Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Third "Freedom Index" for Current Congress

Written by  TNA Staff

freedom indexThe just-published (July 5) issue of The New American includes our third congressional scorecard (pdf) on the 111th Congress. The scorecard, entitled “The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution,” rates Congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.

Each installment of the “Freedom Index” shows how U.S. Representatives and Senators voted on 10 key issues. Our just-published index includes votes on healthcare reform (ObamaCare), financial regulatory reform, extending provisions of the Patriot Act, withdrawing U.S. soldiers from Afghanistan, increasing the national debt ceiling, and jobs funding.

The average House score for our new index (votes 21-30) is a dismal 40 percent, and the average Senate score is 38 percent, despite the fact that every Congressman takes an oath to uphold the Constitution. In the House, three congressmen — J. Gresham Barrett of South Carolina, John Duncan of Tennessee, and Ron Paul of Texas — earned perfect scores, while in the Senate 12 Senators earned 100 percent. Of course, if congressmen would simply abide by their oaths of office, all of them should be earning top scores based on our "Freedom Index" ratings.

Yet the number of congressmen earning 100-percent scores in the current Congress is actually encouraging compared to the number of top scorers in past Congresses. For instance, in the last "Freedom Index" for the previous Congress (October 27, 2008 issue), only one Congressman — Ron Paul — earned 100 percent in the House and nobody did in the Senate. One factor for the increase in 100-percent-scoring Congressmen is the simple fact that, with Barack Obama in the White House, many Republicans who supported big-government programs favored by George W. Bush and Republican congressional leaders are now casting votes against Obama and Democrat-supported legislation. The Republican votes against ObamaCare (House vote numbers 27 and 29 and Senate vote numbers 25 and 28 in our new "Freedom Index") is a case in point

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To download a free copy of the “Freedom Index” from our July 5 issue, click here. Please examine how your own U.S. representative and senators voted on each key issue, as well as overall. We also encourage readers to commend legislators for their constitutional votes and to urge improvement where needed.

Additional Resources:

For downloadable copies of our first (votes 1-10) and second (votes 11-20) Freedom Indexes for the 111th Congress, click here and here respectively.