The Lead

Pa.’s congressional Dems don’t fare well on conservatives’ new legislative report card

By: - April 12, 2019 5:06 pm

U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) of Pennsylvania (Capital-Star file)

A conservative advocacy group is out with its annual rankings list, and surprising exactly no one, the Democratic members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation didn’t fare particularly well.

In fact, U.S. Sen, Bob Casey, D-Pa., along with U.S. Reps. Conor Lamb, Brendan Boyle, Bob Brady, Mike Doyle, and Dwight Evans won membership in the “Coalition of the Radical Left” for receiving a score of 10 percent or less on the 48th rankings list compiled by the American Conservative Union Foundation.

The right-wing advocacy group based its report card on “25 bills in the U.S. House of Representatives and 20 bills in the U.S. Senate. The bills selected cover a wide range of issues including fiscal and economic, social and cultural, and national security, and are designed to reflect how lawmakers view the role of government in an individual’s life.”

In addition, “ACU Foundation double-weighted the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and another to re-impose government control of the internet,” it said in a statement.

Here’s how Pa. lawmakers fared:

  • U.S. Pat Sen. Toomey, R-Pa.: 100 percent
  • U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District: 92 percent
  • U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-11th District: 92 percent
  • ex-U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-17th District: 88 percent

The rest: Former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (71 percent); U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (68 percent); ex-U.S. Rep. Tom  Marino (68 percent); U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (64 percent); ex-U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (36 percent); U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (24 percent); U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (10 percent); U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (9 percent); U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (5 percent); ex-U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (4 percent); U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (4 percent); and U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans (4 percent).

Former U.S. Reps. Pat Meehan, Bill Shuster, and Charlie Dent, along with new freshmen Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon and Susan Wild, did not receive a score due to absences for at least one-third of the votes selected by the conservatives’ group.

In a statement, the group’s chairman, Matt Schlapp, high-fived the Trump administration for “[continuing] its push for conservative policies and nominees” last year.

“In response, the Senate took action to confirm a number of judges and achieved a landmark political victory to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, but Congress (and especially the House which operates under a simple “majority rules” system) mostly squandered an historic opportunity to implement meaningful conservative policy solutions, including funding a wall on our southern border, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and passing signature work requirements in conjunction with nutrition or welfare benefits,” he continued. “One bright spot was when conservatives of both chambers led the fight to pass the First Step Act. We struggled to find bills to score because of Congress’ big whiff, but in the end we were able to find a sufficient number of votes to reflect a members’ adherence to conservative principles.”

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.