May 29, 2013
Alliance for Retired Americans Releases 2012 Congressional Voting Record
Senators and House Members from Pennsylvania are scored based on votes that impact the quality of life for senior citizens
The Alliance for Retired Americans, based in Washington, DC with chartered organizations in 34 states including Pennsylvania, has released its annual Congressional Voting Record. Every US Senator and Member of Congress was scored on 10 votes, and given a score based on whether they supported the pro-retiree or anti-retiree position for each vote. Members’ lifetime score is also listed. Click here to view the entire voting record, including descriptions of each House and Senate vote. Or click here to view the results for Pennsylvania at a glance.
This year’s votes focused on several areas of policy important to senior citizens. Votes on prescription drug prices, cuts to programs serving seniors, Medicare Vouchers, and other health care issues were scored. Additionally, votes relating to the deficit and taxes, which have a residual effect on senior program funding, were also scored.
Pennsylvania’s Senators posted starkly different records. Senator Casey earned an 80%, bringing his lifetime record to 95%. Conversely, Senator Toomey earned a 10% rating. This did bring his lifetime rating up to 5%, because he had a 0% score during his first year in the Senate in 2011. Toomey earned just a 6% lifetime score during his time in the House.
On the House side, several PA members earned a perfect 100% score: Bob Brady, Chaka Fattah, Mark Critz, Allyson Schwartz, Mike Doyle and Tim Holden. Of those, Fattah, Critz, Schwartz and Doyle can boast perfect 100% lifetime ratings as well. Congressman Altmire received a 90%, making him the only other member with a passing grade. He raised his lifetime score to 84%.
Unfortunately, several members from our state received a score of 0%, meaning they did not support the pro-retiree in any of our selected votes. Members scoring 0% were Mike Kelly, Bill Shuster, Tom Marino, Joe Pitts and Tim Murphy, with Congressmen Kelly and Marino sporting 0% lifetime scores overall. Several other members received failing grades of 10-20%. Congressmen Barletta and Meehan cast their first ever scored pro-retiree vote, raising their lifetime scores to a measly 5%. Congressmen Dent, Gerlach and Murphy continued to see their formerly moderate records erode. Dent and Gerlach scored 10%, bringing their lifetime scores down to 24% and 29% respectively. Murphy’s 0% this year brings his lifetime score down to 24% as well.
It is worth noting, as a testament to the polarization of Congress, that the only Pennsylvania member of either the House or Senate to score greater than 20% and lower than 80% was retiring Congressman Todd Platts, who scored 40%, raising his final lifetime score to 22%.
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, led by President Jean Friday of Westmoreland County, has over 300,000 members and 144 local affiliates across the Commonwealth. PARA’s mission is to educate seniors and the public about retiree issues, and organize seniors to advocate for their interests in Harrisburg and Washington. To learn more, visit www.pennretiredamericans.org.