March 12, 2008

Guess who's going to have to go to summer school?

DMI for Public Policy: (.pdf)

With a U.S. Senator set to assume the presidency for the first time since 1960, and with an eye on the 470 other federal elections scheduled for November 4th, the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy (DMI) released “ 2007 Congressional Scorecard” today. DMI’s congressional scorecard, which is the only one in the nation based solely upon the interests of the middle class, reveals a great and troubling divide in the Congress. On the positive side, the scorecard reflects an overall improvement in Congress’ support for the middle class, with 34 Senators and 199 Representatives receiving “A” grades. On the negative side, one-third of all Representatives and nearly 40% of all Senators earned “F” grades.

“The middle-class squeeze is a recurring theme among members of Congress, all of whom assert their interest in alleviating some of the burdens faced by the middle class and those struggling to earn their way into it. If that commitment was universally genuine, 99% of Congress would have received an ‘A’ this year. Clearly, that did not happen and it was the current and aspiring middle class who suffered for it,” commented DMI Executive Director Andrea Batista Schlesinger. [..]

As for the three top presidential contenders, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton each received an "A+” grade. Stunningly, Senator McCain was the only member of the Senate to receive an “incomplete” because he missed a majority of the graded votes. Even Senator Tim Johnson, who suffered a life threatening brain hemorrhage in December 2006 and did not return to the Senate until September 2007, managed to vote on 50% more pieces of critical middle-class legislation than did Senator McCain. “When it came to doing something about the middle class, Senator McCain simply wasn’t there for them,” said Ms. Schlesinger.

How bad is that when a man with a life-threatening illness manages to make it to Congress to vote more often than someone who thinks he should be president? You can learn more about the DMI study as well as getting tools to hold Congress accountable for your interests at The Middle

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