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U.S. Public Interest Research Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 16, 2006
2:43 PM

CONTACT:  U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Alicia Supernavage
Liz Hitchcock
(202) 546-9707

 
U.S. PIRG Releases Annual Scorecard, Grades Congress On Public Interest Issues
 

WASHINGTON - May 16 - One hundred sixty six (166) members of the U.S. House or Senate voted for the public interest more than 80 percent of the time between February 9, 2005 and February 1, 2006, with 42 members scoring 100 percent according to the annual Congressional Scorecard on major public interest issues released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG).

Two hundred eight (208) members of the House or Senate had scores of 10 percent or below, with 105 members scoring 0 percent on major public interest issues. U.S. PIRG and the state PIRGs will distribute the individualized scorecards to households across the country this summer as part of a door-to-door campaign to work with Congress to reduce global warming pollution from power plants, cars, and other sources

“At the behest of special interests, the 109th Congress has voted to give tax breaks to big oil companies, nuclear power and coal, voted to weaken consumer protections, failed to cut global warming pollution, failed to increase automobile fuel economy, and failed to make polluters pay for toxic waste cleanups,” said U.S. PIRG Legislative Director Anna Aurilio. “These scorecards are an important tool to educate the public about the voting records of their elected officials and to help citizens hold those officials accountable.”

In addition to tracking such diverse public interest votes as protecting the Arctic Refuge from drilling; reducing global warming pollution; protecting consumer bankruptcy rights; and increasing access to affordable higher education, the scorecards also list information about campaign contributions, biographical data, past U.S. PIRG scores, and telephone numbers for citizens to contact their elected officials.

“We applaud the 166 members who scored 80 percent or more for consistently voting in the public interest,” said Anna Aurilio. “We are particularly disappointed in the 208 members who consistently voted to put special interests before public health and safety and scored 10 percent or below.”

Members who received 100% on the PIRG scorecard were:

Sen. Ted Kennedy (MA)
Sen. Lautenberg (NJ)
Sen. Sarbanes (MD)
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI-2)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-31)
Rep. Tim Bishop (NY-1)
Rep. Lois Capps (CA-23)
Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-4)
Rep. Diane DeGette (CO-1)
Rep. DeLauro (CT-3)
Rep. Barney Frank (MA-4)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-7)
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)
Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12)
Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-1)
Rep. Jesse Jackson (IL-2)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
Rep. James Langevin (RI-2)
Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-18)
Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA-9)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14)
Rep. Edward Markey (MA-7)
Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-7)
Rep. James McGovern (MA-3)
Rep. Michael McNulty (NY-21)
Rep. Marty Meehan (MA-5)
Rep. George Miller (CA-7)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-8)
Rep. David Obey (WI-7)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-8)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-39)
Rep. Bernard Sanders (VT)
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-29)
Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-27)
Rep. John Tierney (MA-6)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-8)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)
Rep. Henry Waxman (CA-30)
Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY-9)
Rep. Robert Wexler (FL-19)

“With a few bright spots like the rejection of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the 109th Congress is continuing the anti-public interest history of recent years,” continued Aurilio. “The Senate voted to give polluting industries such as big oil and nuclear power tax breaks; the House rejected efforts to strengthen consumer protections from electric company price gouging; and the House and Senate have failed to decrease our dependence on foreign oil by increasing the fuel economy of vehicles.”

“We urge members of Congress to strengthen our environmental laws – clean up polluting power plants, preserve our last wild forests, and defend Superfund and America’s other environmental protections,” concluded Aurilio.

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