First Three Months Report

It is three months into the 112th Session of Congress, and though there is some evidence of progress toward changing the direction of the Federal Government away from a disastrous course, it is not certain. A number of freshman and Tea Party Caucus Representatives and Senators have taken principled stands with their votes, as have some Blue Dog Democrats who are from conservative districts and states.

The slight amount of influence the new crop has had on the leadership of both parties is indicative of how much work is necessary to overcome entrenched interests and business-as-usual attitudes in the established ruling class.

Republican House Members with the three highest Tea Party scores are Connie Mack (FL-14), Tom Graves (GA-9), and Raul Labrador (ID-1). Those Republicans with the three lowest scores are: Joseph Heck (NV-3), Steven LaTourette (OH-14), and Walter Jones (NC-3). Democrat House members with the top three scores are: Dan Boren (OK-2), Jim Matheson (UT-2), and Mike Ross (AR-4). The three lowest Democrat scores belong to John Conyers (MI-14), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20), and Elijah Cummings (MD-7).

It must be noted that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been named Chair of the Democratic National Committee by President Obama, and her extremely low voting score is indicative of the general mood of the Democratic Party. Her leadership of the DNC is certain to take the party to a radical political position, far to the left of many in the party, and may presage some defections among the more moderate Democrats who are attuned to the mood in the country in a more conservative direction.

Republican Senate members with the four highest Tea Party scores are: Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), Mike Crapo (ID), and James Risch (ID). Republicans with the four lowest scores are: Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mark Kirk (IL), Susan Collins (ME), and Lamar Alexander (TX). Democrat Senate members with the four highest scores are: Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Joe Manchin (WV), and Ben Nelson (NE). There are seven Democrats who have a score of zero: Daniel Akaka (HI), Dick Durbin (IL), Daniel Inouye (HI), Patrick Leahy (VT), Barbara Mikulski (MD), Harry Reid (NV), and Chuck Schumer (NY).

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