A new report by a leading veterans group has awarded grades to members of Congress based on their support of veterans issues. One party failed miserably.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) gave out 154 D and F grades. 142 of those went to Republicans and 12 to Democrats — meaning that 92 percent of the D and F grades went to members of the GOP.
Of the 94 congressmen that received A or A+ grades, 91 are Democrats and three are Republicans.
The IAVA Congressional Report Card (.pdf) explains that grades were awarded solely on performance and not on party affiliation.
“IAVA Action Fund’s 2010 Congressional Report Card reviews the achievements and failures of the 111th Congress,” the report states. “In the following pages, every member of Congress is graded on his or her leadership on the most critical issues facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as determined by our national membership. Theese grades are based on their votes and cosponsorship of IAVA Action’s legislative priorities published and delivered to every Congressional office at the start of 2009 and 2010 and regularly reenforced by Congressional testimony and appearances in the media. Thee grades are based entirely on these priorities and are blind to party and ideology.”
In all, only 20 out of 535 legislators earned an A+ grade compared with 150 in the 2008 report card.
“This year too many legislators failed to take action or show leadership on the key issues facing new veterans,” the report said.
Out of IAVA’s 13 legislative priorities, seven completely failed, partially failed or are still stuck in committee.
While elected Republicans didn’t fare well, several GOP candidates may also expect to receive low scores on future report cards if they are elected.
In an email to their members IAVA wrote, “As we head into the midterm elections, Americans must hold Congress accountable for their voting record. Vets can’t wait for the gridlock to clear in Washington. IAVA Action Fund is keeping our nation’s lawmakers honest, and ensuring that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans remain a priority on Capitol Hill. This is what the Report Card is all about.”
This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Oct. 21, 2010.