Washington, D.C. — Nearly 60 lawmakers in Congress receive failing grades in the first-ever congressional report card on inequality, released today.
The Institute for Policy Studies’ new Congressional Report Card for the 99% grades lawmakers on a series of bills that either “feather the nest of America’s most affluent” or “enhance economic opportunities of our 99 percent.” (View clickable Congressional Report Card map.)
“Members of Congress have the capacity to make sure all Americans, not just a privileged few, share in the wealth that we all together create,” notes study co-author Scott Klinger, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. “With this new report card, voters can see for themselves how well their elected lawmakers are meeting that responsibility.”
The data that went into the new Institute for Policy Studies report card came from 40 different legislative actions over the last two years. The bills considered for the report card ranged from legislation to establish a “Buffett Rule” minimum tax rate that all wealthy Americans must pay to a measure that would raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation.
The new report includes an overall “honor roll” — to highlight those representatives and senators who have done the most to narrow America’s economic divide — as well as a “dishonor roll” of lawmakers who have repeatedly tilted the “1%” way. The report card also details the “most 1% friendly” and “most 99% friendly” by party affiliation.
Among the report’s key findings:
- Republicans dominate the report card’s “dishonor roll.” They make up the entire list of the 48 representatives and 11 senators with an “F” grade.
- Not all Democrats distinguish themselves as champions of greater equality on the new Institute for Policy Studies report card. Thirteen lawmakers who caucus with the Democrats rate only at the “C” level.
- Of the ten states with the nation’s most uneven distribution of income, according to just-released Census data, only one — Massachusetts — has senators and representatives with a composite average “A” level score.
- None of the 10 senators earning an “F” grade come from any of the nation’s five most equal states, as rated by the new Census figures. Likewise, of the 47 “flunking” members of the House of Representatives, only one — Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah — comes from one of the nation’s five most equal states.
Report co-authors include IPS researchers Sarah Anderson, Chuck Collins, Scott Klinger, and Sam Pizzigati. They recently teamed up to produce the Institute’s widely publicized 19th annual “Executive Excess” report, which focused on taxpayer subsidies for excessive CEO compensation.
To request a hard copy of the report, please contact: [email protected]
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