In light of the Benghazi cover-up by the Obama Administration and the 9/11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, it is critical that Americans know how their local elected representatives stand when it comes to homeland security and the security of our U.S. embassies abroad.
Right Side News asks our readers to download the Center for Security Policy scorecard released Thursday, Oct 25th its
2011-2012. The scorecard– which scores all Representatives and Senators on key national security votes in their respective chambers over the past two years– is available both as a single document [PDF] and as a series of individual online reports focusing on each legislator’s national security votes, grouped by state.
The Center scored a total of 22 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 8 votes in the U.S. Senate. Topics covered included defense sequestration, nuclear deterrence, terrorist detainee policy, the USA PATRIOT Act, North Korea, Taiwan, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Law of the Sea Treaty.
The Center has identified 227 Champions of National Security in the House, and 38 in the Senate, each of whom scored 85% or higher. Additionally, the Center has identified 149 Lowest Scoring Legislators in the House, and 44 in the Senate, each of whom scored 25% or lower.
The Center’s President and CEO, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., commented:
At a time when threats to the United States are multiplying by the day, this election is enormously consequential for our national security. It is imperative that the American public be able to assess how our legislators have voted on a range of defense, foreign policy and homeland security matters. By definition, scorecards look only at issues that were brought to a vote. While they do not, therefore, reflect other initiatives – on and off Capitol Hill – that also contribute to the totality of a legislator’s views and record, this product is a valuable starting point for understanding and evaluating the role your elected representatives are playing at this critical moment for our national security.
This is the Center of Security Policy’s 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.