Arlington County Represented by 'Big Spenders' in Congress
The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) released their annual study of the voting records of members of Congress for First Session (2015) of the 114th Congress. The study is unique in that it counts "actual vote -- every vote that affects taxes, spending, and debt," according to NTU's press release, yesterday.
NTU explains why their annual study is different, writing, "While many organizations focus only on a handful of votes, NTU fairly and accurately evaluates votes and spending evenly. Regardless of political affiliation, all members of Congress are treated equally as votes are evaluated in how they impact overburdened taxpayers across the country." They also go on to say:
"The Taxpayer Score measures every member’s support level to cut spending, reducing regulations, and opposition to increasing taxes.
Members who receive an “A” have been the strongest supporters of sound tax and spending policies. These Members of Congress receive our “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” for their hard work and dedication to fighting for good policies and lower taxes for all Americans. Those who receive a “B” have proven to have a “good” voting record on controlling spending and taxes, as well as voting in favor of taxpayers most of the time. Earning a “C” indicates the minimal acceptance on their voting record to fight against increased taxes and spending. Those who receive a “D” or “F” reflect those members who have not fought against increased spending and tax policies. These “Big Spenders” are those who NTU views as not voting in support of taxpayers interests, but instead for increased government spending and control. (emphasis added)
"Every roll call vote in the First Session of the 114th Congress was analyzed for this year’s Rates Congress, and those that affected the amounts of federal taxes, spending, debt, or regulations were included in the grade evaluations. There were 141 votes in the Senate and 267 in the House that involved appropriations, tax bills, amendments, and certain procedural votes that affect the financial burden on taxpayers.
"The number of votes included in this year’s analysis reflects an objective and nonpartisan weighting of the votes, calculated, and numerous error checks ensure the highest possible level of accuracy in the data. While we believe this method is the most accurate, no study or analysis can fully evaluate every Member’s overall record."
For a more detailed explanation of the Taxpayer Score, and the computation methodology, visit Rates Congress.
All three members of Congress who represent Arlington County received a grade of 'F' for their 2015 voting record, qualifying them as Big Spenders:
- Senator Mark Warner -- F
- Senator Tim Kaine -- F
- Representative Don Beyer -- F
By comparison, Rep. Dave Brat, who defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the June 2014 Republican primary for Virginia's 7th Congressional District is a Taxpayer Friend because of his 'A' Taxpayer Score. Other Virginia Representatives who received 'good' scores included Bob Goodlatte (B+), Randy Forbes (B+), Robert Hurt (B+), Morgan Griffith (B), Robert Wittman (B), and Barbara Comstock (B-). Other Virginia representatives and their scores were Edward Rigell (C+), Gerald Connelly (F), and Robert Scott (F).
To see charts of how the average Taxpayer Scores have trended from 2010 to 2015 for both the Senate and the House of Representatives, click here. To view the results for all members of Congress for the 1st session of the 114th Congress, click here.
For the 2015 list of Taxpayer Friends in the House and Senate, click here.
Something to remember as you step into the voting booth in two weeks -- November 8, 2016? If you're still concerned about the Big Spenders who represent Arlington County in Congress, take a few minutes and write your member of Congress. For those not living in Arlington County, contact information is available at the Library of Congress' Congress.gov. Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County can contact:
- Senator Mark Warner (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-2023
- Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
- Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376
Ask for a written response. And tell them ACTA sent you.