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According to the conservative Center for Security Policy, House Intelligence and Armed Services Committee Chairmen Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) were among those with the strongest voting records on national security this year, while Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) were among the worst.
The center rated all 535 members of the Congress on eight issue votes taken in the Senate and 22 in the House this year, including a measure to defund the U.S. wars on terrorists (a “nay” vote was promoted by the organization) to a bill that would define terrorists as enemy combatants and try them by military tribunal (the center recommended a “yea” vote).
The center gave 195 members of Congress 100 percent “champion” ratings on the issues, including one Democrat, Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.) and one Independent, Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) The 74 members receiving a 0% rating were all Democrats. ...............
Policy organization rates best and worst lawmakers on security issues
The Center for Security Policy is pleased to release its tenth National Security Scorecard since its first in 1994. As with previous iterations, it is designed to illuminate the voting record of members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives on important defense and foreign policy issues.
Toward that end, this edition of the National Security Scorecard conforms to the approach taken in previous versions. We have selected Congressional votes on the basis of their significance to the vital security policy interests of the United States. We have, moreover, selected votes that offer real insights into the attitude of the legislators casting them concerning critical national security issues of the day. Such considerations prompt us generally to exclude near-unanimous votes, non- controversial or hortatory resolutions, or votes on final passage of each chambers’ annual defense spending bills or their conference reports.
This year marks the first time the Center is releasing its scorecard not only in PDF format, but also as a navigable online report, consisting of individual legislator scorecards. It is our hope that this feature will enable constituents and local media to closely examine their specific legislator’s national security voting record and encourage focused discussion on it at the local level.
It is important to note that while the scorecard is a critical tool for analyzing a legislator’s national security record, it is not the only measure of that record. By definition, scorecards look only at issues that were brought to a vote – they do not capture statements or other forms of discus- sion and debate, on and off Capitol Hill, that also contribute to the totality of a legislator’s views.
In producing this year’s National Security Scorecard, the Center for Security Policy hopes to assist the American people in understanding the performance of their elected officials with respect to vital national security issues—and to encourage greater accountability on the part of Senators and Members of Congress for their votes in this portfolio.
Scores are based upon the legislator’s aggregate record on these important votes. If, for example, a Senator was absent for two of the examined votes, but cast his or her remaining votes in a pro-national security way, he or she would receive a total score of 100%. The same applies for votes taken before a Senator assumed office in mid-term; votes for the session from before he or she started serving do not count towards the total votes cast.
National Security Scorecard for the 112th Congress (2011-2012) National Report