August 22, 2014

CONCORD RELEASES 1997 SCORECARD SCORING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

Click this link to read the 1997 Scorecard.

WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition Citizens Council today released its fifth annual Tough Choices Deficit Reduction Scorecard, which scores members of Congress on their fiscal responsibility during the 1997 congressional session.

The Citizens Council noted that 1997 was a banner year for budget balancing efforts. By late summer the Congress passed and the President signed into law a plan to balance the unified federal budget by 2002.

"On the whole, Congressional leaders remained fiscally responsible during 1997," said Concord Executive Director Martha Phillips. "They repeatedly resisted every effort to increase transportation spending above balanced budget levels and, despite repeated flirtations with further tax cuts and spending increases, they remained publicly committed to following through on balancing the unified budget."

Phillips said that despite this welcome good news, there were also some unfortunate budgetary developments in 1997. Several important initiatives did not pass, including a series of Senate proposals that would have improved Medicare's long-term viability and a bill to adopt new enforcement mechanisms to ensure that the balanced budget agreement is fully carried out. Worse, Congress failed to tackle long-term entitlement reform, leaving both Social Security and Medicare on unsustainable growth paths.

The 18 votes in the House and the 21 votes in the Senate used by Concord to gauge members' fiscal responsibility were chosen because they:

 

  • Proposed increases or reductions in the deficit through spending or tax decisions;

     

  • Involved means-testing of entitlements or other benefits;

     

  • Offered a chance to eliminate or reduce spending for pork-barrel projects, to eliminate big-ticket projects that cannot be afforded right now, or promised to make government more efficient;

     

  • Involved important procedural issues affecting how budgeting decisions would be made in the future.
  • Recognizing that neither Democrats nor Republicans enjoy a monopoly on good ideas for balancing the budget, the scorecard credited fiscally responsible measures introduced by members of both parties.

    The Citizens Council also announced the criteria it will follow in selecting votes for its 1998 scorecard. If members of Congress expect to score well, they will have to vote to:

     

  • Protect the surplus, by keeping it in reserve until the long-term Social Security problem has been solved with a goal of ending the practice of borrowing the Social Security annual surplus to meet the operating costs of the rest of the government;

     

  • Support actions that address long-term generational pressures on the federal budget and the nation's economy, particularly such programs affecting the elderly as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid;

     

  • Keep the budget enforcement procedures strong, including maintaining spending caps on discretionary funds and the pay-as-you-go rules for entitlements and revenues;

     

  • Oppose enactment of new permanent claims on the federal budget that would be difficult to finance in the future, such as the creation of new entitlement programs or the enactment of new tax breaks, tax entitlements, or new large discretionary programs that could jeopardize future adherence to the discretionary caps;

     

  • Favor reduction or elimination of unnecessary, wasteful, or duplicative defense or domestic programs.
  • "Maintaining budget discipline this year will be difficult, and there will inevitably be pressures for new high-priority initiatives," said Phillips. "The only way to both balance the budget and meet new priorities is to be willing to give up outdated or lower-priority commitments."

    Members of the House and Senate that scored in the 85th percentile or higher were named to Concord's Deficit Hawk Honor Roll. A list of the House and Senate Honor Rolls follows:

    1997 DEFICIT HAWK HONOR ROLLS

    HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

     

    Raw Percentile Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) 92 100 Rep. Thomas M. Barrett (D-Wis.) 90 100 Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) 90 100 Rep. David Minge (D-Minn.) 90 99 Rep. Jim Davis (D-Fla.) 86 99 Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) 86 99 Rep. Bill Luther (D-Minn.) 86 99 Rep. John Edward Porter (R-Ill.) 86 98 Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) 84 98 Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.) 84 98 Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) 84 98 Rep. Marge Roukema (R-N.J.) 84 98 Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.) 82 97 Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) 82 97 Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) 82 97 Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Fla.) 80 96 Rep. Calvin M. Dooley (D-Calif.) 80 96 Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney (D-Ga.) 80 96 Rep. Dan Miller (R-Fla.) 80 96 Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) 78 95 Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.) 78 95 Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) 78 95 Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) 78 95 Rep. James A. Leach (R-Iowa) 78 95 Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) 78 94 Rep. John E. Ensign (R-Nev.) 77 94 Rep. Mark W. Neumann (R-Wis.) 77 94 Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D-N.J.) 76 94 Rep. Charles F. Bass (R-N.H.) 76 93 Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) 76 93 Rep. Thomas E. Petri (R-Wis.) 76 93 Rep. Lynn N. Rivers (D-Mich.) 76 93 Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) 76 93 Rep. Bruce F. Vento (D-Minn.) 76 93 Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) 76 92 Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.) 74 92 Rep. Michael Doyle (D-Pa.) 74 91 Rep. Bob Franks (R-N.J.) 74 91 Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) 74 91 Rep. Steven R. Rothman (D-N.J.) 74 91 Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-Fla.) 74 91 Rep. Norman Sisisky (D-Va.) 74 91 Rep. Charles W. Stenholm (D-Texas) 74 91 Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) 74 91 Rep. Rod R. Blagojevich (D-Ill.) 72 88 Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) 72 88 Rep. Harris W. Fawell (R-Ill.) 72 88 Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.) 72 88 Rep. Gerald D. Kleczka (D-Wis.) 72 88 Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.) 72 88 Rep. Karen McCarthy (D-Mo.) 72 88 Rep. Paul McHale (D-Pa.) 72 88 Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) 72 88 Rep. Glenn Poshard (D-Ill.) 72 88 Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) 72 88 Rep. John E. Sununu (R-N.H.) 72 88 Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) 72 88 Rep. W.G. (Bill) Hefner (D-N.C.) 72 87 Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) 71 86 Rep. John S. Tanner (D-Tenn.) 71 86 Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) 71 86 Rep. Walter H. Capps (D-Calif.) 70 86 Rep. James T. Walsh (R-N.Y.) 70 86   SENATE Sen. Charles S. Robb (D-Va.) 85 100 Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) 80 99 Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) 79 98 Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) 77 97 Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) 76 96 Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) 75 95 Sen. Richard H. Bryan (D-Nev.) 74 93 Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) 74 93 Sen. William V. Roth Jr. (R-Del.) 74 93 Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) 73 89 Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) 73 89 Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) 73 89 Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) 73 89 Sen. John H. Chafee (R-R.I.) 71 85 Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.) 71 85 Sen. William H. Frist (R-Tenn.) 71 85 Sen. Connie Mack III (R-Fla.) 71 85