Thursday, 28 July 2011

New “Freedom Index" Rates Congressmen Based on Constitution

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CongressThe New American has published its first “Freedom Index” for the new (112th) Congress. The index, published four times each two-year congressional term, rates all members of the House and Senate based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.

The new index, published in our August 8 issue and also available online as a PDF (click here), shows how U.S. Representatives and Senators performed on 10 key votes on important issues such as ObamaCare, greenhouse-gas regulation, the Patriot Act extension, and U.S. military action in Libya. In the case of the vote to repeal ObamaCare, for instance, the rating is based on voting to repeal being the correct vote. The reason: There is no constitutional authority for the federal government to require individuals to purchase health insurance or to manage the healthcare industry.

Considering that every U.S. Representative and Senator takes an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, one might expect that the Congress as a whole would score high on a congressional scorecard based on the Constitution. But this is not the case, despite the fact that it has become popular these days for candidates for public office to claim that they support the Constitution. In the House, the average score on our new index is 53 percent, and in the Senate the average score is 43 percent.

Put simply, most Congressmen earned failing grades. But not all. In the House, 24 congressmen earned 100-percent scores, including presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas. (Two other House members running for President, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, earned scores of 90 percent and 89 percent respectively.) In the Senate, two lawmakers earned perfect scores — Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

We encourage everyone to go to our new Freedom Index (get PDF by clicking here) and to see for themselves how their own Congressmen voted on each of the 10 key issues, as well as overall.

(Past installments of the “Freedom Index” for previous Congresses are available online at, the website of The John Birch Society. The New American is an affiliate of the JBS.)

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