Conservative group gives GOP leaders low marks, citing debt-ceiling vote

The conservative Heritage Action released its legislative scorecard on Thursday and barely gave House leaders a passing grade.

House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBottom line Virginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' MORE (R-Va.) was given a 60 percent mark, as was House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (R-Ohio), who by tradition seldom votes, was not scored. In the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' MORE (R-Ky.) was given a 72 percent score and Senate GOP Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) was given 77 percent.


All were penalized for voting to raise the nation’s debt ceiling in order to stave off a default in early August.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jeffrey Duncan (R-S.C.) most closely approximate the group’s conservative ideal in the two chambers.

To get into the very top tier, conservatives had to be willing to vote both against raising the debt ceiling in the final debt-ceiling deal and against a stronger bill that would have conditioned raising the debt ceiling on passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. That later bill had been authored by BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE, and was heavily whipped by leadership.

DeMint was given a 99 percent rating. The only mark against him was that he failed to co-sponsor a bill on privatizing the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

DeMint was followed on the list by Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeEconomy adds just 235K jobs in August as delta hammers growth Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit Afghanistan fiasco proves we didn't leave soon enough MORE (R-Utah), who received 98 percent. He was docked points for failing to co-sponsor a bill allowing states to opt out of No Child Left Behind education requirements.

Duncan was graded at 97 percent for voting what Heritage Action deemed correctly every time but failing to co-sponsor bills on Fannie and Freddie, welfare reform and an anti-climate change bill.

Presidential candidate Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (R-Minn.) was given a 94 percent rating from the group. She was penalized for voting against the Cut, Cap and Balance bill favored by Heritage. Bachmann said she voted against it because it would have increased the debt ceiling.

Candidate Rep. Ron Paul received a 76 percent mark. Like Bachmann, he was hit for voting against Cut, Cap and Balance, and also voted against the House-passed budget, a D.C. school voucher program and several pro-war measures.

Presidential candidate Rep. Thaddeous McCotter (R-Mich.) was scored at 68 percent.

Some staunch conservatives saw their rating suffer for after voicing support for the Boehner bill. For this reason, Rep. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (R-Ariz.) scored only 95 percent. For supporting the leadership bill and the final debt-ceiling increase, Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHouse panel advances key portion of Democrats' .5T bill LIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means to conclude work on .5T package LIVE COVERAGE: Tax hikes take center stage in Ways and Means markup MORE (R-Texas), not a liberal lawmaker by any means, was given a 78 percent rating.

Others were kept out of the top tier because Heritage Action opposes a patent reform bill that changes the U.S. system to a first-to-file system from a first-to-invent system, where the Patent Office spends a large amount of time verifying that an applicant actually was the first to come up with an idea. Small inventors support the old system, while big business says a change is necessary to keep the U.S. competitive with the rest of the world, which uses first-to-file.

Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah) was given a 96 percent score. He was denied a more perfect record because he voted to strike language from a defense bill saying the U.S. is at war with al Qaeda and because he did not co-sponsor an anti-climate-change bill.

The highest-scoring Democrat on the list was Oklahoma’s Rep. Dan Boren, who received a 37 percent mark.