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Freedom Index

Freedom Index

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Published by Reland D. Melton
How does your Congressman or Senator vote? Is he/she for ya? or against ya?
How does your Congressman or Senator vote? Is he/she for ya? or against ya?

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Published by: Reland D. Melton on Jul 11, 2009
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02/04/2013

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Our final look at the 110th Congressshows how every representative and sena-tor voted on key issues, such as the federalbudget, warrantless searches, mortgagerelief, oil drilling, and the bank bailout.
House Vote
Descriptions
31
 
Budget Resolution.
 
The finalversion of the Fiscal 2009 BudgetResolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution70) was adopted 214-210 on June 5, 2008(Roll Call 382). Drafted by the Democrats,this $3.03 trillion budget sets nonbindinglimits for the 12 annual appropriationsbills. Last year’s $2.9 trillion budget al-lowed $145.2 billion for operations in Iraqand Afghanistan. The new budget includedonly $70 billion for the two wars in 2009and nothing thereafter, an unrealistic no-tion that understates true spending intentand necessitates more war funding in asupplemental bill. The budget would besignificantly higher if war funding werenot largely off-budget. The plan predictsa hypothetical budget surplus by 2012,which is meaningless.All spending bills would be increasedover 2008. The budget assumes that rev-enue will be stable or increase and thatsome tax cuts will expire. An increase wascalled for in the statutory debt ceiling by$800 billion to $10.6 trillion. That prompt-ly occurred in the Fannie Mae and FreddieMac bailout. We have assigned pluses tothe “nays” because inflation and the na-tional debt are skyrocketing as Congresspersists at disregarding constitutional lim-its on spending.
32
 
Aid to Mexican Military.
H.R. 6028would authorize $1.1 billion in fis-cal years 2008-10 to train and equip theMexican military and law-enforcementagencies for the stated purpose of combat-ing drug trafficking and organized crime.The Mexican government is rife with
T
he Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on theU.S. Constitution” rates congressmen based on their adher-ence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal re-sponsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policyof avoiding foreign entanglements. To learn how any representativeor senator voted on the key measures described herein, look him orher up in the vote charts. The scores are derived by dividing a con-gressman’s constitutional votes (pluses) by the total number he cast(pluses and minuses) and multiplying by 100.The average House score for this index (votes 31-40) is 31 percent;the average Senate score is 25 percent. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was theonly House member to score a perfect 100 percent. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) was the top scorer in the Senate with 90 percent. We encouragereaders to examine how their own congressmen voted on each of the10 key measures as well as overall.This is our final index for the 110th Congress. Our first index(votes 1-10) appeared in our July 23, 2007 issue, our second index(votes 11-20) appeared in our December 10, 2007 issue, and our thirdindex (votes 21-30) appeared in our July 21, 2008 issue.We also encourage readers to commend legislators for theirconstitutional votes and to urge improvement where needed. Forcongressional contact information and a series of pre-written let-ters to Congress on some key issues, go to www.capwiz.com/jbs/ home.
n
A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution 
The Freedom Index
 About This Index
Hand out for a handout:
The House aims to give $1.1 billion to Mexico’s President FelipeCalderon (center) to combat drug trafficking and organized crime, though Calderon refusesto help control the flow of illegal immigrants to the United States and Mexico’s government isnotoriously corrupt.
   A   P   I  m  a  g  e  s
22 
THE NEW AMERICAN OCTObER 27, 2008 
CONGRESS
 
33 Watson (D) 10% - - - + - - - - - - 20%34 Roybal-Allard (D) 22 - - - + - - - P - + 2435 Waters (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 2336 Harman (D) 0 - - ? - - - - - - - 1537 Richardson (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 538 Napolitano (D) 20 - - - + - - - - - + 2439 Sanchez, Linda (D) 20 - - - + - - - - - + 2040 Royce (R) 80 + + + - + + + - + + 7741 Lewis, Jerry (R) 40 + - + - + - - - + - 5542 Miller, Gary (R) 60 + + + - + - + - + - 6643 Baca (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 1544 Calvert (R) 50 + - + - + - + - + - 5945 Bono Mack (R) 20 + - - - - - - - + - 3546 Rohrabacher (R) 80 + + + - + + + - + + 7947 Sanchez, Loretta (D) 20 - - - + - - - - - + 2648 Campbell (R) 56 ? + + - + - + - + - 7349 Issa (R) 60 + - + - + + - - + + 6150 Bilbray (R) 60 + - + - - + + - + + 6351 Filner (D) 50 - + - + - - - + + + 2852 Hunter (R) 70 + + + - + - + - + + 7353 Davis, S. (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 13
Colorado
1 DeGette (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 182 Udall, M. (D) 10 - - - - - - - - - + 133 Salazar, J. (D) 11 - - - - - - ? - - + 104 Musgrave (R) 70 + + - - + + + - + + 615 Lamborn (R) 80 + + + - + + + - + + 776 Tancredo (R) 67 + ? + - + + + - + - 737 Perlmutter (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 15
ConneCtiCut 
1 Larson, J. (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 182 Courtney (D) 20 - - - + - - - - - + 233 DeLauro (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 184 Shays (R) 20 + - + - - - - - - - 235 Murphy, C. (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 20
delaware
Castle (R) 20 + - + - - - - - - - 28
Florida 
1 Miller, J. (R) 80 + + + - + + + - + + 792 Boyd, A. (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 133 Brown, C. (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 114 Crenshaw (R) 60 + - + - + + + - + - 645 Brown-Waite, G. (R) 67 + + - ? - ? ? ? + + 536 Stearns (R) 80 + + + - + + + - + + 727 Mica (R) 80 + + + - + + + - + + 718 Keller (R) 50 + - + - - - + - + + 539 Bilirakis (R) 50 + + - - - + - - + + 5410 Young, C.W. (R) 50 + - + - - + - - + + 5011 Castor (D) 10 - - - - - - - - - + 1512 Putnam (R) 50 + + - - + - + - + - 6213 Buchanan (R) 20 + - - - - - + - - - 3314 Mack (R) 70 + - + - + + + - + + 6915 Weldon (R) 67 + + + - + + - ? + - 7616 Mahoney (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 1317 Meek, K. (D) 11 - ? - + - - - - - - 1518 Ros-Lehtinen (R) 20 + - - - - - - - + - 3119 Wexler (D) 11 - - - + ? - - - - - 21
Votes: 31-40 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 1-40 Votes: 31-40 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 1-40
The scores are derived by dividing the constitutionally correct votes (pluses) by the total number of pluses and minuses and multiplying by 100. (A “?” means a rep. did not vote; a “P” meanshe voted “present.” If a rep. cast fewer than five votes in this index, a score is not assigned.) Match numbers at the top of the chart to House vote descriptions on pages 22, 24, and 26.
 alabama 
1 Bonner (R) 50% + + - - + + - - + - 54%2 Everett (R) 50 ? + - - + + ? - + - 593 Rogers, Mike D. (R) 40 + + - - + - - - + - 464 Aderholt (R) 60 + + - - + + - - + + 575 Cramer (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 116 Bachus, S. (R) 44 + - - - + + - ? + - 567 Davis, A. (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 8
 alaska 
 Young, D. (R) 78 + + - - + + + ? + + 56
 arizona 
1 Renzi (R) 40 + - - - - + - - + + 472 Franks, T. (R) 80 + + + - + + + - + + 793 Shadegg (R) 60 + - + - + + + - + - 744 Pastor (D) 11 - - - + - - - P - - 215 Mitchell (D) 20 + - + - - - - - - - 216 Flake (R) 80 + + + - + + + - + + 787 Grijalva (D) 22 - - - + - - - P - + 238 Giffords (D) 10 + - - - - - - - - - 15
 arkansas
1 Berry (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 232 Snyder (D) 0 - - - - ? - - - - - 53 Boozman (R) 40 + - - - + + - - + - 514 Ross (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 10
CaliFornia 
1 Thompson, M. (D) 20 - - - + - - - - + - 202 Herger (R) 50 + - - - + + + - + - 623 Lungren (R) 40 + - + - + - - - + - 624 Doolittle (R) 60 + - - - + + + - + + 695 Matsui (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 186 Woolsey (D) 30 - + - + - - - - + - 307 Miller, George (D) 13 - - - + ? - - ? - - 198 Pelosi (D):
 Speaker 
0 - ? - - - - - ? - - 89 Lee (D) 20 - + - + - - - - - - 2510 Tauscher (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 1011 McNerney (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 1512 Speier (D) 13 - ? - + ? - - - - - 913 Stark (D) 25 - + ? ? - - - - - + 2914 Eshoo (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 1815 Honda (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 1616 Lofgren (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 1517 Farr (D) 20 - - - + - - - - + - 1818 Cardoza (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 819 Radanovich (R) 50 + - - - + + + - + - 5820 Costa (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 521 Nunes (R) 60 + - + - + + - - + + 6222 McCarthy, K. (R) 70 + - + - + + + - + + 6723 Capps (D) 20 - - - + - - - - + - 1824 Gallegly (R) 50 + - - - + - + - + + 6025 McKeon (R) 50 + - + - + - + - + - 6326 Dreier (R) 33 + - + - + - - - ? - 5027 Sherman (D) 10 - - - - - - - - - + 1828 Berman (D) 11 - - + - ? - - - - - 1129 Schiff (D) 0 - - - - - - - - - - 1330 Waxman (D) 20 - - + + - - - - - - 2031 Becerra (D) 20 - - - + - - - - - + 1832 Solis (D) 10 - - - + - - - - - - 21
Scores
Freedom Index
23 www.TheNewAmerican.com 
House Vote
 
corruption, and there is no guarantee theexpenditure would have the intended ef-fect. “It is inexcusable, it is intolerable tosend one dime to the Mexican governmentwhen they can afford to pay for this equip-ment themselves,” Rep. John Culberson(R-Texas) said. “But more importantly,our southern border is not secure.” H.R.6028 would also authorize $405 millionduring the same period for aid to CentralAmerican countries.The House passed H.R. 6028 on June10, 2008 by a vote of 311-106 (Roll Call393). We have assigned pluses to the“nays” because foreign aid is not autho-rized by the Constitution.
33
 
Farm Bill (Veto Override).
H.R.6124 would authorize the nation’sfarm programs for the next five years, in-cluding crop subsidies and nutrition pro-grams. The final version of the legislationprovides $289 billion for these programs,including a $10.4 billion boost in spend-ing for nutrition programs such as foodstamps.After this legislation was vetoed by Pres-ident Bush, the House passed the bill overthe president’s veto on June 18, 2008 bya vote of 317-109 (Roll Call 417). A two-thirds majority vote is required to over-ride a presidential veto. We have assignedpluses to the “nays” because federal aid tofarmers and federal food aid to individualsare not authorized by the Constitution.
34
 
Warrantless Searches.
 
H.R.6304, the bill to revamp the For-eign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA),would allow warrantless electronic sur-veillance, including monitoring telephoneconversations and e-mails, of foreign tar-gets, including those communicating withAmerican citizens in the United States.The final version of the bill would notexplicitly grant immunity to telecommu-nications companies that have assistedPresident Bush’s warrantless surveillanceprogram. But it would require courts todismiss lawsuits against such companiesif there is “substantial evidence” they wereinsured in writing the program was legaland authorized by the president. The pro-vision would almost certainly result in thedismissal of the lawsuits.The House passed H.R. 6304 on June20, 2008 by a vote of 293-129 (Roll Call437). We have assigned pluses to the“nays” because warrantless searches area violation of the Fourth Amendment,which protects Americans against un-reasonable searches and seizures, andrequires that any searches be conductedonly upon issuance of a warrant underconditions of probable cause. Moreover,Article I, Section 9 of the Constitutionforbids “ex post facto laws” — laws hav-ing a retroactive effect.
35
 
Energy Price Gouging.
 
A motionto suspend the rules and pass H.R.6346, the Federal Price Gouging Preven-tion Act, was rejected 276-146 (Roll Call448) on June 24, 2008. Under suspensionof the rules, a two-thirds majority wouldhave been required for passage. The billwould have permitted states to sue retail-ers believed to have been price gouging forfuels sold in areas where there was an en-ergy emergency. The bill also would haveset civil and criminal penalties for pricegouging.We have assigned pluses to the “nays”because no federal or state governmentinvestigation (and there have been manyover the years) has ever found broad mar-ket manipulation in the oil industry. Fur-thermore, there is no clear definition of “price gouging.” Hence, this bill wouldlikely have been counterproductive, as itwould have created an incentive for retail-ers to close, rather than risk penalties forsimply following the economic laws of supply and demand. Besides, the federalgovernment has no business trying to dic-tate prices in the private sector, under anycircumstances.
36
 
Mortgage Relief.
This legislation(H.R. 3221) would grant authorityto the Treasury Department to extend newcredit and buy stock in the Federal Nation-al Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) andthe Federal Home Loan Mortgage Cor-poration (Freddie Mac). As described by
Congressional Quarterly
, “It also wouldcreate an independent regulator for the twomortgage giants and the Federal HomeLoan Bank System. It would overhaul theFederal Housing Administration and allowit to insure up to $300 billion worth of new, refinanced loans for struggling mort-gage borrowers. It also includes a $7,500tax credit to some first-time homebuyers,higher loan limits for FHA-backed loans,a standard tax deduction for property taxesand revenue-raisers to offset part of thecosts. It also would authorize $3.92 bil-
Small salvo against subsidies:
Budget Director Jim Nussle briefs reporters about the farm bill.President Bush vetoed the subsidy-filled bill because it would give taxpayer money to farmers ata time of already high food and crop prices. Bush’s veto was overridden.
   A   P   I  m  a  g  e  s
24 
THE NEW AMERICAN OCTObER 27, 2008 
CONGRESS

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