Common Cause Releases 2022 “Democracy Scorecard” Showing Growing Support in Congress for Democracy Reform
Members of Congress with a perfect score increased more than 70% from 2020
NEW YORK— As constituents evaluate the performance of their members of Congress, Common Cause released its 2022 “Democracy Scorecard,” a tracking resource with the positions of all members of Congress on campaign finance reform, ethics and transparency, and voting rights legislation. The fourth biennial scorecard is produced to help constituents hold their leaders in the 117th Congress accountable for passing common-sense legislation that preserves and strengthens our democracy.
“Our Democracy Scorecard empowers constituents with information on where our members of Congress stand on the people’s pro-democracy agenda,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “Support in Congress for democracy reform legislation increased significantly from 2020, when 58 members of Congress had perfect scores compared to 101 this year. It’s further proof of the growing momentum for improving our government.”
The 2022 Democracy Scorecard assesses U.S. Senators’ votes on and co-sponsorship of 15 pieces of legislation and other actions, including confirming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, a nonpartisan investigation into the January 6 attack on our country, the DISCLOSE Act, and reforming the filibuster to pass voting rights.
“Our democracy is strongest when constituents are informed about the job our elected leaders are doing in Washington,” said Susan Lerner, Common Cause New York executive director. “Seven members of Congress representing New York earned a perfect score on this year’s Democracy Scorecard. After the attack on January 6, there is no greater democracy reform priority for Congress than ensuring the freedom to vote is protected and strengthened.
The 2022 Democracy Scorecard graded U.S. Representatives’ votes on and co-sponsorship of 18 pieces of legislation, including the impeachment of Donald Trump, creation of the nonpartisan January 6 Select Committee, the Protecting our Democracy Act, and the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.
“Absent the Jim Crow filibuster, reforms that expand the freedom to vote, reduce the influence of big money in our politics, protect our elections from racial discrimination, and curb partisan gerrymandering would be the law of the land today,” Flynn said. “If we don’t move forward on this legislation after an insurrection, then when?”
Below are the New York members of Congress with perfect or near perfect scores:
- Representative Adriano Espaillat (18/18)
- Representative Brian Higgins (18/18)
- Representative Mondaire Jones (18/18)
- Representative Carolyn Maloney (18/18)
- Representative Joe Morelle (18/18)
- Representative Tom Suozzi (18/18)
- Representative Paul Tonko (18/18)
- Representative Yvette Clarke (17/18)
- Representative Hakeem Jeffries (17/18)
- Representative Grace Meng (17/18)
- Representative Jerry Nadler (17/18)
Below are highlights from the 2022 Democracy Scorecard:
- 101 members of Congress had a perfect score this year, a more than 70% increase over the number of members of Congress who had perfect scores (58) in 2020
- California has the highest number of members of Congress (19) with perfect scores
- Vermont is the only state with every member of its delegation (3) earning a perfect score
- Seven states have both U.S. Senators earning a perfect score: Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, and Vermont
Over the last six months, Common Cause sent four letters to the offices of every member of Congress, informing them of the Democracy Scorecard and the legislation included in this report. Since the initial letter was sent, legislation we included directly added more than 250 cumulative co-sponsors as a result of our Scorecard.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse or oppose candidates for elected office. Because Senate majority leaders sometimes have to switch their votes for procedural reasons and often don’t cosponsor bills, we didn’t score Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, although he championed democracy reform this Congress by prioritizing the For the People Act, John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, among other legislation.
To view the 2022 Democracy Scorecard, click here.