Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Illinois Congressmen Who Stunt Economic Growth

There are plenty of groups out there that "rate" our congressmen, and such ratings tend to gyrate wildly based on who is doing the grading.  I tend to follow only a few who seem to give consistent rankings. One of those is "The Club for Growth." (www.clubforgrowth.org.) 

Their rankings for 2013 and 2011 for Illinois Congressmen are as follows:

NAME                   DISTRICT              RANK          SCORE        LIFETIME
Randy Hultgren           (R-14th)                           67                  80%                 77%
Peter Roskam              (R-6th)                           162                  61%                 74%
John Shimkus              (R-15th)                         202                  51%                 69%    
Adam Kinzinger           (R-16th)                         208                  49%                 54%
Aaron Schock              (R-18th)                         210                  48%                 58%    
Rodney Davis              (R-13th)                         210                  48%                 48%
Bobby Rush                 (D-1st)                           245                  22%                   8%
Janice Schakowsky     (D-9th)                           256                  19%                   6%
Bradley Schneider   (D-10th)                  270              18%             18%
Robin Kelly                  (D-2nd)                           274                  17%                 17%
Luis Gutierrez              (D-4th)                            284                  16%                   6%
Daniel Lipinski             (D-3rd)                            287                  16%                 11%
Danny Davis                (D-7th)                            297                  16%                   8%
Mike Quigley               (D-5th)                            327                  14%                 12%
Bill Foster                    (D-11th)                          334                  13%                 13%
Tammy Duckworth      (D-8th)                            387                  11%                 11%
Cheri Bustos                (D-17th)                         424                    5%                   5%
William Enyart             (D-12th)                          424                    5%                   5%

2013 Average:                                                   270                  28%

Recall that William Enyart (D-12th), Cheri Bustos (D-17th), Tammy Duckworth (D-8th), Bill Foster (D-11th) and Bradley Schneider (D-10th) were elected following the Democratic inspired remapping of the districts. They occupy 5 of the bottom 10 rankings. The average of all Illinois Congressmen is 28% and a ranking of 270 out of 435.

Now, let's compare our Illinois Delegation scores from 2011:

NAME                   DISTRICT              RANK          SCORE        LIFETIME
Joe Walsh                    (R-8th)                             10                  99%                 99%
Donald Manullo            (R-16th)                           62                  85%                 81%
Randy Hultgren            (R-14th)                           79                  78%                 78%
Timothy Johnson          (R-15th)                         120                  69%                 56%
Adam Kinzinger            (R-11th)                         172                  56%                 56%
Peter Roskam               (R-6th)                           174                  56%                 78%
John Shimkus               (R-19th)                         174                  56%                 72%
Robert Schilling             (R-17th)                         179                  54%                 54%
Judy Biggert                  (R-13th)                         215                  47%                 63%
Aaron Schock               (R-18th)                          224                  44%                 63%
Robert Dold             (R-10th)                   231              42%             42%
Janice Schakowsky      (D-9th)                            260                  18%                   3%
Jerry Costello               (D-12th)                          286                  15%                 12%
Mike Quigley                (D-5th)                            304                  13%                   9%
Jesse Jackson, Jr.       (D-2nd)                            351                  10%                   4%
Danny Davis                (D-7th)                             377                    6%                   6%
Bobby Rush                 (D-1st)                             379                    6%                   6%
Luis Gutierrez              (D-4th)                             404                    3%                   3%
Daniel Lipinski             (D-3rd)                             409                    3%                   9%                

2011 Average:                                                  232                   40%

In two years, we experienced a sharp decline in scoring (from 40% to 28%) and in ranking (from 232 to 270) in the 10th Congressional District. Compare Brad Schneider's score and ranking to Robert Dold's from two years earlier. Then compare other shockingly different results with Tammy Duckworth's score and ranking to that of Joe Walsh, Cheri Bustos with that of Bobby Schilling, Judy Biggert with that of Bill Foster and you get a better idea of how Illinois has suffered as a result of the last election and redistricting.  Can "Businessman Brad" Schneider continue to call himself that when his score and ranking is worse than Jan Schakowsky?

For Our Two United States Senators notice the dramatic differences in scores:

                                                         RANK    SCORE     LIFETIME
 ILDRichard Durbin722%3%
 ILRMark Kirk3074%55%

 ILDRichard Durbin905%3%
 ILRMark Kirk2782%52%

The next time a so-called Republican claims they need to support only "perfect" Republican candidates, remind them of these scores and rankings.  And then ask them to reconsider their position. 

Illinois has suffered enough!


"Club for Growth publishes this scorecard so our members and the public can monitor the actions and the voting behavior of Members of Congress on economic growth issues. We conducted a comprehensive examination of each lawmaker’s record on pro-growth policies and computed an Economic Growth Score on a scale of 0 to 100. A score of 100 indicates the highest support for pro-growth policies. Those lawmakers scoring 90 or higher in 2013— and who also have a lifetime score of 90 or higher—receive the Defender of Economic Freedom award.

"The rating examines legislative actions that affect our immediate pro-economic growth policy goals, including:
  • Reduce income tax rates
  • Death tax repeal
  • Limited government through limited spending and budget reform, including a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • Social Security reform with personal retirement accounts for younger workers
  • Expanding trade freedom (free trade)
  • End abusive lawsuits through medical malpractice and tort reform
  • Replacing the current tax code (flat tax, fair tax)
  • School choice
  • Regulatory reform and deregulation
Not all of these policy goals will come up for a vote in each session of Congress. In the 2013 Session, many of the votes were on bills that proposed laws that would directly harm these goals. Whenever possible the Club sends a “key vote” alert to each Member of Congress prior to an expected roll call vote or pending legislative action that we plan to include in the scorecard. While the Club seeks to provide a “key vote” alert, it reserves the right to include any vote or action in the rating as votes often come up with little warning.

The Club’s rating includes 31 House votes and 29 Senate votes as well as other selected actions that advance or harm pro-growth policies.  Up to six points of a representative’s score was based on a series of votes relating to the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief bill.  Full credit was given only for supporting $17 billion in offset emergency spending.  The House scorecard also awarded two points if the representative refused to sign the discharge petition on Chinese currency manipulation.

Scores are computed on a scale of 0 to 100. Each vote or action in the rating is assigned a certain number of points depending on its relative importance. Absences are not counted against a Member, though we reserve the right to do so if, in our judgment, an absence was used to duck taking a position.To provide some additional guidance concerning the scores, each lawmaker was ranked. Members with 0% scores are, by default, ranked #435 in the House and #100 in the Senate. Scores and ranks cannot be directly compared between the House and Senate as different votes were taken in each chamber. We have also provided a “Lifetime Score” for each Member of Congress. This is a simple average of the scores from 2013 and all previous years where the lawmaker earned a score in a Club for Growth rating.

A study of roll call votes on the floor of the House and Senate and legislative actions is just that. It can not account for a lawmaker’s work in committee, advocacy in his party’s caucus meetings, and effectiveness as a leader in advocating pro-growth policies."

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