AFL-CIO ranks House and Senate members on their worker voting records

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ANN WAGNER'S ranking on the AFL-CIO’s House and Senate Scorecard for 2017 dropped to a woeful five percent –– down from 25 percent in 2016 and 14 percent in 2015.

PRO-WORKER: Clay, Duckworth, Durbin, McCaskill

ANTI-WORKER: Blunt, Bost, Davis, Shimkus, Wagner

By CARL GREEN

Illinois Correspondent

In Missouri and Southern Illinois, there is not a member of Congress as hard set against working people as Ann Wagner, Missouri’s 2nd District House member who represents a large part of the St. Louis region.

Wagner’s ranking on the AFL-CIO’s House and Senate Scorecard for 2017 dropped to a woeful five percent –– down from 25 percent in 2016 and 14 percent in 2015.

Southern Illinois and the Metro East area have three representatives in the U.S. House. All three are up for re-election this year. And not one has an acceptable voting record, according to the AFL-CIO.

All three southern Illinois representatives – Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) in the 12th District, John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) in the 15th District and Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) in the 13th – ranked lower than they did in 2016, with Bost and Davis both at 32 percent and Shimkus at 29 percent.

Both Bost and Davis were rated at 63 percent in 2016, and Shimkus was 50 percent.

CLAY

In contrast, 1st Representative, William Lacy Clay Jr., of St. Louis, remained a reliable pro-worker vote with a 95 percent rating, following 100 percent ratings in both ’15 and ’16. His lifetime pro-worker voting record is 98 percent.

VOTES & ISSUES

For its 2017 Scorecard, the AFL-CIO listed 38 House votes. Among them were votes to:

• Repeal Davis-Bacon – five different times.

• Overturn the OSHA injury and illness reporting rule.

• Overturn the forced arbitration ban.

• Prohibit contracting out at the Department of Defense.

• Reduce taxes on the rich and corporations.

• Cut essential health care programs.

Only three votes were used for the 2016 ratings, including the investment counselor conflict of interest bill and a water resources development act.

In 2017, 15 key votes were included, among them votes on seven appointments by President Trump, including Betsy Devos for education secretary and Jeff Sessions for attorney general.

DURBIN

100 PERCENT CLUB

The U.S. Senate voting scorecards remain reliable indicators of whether a senator is a Democrat or Republican and a Labor supporter or opponent. 

In Illinois for instance, the senior senator Dick Durbin, retained an exemplary rating, scoring 100 percent pro-worker, as did Sen. Tammy Duckworth in her first year in the Senate.

Durbin had 92 percent in 2015 and 100 percent in 2016.

In Missouri, Claire McCaskill, often described as a more conservative Democrat, joined Durbin and Duckworth scoring 100 percent pro-Labor.

McCaskill was at 57 percent in 2015 but jumped to 100 percent in 2016.

ZERO PERCENT

Missouri’s senior senator Roy Blunt remained true to his anti-worker history, scoring an actual zero percent on the 15 key votes used in the 2017 ratings.

Blunt had done better in the past, but not by much. He ranked 21 percent in 2015 and 33 percent in 2016.

McCASKILL

LIFETIME RANKING

The AFL-CIO also keeps track of the Congress members’ lifetime voting scores.

Clay and Missouri’s only other Democrat in the House, Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City, each have a lifetime score of 98 percent.

Wagner’s lifetime rating is only 10 percent.

In the Metro East, Bost has a 40 percent lifetime rating. Davis is at 38 percent and Shimkus at 28 percent. All three have Democratic opponents in the November general election.

In the Senate, McCaskill has a 90 percent lifetime score, not far behind Durbin’s 98 percent.

Blunt has a lifetime rating of just 14 percent.

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