ACU Foundation releases ratings of Congress

Published 9:28 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its 48th Edition of its annual Ratings of Congress. The guide ranks members of Congress based upon their commitment to conservative principles as demonstrated by their voting records in the 2018 session of Congress.

These Ratings of Congress are initiatives of ACUF’s Center for Legislative Accountability. In all, every year we rate about 8,000 elected officials across 101 legislative chambers across the country.

“The Trump administration continued its push for conservative policies and nominees in 2018,” said ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp. “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.

Email newsletter signup

“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.”

In the 2018 session, seven members of the Tennessee congressional delegation received awards for receiving scores of 80 percent or higher from the ACUF:

Rep. Duncan – 100 percent;

Rep. DesJarlais – 96 percent;

Rep. Roe—88 percent;

Rep. Kustoff–87 percent;

Sen. Corker – 84 percent;

Sen. Alexander – 81 percent;

Rep. Fleischmann—80 percent.

The other members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation received the following scores: Rep. Cooper (32 percent), and Rep. Cohen (8 percent). Reps. Black and Blackburn did not receive scores due absences for at least one-third of the votes rated by ACUF.

Rep. Cohen qualified for ACUF’s “Coalition of the Radical Left” for receiving a score below 10 percent.

This year, ACU Foundation double-weighted the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and another to re-impose government control of the internet. The percentage of Republicans earning awards for their conservative voting records fell compared to the 2017 session (from 66 percent to 55 percent). The average scores of Democrats was 10 percent in the Senate and 8 percent in the House.

This session’s scorecard is made up of 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.