Annual scorecard ranks GOP environmental efforts far below Dems in 2018
Republicans across the board failed to act on and pass meaningful climate and environmental laws in 2018, according to a report on voting records released Wednesday.
The annual National Environmental Score Card compiled by environmental activist group The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) reported that Republicans on the whole in the last Congress worked to introduce an anti-environmental agenda and rubber stamp President Trump’s deregulatory plan, as well as lead efforts to confirm a number of cabinet members with pro-industry backgrounds.
Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate in 2018.
The report found that Republican lawmakers in the House pushed 35 votes that would pose a threat to public health or hurt plans to combat climate change, in the LCV’s view. Many of those votes were never taken up in the Senate. The 14 Senate votes scored in the report instead predominately were efforts to confirm President Trump’s nominees to the federal judiciary and the executive branch.
Looking at how individual lawmakers voted on the bills and confirmations, the report found a stark divide between Republican and Democratic records.
Scoring based on whether members voted “with” or “against” the environment and public health on each measure, the report found that seven Republican senators overall received a score of zero, while 35 senate Democrats and one independent received a 100 percent score.
The average score for Senate Democrats and Independents who caucused with them was 95 percent, while the Republicans in the Senate averaged 8 percent.
House Republicans also generated an average score of 8 percent, while House Democrats’ numbers were a bit lower than their Senate counterparts, at an average score of 90 percent, according to the LCV.
Overall, Senate Democrats with 2020 ambitions scored perfect scores. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Independent Bernie Sanders (Vt.) scored 100s.
The lowest scoring Senate Democrat was West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, with a score of 43. He was followed by now-former Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) with a score of 50 and Claire McCaskill of Missouri with a score of 79. Both senators lost their reelection bids last November to Republicans.
The scorecard anticipates that lawmakers will raise their numbers in this next congress, with Democrats newly in control of the House.
“While we anticipate that the Trump administration and the Republican leadership in the Senate will prevent major pro-environment legislation from becoming law, there are opportunities to make significant progress in states across the country this year,” read the report.
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