The Washington, D.C.-based Council for Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CCAGW) 2014 Congressional Ratings, highlighting the voting records of all 535 members of Congress, gave 30 senators the organization’s lowest rating, “hostile.”
The council rates members on a 0-100 percent scale from the lowest score of “hostile,” to the highest, “tax super hero.”
“Thirty senators rated at zero is a record and we’ve been doing these ratings for 25 years,” CCAGW President Tom Schatz said. “It reflects the nature of both the House and Senate, but particularly the Senate reflects the disparity how Democrats and Republicans vote on wasteful spending issues.”
The objective of the ratings are to encourage Congress to vote more often to reduce wasteful spending.
Schatz cited U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who has been in office two years and received a zero rating in both years.
“I think she’s the only one who has a zero rating for both years she’s been in the Senate,” Schatz said.
Others rated hostile included Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and presidential candidate Bernard Sanders (D-Vt.).
Schatz said the CCAGW scored 85 votes in the House of Representatives and 13 votes in the Senate for the second session of the 113th Congress. By comparison, in 2013, CCAGW rated 80 votes in the House and 48 votes in the Senate. The report identifies members whose voting records helped protect and save the taxpayers’ money, as well as those who consistently voted against their interests.
Schatz said what stood out most for him was the lack of votes by Congressional Democrats. The council rated 58 Senate votes in 2013 compared to only 13 votes in 2014.
“The main reason behind the lower numbers is that [Republican] leaders didn’t want to hold any votes,” Schatz said. “Harry Reid just wasn’t calling for votes, they deliberately had very few votes, they didn’t want Democrats on the record.”
However, the news wasn’t all bad, Schatz said.
In 2014, 17 lawmakers, nine senators and eight representatives, earned the “taxpayer super hero” title with perfect scores, including presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
“CCAGW applauds the taxpayer super heroes for their votes to cut wasteful spending and make government more accountable to taxpayers,” Schatz said. “In today’s fiscal climate, the actions of these members are refreshing, and their constituents should offer them hardy congratulations.”
On the other hand, Schatz said, “far too many members of Congress in 2014 continued to support a further expansion of the bureaucratic morass at the expense of hard-working taxpayers. Hopefully, these profligate members will vote more often in 2015 to eliminate the waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement that runs rampant in Washington.”