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Food Policy scores for individual members

Senators and House members who are rarely associated with agricultural or food policy generally got better scores on the Food Policy Scoreboard announced today than members of the House and Senate agriculture committees or agriculture appropriations subcommittees. That is not surprising since members from heavily agricultural states and districts have to think about agricultural as an industry as well as thinking about consumers.

Out of a possible 100, the average score for Senate lawmakers was 58 percent, while the average score for House lawmakers was 57 percent.

FPA analysts identified 50 members of Congress who received a perfect score of 100 percent.

FPA said these “good food champions” are:

  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.
  • Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.
  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. D-R.I.
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.
  • Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.
  • Sen. John Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
  • Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
  • Sen. Jeffrey Merkley, D-Ore.
  • Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.
  • Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va.
  • Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.
  • Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.
  • Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.
  • Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich.
  • Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.
  • Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.
  • Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif.
  • Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.
  • Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.
  • Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
  • Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.
  • Rep. James Moran, D-Va.
  • Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.
  • Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.
  • Rep. William Pascrell, D-N.J.
  • Rep. Steven Rothman D-N.J.
  • Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas
  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici*, D-Ore.
  • Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.
  • Rep. Michael Doyle, D-Pa.,
  • Rep. Janice Hahn*, D-Calif.
  • Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass.
  • Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.
  • Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.
  • Rep. John Olver, D-Mass.
  • Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. Ron Barber*, D-Ariz.
  • Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md.
  • Rep. Christopher Van Hollen, D-Md.
  • Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash.

*Lawmakers who did not serve a full term and did not vote on all scored votes.

In an effort to appear bipartisan, FPA noted “Many GOP lawmakers had higher than average scores, including Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Reps. Jon Runyan, Frank LoBiondo and Chris Smith of New Jersey, Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna of New York, Reps. Jaime Herrera and Dave Reichert of Washington state, Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Charles Bass of New Hampshire, Frank Wolf of Virginia, Robert Dold of Illinois and Erik Paulsen of Minnesota.”

EWG Vice President Scott Faber also noted that Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who got an 11, and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who got a 33, scored poorly but were “key leaders on certain votes.” Chambliss brought up an amendment to require conservation compliance be linked to crop insurance, although other members have said Chambliss brought that up to give him leverage in negotiations on the commodity title.

No senators got a zero, but three Republican House members did: Mark Amodei of Nevada, Steven Stivers of Ohio and Robert Turner of New York.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., got a score of 61 and House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., got a 57, while House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., got a 36 and Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., got a 17.

The differences between the parties were most evident in the scores given to party leaders.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., got an 89 while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., got a 22.

FPA did not score House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, because he did not cast any votes on the relevant items, but House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., each got a 14.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., got a 92 while House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., got a 93.

The scoreboard contains some surprises. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., got only a 33 while Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., her opponent who is known for his conservatism, got a 46.