Heritage Action is the 501c4 lobbying arm of theHeritage Foundation. They’ve released whatDaniel Horowitz at RedState describes as “the first comprehensive conservative report card of Congress.” Horowitz writes, “We can now determine which members of the ‘Tea Party Congress’ drink a hardcore brew.”
Unlike most other scorecards, this one was designed to separate the men from the boys. Most traditional scorecards, and most prominently, the ACU annual report, tend to focus primarily on those votes which fundamentally divide the two parties. They fail to probe some of the more courageous conservative votes against party leadership.
To that end, any Republican who is even minimally conservative is expected to score at or near 100%. After all, at a minimum, any Republican should oppose Obamacare, vote down tax increases, and support the Republican annual budget. This is how the likes of McCain, Graham, and Chambliss have been able to achieve stellar scores. Except for those like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Dick Lugar, most Republicans will vote with their party on the final roll call of major bills. In fact, anyone who is not on the list of 100% is someone who has voted with the Democrats in contravention to fundamental Republican values. A perfect ACU score should be the floor, not the ceiling, for a conservative voting record.
The Heritage Action scorecard digs much deeper.
In just the first seven months of the legislative session, they scored 30 votes in the House and 19 in the Senate, many of which dealt with obscure amendments that sought to cut spending beyond the comfort zone of GOP leaders. (more…)