Children's Defense Fund Action Council Grades Congress on How Well It Protected Children

For Immediate Release
February 8, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Ed Shelleby
(202) 662-3602

 

Washington, D.C. — The Children's Defense Fund Action Council (CDFAC) today released its 2006 Congressional Scorecard, which grades every member of the House and Senate based on key votes affecting children. While many individual members passed with flying colors, the 109th Congress as a whole failed to implement major legislation that would have improved the lives of millions of America's children.

"Last year, Congress failed to make any significant progress in the lives of America's children," said CDF President Marian Wright Edelman. "More than nine million children still live without health insurance and 13 million live in poverty. Children are our nation's most cost-effective investment, yet the 109th Congress continued to cut funding for vital programs and failed to make crucial child investments while lavishing tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans. This new Congress has a real opportunity to make our children a priority and to genuinely improve the lives of millions of America’s children."

Despite the urgent needs of our most vulnerable children, in 2006, Congress failed to:

  • Help the 9 million uninsured children or adequately respond to the needs of Katrina children who are still suffering;
  • Increase funding to maintain and expand quality services for children in the Head Start program;
  • Restore cuts in child care funding and provide the needed increase to help low-income families work;
  • Increase funding for education and special education programs; and
  • Raise the minimum wage to help millions of Americans struggling to keep a roof over their heads, food on their tables and meet their families' health care needs.

The 109th Congress did find time to give new tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, recklessly adding to the national debt.

The CDF Action Council® Scorecard graded Members of the House and Senate on ten key votes that directly impact the lives of children. According to the 2006 CDFAC Congressional Scorecard:

  • 26 Senators and 98 Members of Congress scored 100 percent.
  • 23 Senators and 7 Members of Congress scored 0 percent, voting against improving the lives of children.
  • North Dakota and Vermont's Congressional delegations were rated the best advocates for children.
  • New Hampshire, Alaska and Wyoming were rated the three worst delegations for children.

"This new Congress has the opportunity to give all 9 million uninsured children health coverage in 2007 and lift millions more out of poverty," said Edelman. "How we take care of our children speaks to our values and priorities as a society. Voters should tell Congress we can and must guarantee all children health coverage."

To see the 2006 Congressional Scorecard in its entirety, which includes the grades of all Members of Congress, visit: cdfactioncouncil.org.

###