Inequality-Fighting Lawmakers Won Big in Election

Search form

Inequality-Fighting Lawmakers Won Big in Election

Inequality-Fighting Lawmakers Won Big in Election
Wed, 11/14/2012 - by Sarah Anderson
This article originally appeared on The Institute for Policy Studies

Members of Congress who received good marks in an Institute for Policy Studies report card on inequality fared well in the election.

The report card awarded "A+" grades to 12 House members for doing the most to narrow America's economic divide over the past two years. Eleven of these won their races, including: Representatives Robert Brady (D-PA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), John Conyers (D-MI), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) lost his seat to a Democratic challenger.

Three of the five senators who received top marks were up for reelection and all were successful. They include Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Republicans identified as the most "99% friendly" within their party also did well. Three senators and nine House members received "C" level grades in the IPS report card for doing the most to reduce extreme inequality over the past two years. Of the seven House members on this list who ran for reelection, all were victorious. None of the three most "99% friendly" Senators was up for reelection.

The IPS report card handed out failing grades to 59 legislators who consistently favored the interests of the wealthy instead of looking out for the needs of everyone. Of the 45 who were up for reelection, two lost their bids.

One was Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY), who is highlighted in the IPS report card for being the lead sponsor of a bill to repeal a provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that requires corporations to disclose the ratio between what they pay their CEO and their workers. This new metric could encourage a narrowing of the staggering inequality gaps within companies. In the midst of Hayworth's two-year crusade against that provision, the SEC has failed to implement it.

The other House member who received an "F" grade and lost her seat was tea party-backed Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY).

The IPS report card also identified the 17 Democrats who have done the least to fight extreme inequality within their party and rated no better than "C" level grades. Of the eight House members on this list who were up for reelection, two lost reelection bids (Representatives Ben Chandler, D-KY, and Larry Kissell, D-NC) and one (Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-NC) appeared to be headed for a recount.

This first-annual Institute for Policy Studies report card, released in September, is based on voting records and co-sponsorships of 40 different legislative actions over the last two years. The bills considered range from legislation to establish a "Buffett Rule" minimum tax rate that all wealthy Americans must pay to a measure that would raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation.

Sarah Anderson is a co-author of the Institute for Policy Studies' first annual inequality report card, released in September.

Article Tabs

David Petraeus, prosecuting leakers, whistleblowers, Black Books, Paula Broadwell, Espionage Act, John Kiriakou, Stephen Kim, Identities Protection Act, Wikileaks, Chelsea Manning

The former Army general and CIA director gave highly-classified journals to his onetime lover and lied to the FBI about it – but he only has to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor, with no jail time, thanks to a deal with prosecutors.

An average of 545 people killed by local and state law enforcement officers in the U.S. went uncounted in the country’s most authoritative crime statistics every year for almost a decade, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Black Lives Matter, #BlackLivesMatter, Black Panthers, Black Panther Party, Ferguson protests, Michael Brown, racial injustice, police killings, police violence, police brutality, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Fred Hampton

A half century ago, activists were demanding not only the recognition that black lives matter but also the right to black power.

recycled biofuel, Uptown Oil, Fatbergs, carbon emissions, clean burning fuel, biodiesel

Uptown Oil estimates London could produce around 50 million liters per year of recycled biodiesel, causing a major drop in greenhouse gas emissions. So why is government turning its head?

public banking, public banks, Bank of Canada

Canada’s privatization of public finance in the last 40 years has led to an unprecedented level of debt – now, a scrappy legal case for economic justice is seeking to reverse that.

public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, Ellen Brown

New bedfellows are writing what may be the next chapter in the story of our democracy: a network of public banks to facilitate a lateral, collaborative distribution of affordable credit that challenges Wall Street's control.

Posted 3 days 4 hours ago

Occupy.com's New Original Series: Act Out! Premiers March 4th, Watch the Trailer Now!

Posted 3 days 4 hours ago
Boris Nemtsov, Russia repression, Russia protests, Russian opposition movement, Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin

"If political views are punished this way, then this country simply has no future," Sergei Mitrokhin, an opposition leader, said of Nemtsov's murder.

Posted 3 days 4 hours ago
Charlie Hebdo, ISIS killings, LGBT threats

A human rights commission report warns that anyone believed to be LGBT under the Islamic State control is likely at imminent risk of death.

Posted 3 days 4 hours ago

"Under The Dome," which relates a mother's concerns about the effect of the country’s filthy air on her child, has been compared to Rachel Carson's seminal work "Silent Spring."

Posted 2 days 52 min ago
Boris Nemtsov, Russia repression, Russia protests, Russian opposition movement, Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin

"If political views are punished this way, then this country simply has no future," Sergei Mitrokhin, an opposition leader, said of Nemtsov's murder.

The Rolling Rebellion is launching nationwide, creative direct actions to draw attention to the biggest corporate giveaway in history – before it happens.

Occupy.com's New Original Series: Act Out! Premiers March 4th, Watch the Trailer Now!

To combat the burgeoning wealth inequality that tax loopholes help create, Oxfam says it's essential that European legislators create greater transparency on tax matters.

"Under The Dome," which relates a mother's concerns about the effect of the country’s filthy air on her child, has been compared to Rachel Carson's seminal work "Silent Spring."

Sign Up