The GOP’s Worst Environmental Voting Record in Decades

A newly released scorecard finds House Republicans have never been more antienvironmental.

The Williams fire continues to spread as night falls in the Angeles National Forest on September 3, 2012 north of Glendora, California.
National Journal
Lucia Graves
Feb. 11, 2014, 6:19 a.m.

The League of Con­ser­va­tion Voters’ newly re­leased Na­tion­al En­vir­on­ment­al Score­card un­der­scores what’s be­come prac­tic­al wis­dom in Wash­ing­ton: En­vir­on­ment­al lead­er­ship in Con­gress is di­vided starkly along par­tis­an lines.

In a year Pres­id­ent Obama has taken sweep­ing ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions on the en­vir­on­ment, House Re­pub­lic­ans had the low­est av­er­age score since LCV began put­ting out the score­card in 1970. Scores are based on a scale of 0 to 100 and cal­cu­lated by di­vid­ing the num­ber of pro-en­vir­on­ment votes cast by the total num­ber of votes tal­lied (for more on this, see LCV’s meth­od­o­logy). Av­er­age House Re­pub­lic­an scores have dropped stead­ily in re­cent years, from an av­er­age of 17 per­cent in 2008, to 10 per­cent in 2012, down to the low av­er­age of 5 per­cent for 2013.

It’s con­sid­er­ably lower even than what con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans av­er­aged dur­ing the Gin­grich re­volu­tion in the 1990s. In the four years Newt Gin­grich was House speak­er, the av­er­age Re­pub­lic­an score was 21.93 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to LCV’s re­cords.

This year’s score­card looked at 13 Sen­ate votes and 28 House votes, se­lec­ted by lead­ers of 20 dif­fer­ent green or­gan­iz­a­tions as the ma­jor en­vir­on­ment­al votes in the first ses­sion of the 113th Con­gress. Over­all, neither party came out look­ing par­tic­u­larly green. House mem­bers av­er­aged 57 per­cent ap­prov­ing on en­vir­on­ment­al votes, while sen­at­ors av­er­aged 43 per­cent — both fail­ing marks, by grade-school stand­ards.

The cleav­age between the parties is es­pe­cially vis­ible with­in Sen­ate party lead­er­ship, where Demo­crats earned an av­er­age score of 98 per­cent to Re­pub­lic­ans’ 9 per­cent. In the House, Demo­crat­ic lead­ers earned an av­er­age of 86 per­cent to Re­pub­lic­ans’ 6 per­cent.


“This score­card is a dis­turb­ing re­flec­tion of the ex­tent to which the Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship of the U.S. House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives con­tin­ues to be con­trolled by tea-party cli­mate-change den­iers with an in­sa­ti­able ap­pet­ite for at­tacks on the en­vir­on­ment and pub­lic health,” wrote the re­port’s au­thors.

A re­cent Pew Poll un­der­scores that sen­ti­ment. The na­tion­al sur­vey con­duc­ted in Oc­to­ber found just 25 per­cent of tea-party Re­pub­lic­ans say there is sol­id evid­ence of glob­al warm­ing, com­pared with 61 per­cent of non-tea-party Re­pub­lic­ans who say the same.

The full score­card is avail­able here.

What We're Following See More »
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
1 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×