Policy Director James Valvo, the average rating for a Republican was about 80 percent, while the large majority of Democrats scored below 20 percent on the most recent scorecard. Valvo noted that only five Democrats who returned to Washington in January scored above 20 percent – all of whom were Blue Dog Democrats.
In addition to its interactive nature, AFP’s scorecard differs from others, like those published annually by the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, because it groups each of the key votes into eight different policy areas promoting economic freedom in the U.S. Valvo commented that having the votes grouped together by category allows AFP and its supporters to have a full profile of their elected officials at their disposal to “make it easier for advocates to target” each member of Congress and “find the key issues we need to go after them.”
For example, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, has an 89 percent during the 112th Congress and an 85 percent lifetime rating. A closer look at his votes in this past Congress, however, show that McConnell was strong in every major policy area measured except taxes. The only Senator with a perfect session (and lifetime) record was Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
The scorecard also noted whether or not a politician has signed the organization’s No Climate Tax Pledge, which Valvo noted 56 percent of Republicans in both chambers have already signed.