The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Paul Kawika Martin (office) 301-565-4050, ext. 316 (Cell) 951-217-7285

Rebecca Griffin (office) 510-830-3600, ext. 113 (Cell) 510-219-6450

Peace Groups Release Congressional Scorecard

Chairman Waxman Comments


In the midst of an emerging sea change in American foreign policy
thinking, 117 congressional leaders have recently demonstrated an
especially strong record of leadership towards a more effective
national security strategy. This is according to a peace and security
performance report on the 2008 session of the 110th Congress, released
jointly by Peace Action, the nation's largest grassroots peace
organization, and its largest affiliate Peace Action West.

One of these leading policymakers is Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA-30), chair
of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, who had this to
say about his record: "I am proud to have voted last year for stronger
congressional oversight of the funding and war in Iraq, for nuclear non
proliferation, against wasteful weapons systems and military spending,
and against torture of detainees at Guantanamo. My votes reflect my
longstanding principles and beliefs. I am also proud that this year we
have a new President of the United States, who has reversed the
policies and priorities of the Bush Administration's policies. We will
work closely together for more responsible and progressive foreign

Kevin Martin, Peace Action's Executive Director, emphasized the
importance of this leadership. "We have an opportunity now to
significantly change how the US interacts with the global community and
what tools aside from military force the government relies on to keep
us secure. Given the urgency surrounding the war in Afghanistan and
negotiations with Iran, we need more leaders in Congress who will
actively promote those changes now."

According to Jon Rainwater, Peace Action West's Executive Director, the
role of the American public is critical in pushing for that new foreign
policy vision. "We must seize the opportunity to rebuild our country's
reputation in the eyes of the world. After seven years of war it's time
for a fundamental reorientation of our foreign policy. These 117
members of Congress are leading the way, but we need more like them.
That's why Peace Action makes sure Americans know how their
Representatives cast their votes on life and death issues, and
encourages constituents to contact Congress and share their views.
Ultimately, it's an active and vocal public that will determine if the
country makes the profound changes in US foreign policy that we need,"
Rainwater added.

Fifty-eight members of Congress earned a perfect score in the report,
including Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representatives John Lewis
(D-GA-5), George Miller (D-CA-7) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-7).
Fifty-nine scored 90 percent. Members of Congress who earned top marks
voted on such critical issues as opposing a blank check for the
occupation of Iraq, blocking the development of a new generation of
nuclear weapons, and fully funding nonproliferation programs, foreign
assistance and other important civilian security tools. Peace Action
and Peace Action West's Congressional Scorecard for the 110th Congress
is available for download here:


The groups jointly produce a report on congressional voting records every year.

Peace Action is the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.