Poverty Scoreboard 2007: Rating Members of Congress
In a study recently released by the Shriver Center, researchers created a "Poverty Scoreboard" that measures how every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted on a number of key poverty-related proposed legislation in 2007. Because the causes and effects of poverty can vary greatly, they included a wide range of bills, including those that address affordable housing, budget and taxes, civil rights, prisoner reentry, early and higher education, health care, immigrants, labor, and rural poverty. Importantly, they found that many states with high percentages of people living in poverty have Congressional delegations that, on average, have performed poorly in fighting poverty. In contrast, much fewer Congressional delegations from states with high percentages of people living in poverty have actually performed well in fighting poverty. This shows that there is a clear correlation between Congressional votes and rates of poverty. Senators and Congressmen who vote to support poverty-related legislation have been quite successful - they come from states with lower rates of poverty. Thus, this report may be very important to look at with the upcoming November election in mind. Click here to see how your member of congress scores.
Thirty-seven million Americans continue to live in poverty. As American citizens, we should be evaluating our representatives to see if they care about this important issue as much as we do. If we vote on poverty, perhaps our members of congress will too.
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