Entitlement Reform

Club for Growth Releases Annual Congressional Scorecard

Doug Sachtleben - April 28th, 2016

Washington, DC – Today, the Club for Growth released its 2015 Congressional Scorecard, which ranks the voting behavior of Members of Congress based on issues relating to limited government and economic growth.

To view the Club for Growth’s 2015 Congressional Scorecard and all prior scorecards, click here.

“Despite slight progress in 2015, Congress has a lot of room for improvement on pro-growth policies,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “The number of Members receiving the Club’s Defender of Economic Freedom award is up, but still represents only a small percentage of the Republican majorities in Congress. Economic freedom should be a leading theme in the policies coming out of Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, too many Republicans are still committed to big government and big spending, which makes it all the more important that we recognize those lawmakers who are fighting daily to shrink government and the federal bureaucracy that is choking our free markets and the economy.”

This year, 37 Members of Congress will receive the Club for Growth’s Defender of Economic Freedom award. Starting in 2011, the Club for Growth required Representatives and Senators to not only score 90 or better on votes cast in a year, but to also maintain a lifetime rating of at least 90.

The Club for Growth 2015 Congressional Scorecard is based on 29 votes taken in the House of Representatives and 25 votes taken in the Senate.

Highlights from the Club for Growth’s 2015 Congressional Scorecard

Only one United States Senator received a perfect score in 2015: Senator Mike Lee (UT).

Senators Ben Sasse (NE), Marco Rubio (FL), Ted Cruz (TX), Jeff Flake (AZ), Tom Cotton (AR), and Jim Risch (ID) had 2015 scores and lifetime scores high enough to qualify for the Defender of Economic Freedom award.

Thirty House members (up from 25 last year) who received scores of 90 or better in 2015 also had lifetime scores of 90 or better to qualify for the Defender of Economic Freedom award.

Three House members received 100% ratings in 2015. Of those, two had a lifetime rating of 100: Congressmen John Ratcliffe (TX-04) and Tim Huelskamp (KS-01). Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) also had a 100% rating in 2015.

Six Senate Democrats scored zero in 2015, and the highest score of any Senate Democrat, by Senator Joe Manchin (WV), was a mere 23.

The lowest scoring Republican was Senator Susan Collins (MN) with a 25.

Republican leadership scores in 2015 were:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) – 62

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn – 63

House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-01) – 73

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) – 68

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01) – 65

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) – 58

The Club for Growth is the nation’s leading group promoting economic freedom through legislative involvement, issue advocacy, research, and education.

The Club’s website can be found at http://www.clubforgrowth.org/

Club Responds to NAM Threat

Doug Sachtleben - August 27th, 2015

Club for Growth president David McIntosh released a statement after the National Association of Manufacturers said it would stop all donations to Republicans while it fights for renewal of the corrupt Export-Import Bank:

“It makes no sense that NAM wants to punish pro-growth lawmakers who are fighting to lower corporate tax rates, stop the EPA, and expand trade opportunities, all to grab some taxpayer subsidies from Ex-Im that most of their members will never benefit from.”


Here is the original report on NAM that was published on Politico Pro on 8/27/15:

NAM suspends GOP donations over Ex-Im fight:

The National Association of Manufacturers has decided stop all donations to Republican candidates this fall while it focuses on getting the Export-Import Bank reauthorized, a NAM spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

This is a major move by a monetary heavyweight. The AFL-CIO took a similar route of suspending political donations ahead of the vote on trade promotion authority.

Economist Greg Mankiw on the Export-Import Bank:

Andrew Roth - June 17th, 2015

Economist Greg Mankiw, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, recently came out against the Export-Import Bank. See his short blog post below.

I just got back from Utah, where I was one of the speakers at a conference that has been dubbed “Club Mitt.” One of the other speakers–this one a politician rather than a nerdy academic like me–spoke about the need to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.  (I won’t mention the person’s name, since the event is off the record.)  What struck me is how weak the arguments were.

Three arguments for the Ex-Im Bank were given:

1. It creates jobs Of course it does!  If the government were to put the names of all businesses into a hat, pull out a few randomly, and give those a per unit subsidy, those businesses would expand and hire more workers. That would not make it a good policy, however, because the wrong jobs would be created.

2. It returns money to the Treasury.  Really?  If the bank were truly a profitable venture, we could privatize it.  I bet if the government tried to sell off the Ex-Im Bank, it wouldn’t get much, if anything at all.  If the Bank’s activity were actually profitable, we wouldn’t need a government-run bank to do it.

3. Other countries give similar subsidies to their firms. So what? If other nations engage in corporate welfare, that is no reason for the United States to follow suit in the name of a level playing field.  We don’t need to import other nations’ bad policies.

Maybe there are better arguments for the Export-Import Bank.  But if this is the best advocates of the Bank can do, it shouldn’t be reauthorized.


Read it on Greg Mankiw’s Blog here: http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-export-import-bank.html


Club for Growth Starts New TV Ad Campaign against Ex-Im in Arkansas and Tennessee

Doug Sachtleben - June 12th, 2015

Washington, DC – The Club for Growth today released TV ads urging two more Members of Congress to join conservatives and end the Export-Import Bank. The ads are airing in the congressional districts of Representatives Bruce Westerman (AR-4) and Phil Roe (TN-1). They are on broadcast and cable TV in Little Rock and Fort Smith, AR, and in the Tri-Cities area of northeast Tennessee.

To view the Club for Growth’s new TV ads urging Members to not reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, click here.

“The list of conservatives who want to end the Export-Import Bank is growing,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “Republican presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and committee chairmen in the House and Senate are lining up AGAINST Ex-Im. Meanwhile, there’s overwhelming support FOR Ex-Im from Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and liberal Democrats.

“The opposition to Ex-Im knows what it is: a corrupt federal agency that hands out corporate welfare with American tax dollars. The Club hopes that Phil Roe and Bruce Westerman will join that opposition and stand against any reauthorization of Ex-Im.”

The new ads are part of an overall $1 million campaign, including digital advertising. The Club’s first round of Ex-Im ads began airing in April in the congressional districts of Representatives Bill Flores (TX-17), Renee Ellmers (NC-02), Stephen Fincher (TN-08) and Buddy Carter (GA-01). The second round of ads began airing May 22 in the congressional districts of Representatives Bill Shuster (PA-9) and David McKinley (WV-1). Ads were also planned to start in the districts of Representatives Rob Bishop (UT-1) and Chris Stewart (UT-2), but were canceled after both came out with statements clearly opposing the bank’s reauthorization. The Club also ran an ad in Florida urging Democrats there to support Rep. Alan Grayson’s (FL-9) opposition to Ex-Im, over Rep. Patrick Murphy’s (FL-18) support for the bank.

The Club for Growth is the nation’s leading group promoting economic freedom through legislative involvement, issue advocacy, research, and education.

Club for Growth Applauds Senator Shelby for Opposing Export-Import Bank

Doug Sachtleben - June 09th, 2015

Washington, DC – The Club for Growth today released the following statement after Senator Richard Shelby (AL), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced his opposition to reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank:

“Chairman Shelby is exactly right that ‘we really won’t miss’ the Export-Import Bank when its charter expires,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “As the American people learn about Ex-Im’s corruption and corporate welfare, the tide continues to turn against reauthorization.

“With the Senate Banking Chair and the House Financial Services Chair committed to not moving an Ex-Im reauthorization bill, this matter should be closed. The Club urges Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner to be on the right side of this issue and to agree to not attach an Ex-Im bill to other legislation that Congress is considering. The Senate needs to follow regular order and not take up Ex-Im legislation that is not put forth by the Banking Committee. ”

The Club for Growth is the nation’s leading group promoting economic freedom through legislative involvement, issue advocacy, research, and education.