CDF Action Council Releases New Report Card on Congress

Oct 23, 2012, 16:31 ET from Children's Defense Fund Action Council

Majority of Members Receive a Failing Grade

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Children's Defense Fund Action Council® annual report card for Congress, The 2011 Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard, was released. The new report found the polarized and hyper-partisan 112th Congress bickered its way through high-stakes deadlines to set a record as one of the least productive Congressional sessions ever and passed not a single major bill to relieve the suffering of the 16.1 million poor children and the 7.3 million extremely poor children in need.  In the final tally, 302 Members of Congress received a failing grade by scoring below 60 percent.

"In April 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives launched an all-out assault on children and families by passing the "Ryan Budget," said Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children's Defense Fund Action Council.  "This drastic budget proposed hundreds of billions in cuts from child investments by repealing the landmark health reform law that provides coverage for 95 percent of children, cut children and families from food subsidies, and chopped education subsidies. Ryanomics robs poor children of their futures, rewards the rich by extending the Bush-era tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and costs taxpayers $800 billion over 10 years." 

A majority in Congress have so handcuffed themselves to the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge", sponsored by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, that routine decisions like raising the debt ceiling created gridlock and took our nation to the brink of default.  Massive income and wealth inequality now threaten the very fabric of our democracy.  And yet Grover Norquist has convinced 279 Members of Congress to pledge not to raise a single dollar in taxes from those who benefit most from unjust tax cuts and loopholes. These facts led the CDF Action Council to include the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" as a vote against children.


On the whole, the 112th Congress was a "do-nothing" Congress.  But many did respond to calls to defend health care reform, invest in children, and prevent the national budget from being balanced on the backs of babies.  Thanks to public pressure, child advocates in the House and Senate supported critical votes outlined in the 2011 CDF Action Council Scorecard.  141 Members of Congress scored 100 percent and 223 Members scored between 80 and 100 percent for voting against the following proposals that would have eliminated essential supports for low-income children and families:

  • Repeal of the landmark Affordable Care Act
  • The Ryan House budget
  • Elimination of Eligibility Provisions for the Food Stamp Program
  • Balanced Budget Amendment

The bad news is that 302 Members of Congress scored below 60 percent—a failing grade—and 21 of these Members scored zero on our ScorecardYou may download the full report.

The CDF Action Council is an affiliated 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization of the Children's Defense Fund. We champion policies and engage in legislative advocacy that will lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.

For More Information Contact:
Patti Hassler, Vice President of Communications and Outreach


SOURCE Children's Defense Fund Action Council