Members of Congress from states with high rates of poverty are less likely to support anti-poverty measures than other members of Congress, according to the only national analysis that ranks Members of Congress solely on their performance in fighting poverty, released today.hat tip to Poverty Law Prof Blog
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The 2007 Poverty Scorecard: Rating Members of Congress assigns letter grades to each member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives according to their voting records on the most important poverty– related issues that came to a vote in 2007, including legislation on affordable housing, health care, education, labor, tax policy and immigrants’ rights. With the help of a national advisory board and other anti-poverty experts, the Shriver Center identified and analyzed fourteen critical Senate votes and fifteen critical House votes.
In general, states whose Congressional delegations generally opposed anti-poverty measures are clustered in the south and western part of the country. States whose delegations had the worst voting records and highest poverty rates were South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona.
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While about 2/3 of the members got good grades on the Scorecard, their votes were not enough to pass most of the measures. Moreover, the votes recorded in the Scorecard would suggest that a significant number of legislators do not believe in taking aggressive action to address poverty. Given the high rates of poverty in many of their states, we are not convinced that they are paying attention to poverty, or that they have an effective, alternative strategy.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Report From the Shriver Center, HERE. From their press release: