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Group gives 25 lawmakers 'perfect scores' on federal report card
Thursday - 2/2/2012, 7:47am EST
Last year saw its share of congressional proposals that would freeze federal pay, cut benefits and scale back the workforce. Now, one advocacy group has issued a report card listing how lawmakers voted on such proposals and how they stack up on federal issues — at least by their measure.
Federally Employed Women, which is aimed at improving the status of women working for the federal government, reviewed legislators' voting records on 10 bills mostly related to federal pay and benefits. Per the group's moniker, the scorecard also contains bills about gender equity, such as an expansion of the Equal Pay Act.
Lawmakers received 10 percentage points for each vote that was "in concert with FEW's views," according to the scorecard.
The group gave its highest score — a 100 percent — to two senators and 23 House members.
Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) backed all 10 FEW agenda items last year. This is the third consecutive year that Boxer has done so.
House members who backed all of FEW's 10 agenda items were:
Overall, 108 House members and 12 senators scored at least 90 percent.
In a preface to the scorecard, Sue Webster, the FEW national president, said there were a "record number of perfect scores" despite an "extremely stressful" year for federal employees.
The addition of proposals about gender equity, for example, mean the scorecard is not solely a pure distillation of how members of Congress vote on fed-centric issues.
FEW itself noted, "While this report is an important tool in monitoring the actions of Congress, it is not the sole reflection of a legislator's record."
A preview of things to come?
The wrangling over federal pay and benefits has continued into 2012. Many federal unions and employee groups have said the next hurdle is the negotiations surrounding how to pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut.
As a conference committee continues to mull how to extend the payroll tax cut, the report card broadly points to how amenable its members will likely be to cutting federal pay and benefits to offset its cost.
Of the nine Democrats named to the House-Senate payroll tax extension conference committee, none scored lower than 70 percent on FEW's scorecard, with most scoring 90 percent.
Of the 11 Republicans named to the committee, however, none scored higher than 40 percent and one — Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) scored zero percent.
(Michael O'Connell contributed to this report).