The Club for Growth's 2014 Congressional Scorecard
has few surprises because of last year's virtual shutdown of the Senate, organization president David McIntosh said Monday.
"While some senators’ scores may seem out of character for 2014, those who have a long-standing commitment to free markets and pro-growth policies still have lifetime scores over 90," explained McIntosh.
In the 2014 report, only one person in the Senate, former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who retired last year, scored a perfect 100 percent, reports National Review.
Eight members of the House scored 100, Reps. Justin Amash, Michigan; Tom McClintock, California; Tim Huelskamp and Mike Pompeo of Kansas; Scott Garrett, New Jersey; Jim Jordan, of Ohio; Jeff Duncan, South Carolina, and James Lankford, of Oklahoma, who is now in the Senate after replacing Coburn.
"The number of votes used in the Senate rating (17) for 2014, is much lower than the historical average (26)," said McIntosh. "This is because there were fewer votes taken in the Senate on economic issues to consider for inclusion in the scorecard. We attribute this to two things: First, from an objective standpoint, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid effectively 'shut down' the Senate, preventing bills and amendments from being considered on the floor, which led to a smaller number of roll call votes to choose from."
Also, Reid invoked the "nuclear option," meaning votes on judicial and executive nominations "represented the lion’s share of all votes cast in the upper chamber in 2014 [254/366 or nearly 70%]," said McIntosh.
This means that a senator's rating for 2014 could be vastly different than his or her lifetime average, said McIntosh.
Sens. Jeff Flake, Arizona; Marco Rubio, Florida; Rand Paul, Kentucky; Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma; Tim Scott, South Carolina; Ted Cruz, Texas; Mike Lee, Utah; and Ron Johnson, Wisconsin, all had 2014 scores and LifeScores high enough to qualify for the club's Defender of Economic Freedom Award, meaning they had scores of 90 percent or better.
Meanwhile, just Amash, who netted a 100 percent score for 2014, has a 100 percent lifetime score, and Lankford, whose score in 2014 was 100 percent, has a lifetime score below 90 percent, said the report.
Senate Democrats tended to score poorly on the Club for Growth's Scorecard. Every Senate Democrat was at or below 24 percent with their votes on the issues being watched, and 17 scored zeroes.
Delaware Sen. Tom Carpenter was the highest rated Democrat with 24 percent, while the lowest-rated Republican was Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, with 27 percent.
The House Republican leadership scores were: Speaker John Boehner, Ohio, not available; Kevin McCarthy, California, 43 percent; Steve Scalise, Louisiana, 82 percent; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington, 62 percent.
House Democratic leadership scores Nancy Pelosi, California, 4 percent; Steny Hoyer, Maryland, 2 percent; James Clyburn, South Carolina, 2 percent; Xavier Becerra, California, 13 percent.
Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, with 50 percent, was the highest-scoring Democrat and came in ahead of 56 Republicans. The three lowest Republican scores were for Reps. Jon Runyan, New Jersey, at 19 percent; Peter King, New York, at 22 percent; and Chris Smith, New Jersey, 26 percent.
The scores are important because the conservative club, since 1999 is the predominant influence and mounts challenges to incumbents if their scores are low, reports National Review. Further, donors use the annual scorecard to assess candidates.
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