As the American Conservative Union opens its Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington today, the group's new ratings offer a reminder of a more liberal yesterday.
In a letter, outgoing ACU Chairman David Keene said that last year's Congress was marked by “a relentless effort by the Obama Administration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to complete the federal government takeover of major sectors of the American economy.”
The group gave 12 senators the rank of "Defender of Liberty" -- meaning they scored a 100 percent conservative rating on votes the ACU scored -- compared to 28 whom the group characterized "True Liberals." Among the top-ranked senators, however, was Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. That's interesting, since other conservative activists in the tea party ranks are threatening to challenge him for the Republican nomination next year, when Hatch will be up for a seventh term.
In the House, the ACU rated 75 members as Defenders of Liberty and 145 True Liberals.
Members were ranked based on how they voted on a number of bills including the TARP elimination bill, the health care bill repeal, the U.S.-Mexico border fence, and greenhouse gas regulation. A full list of the ratings is available on the ACU's website.