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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 10, 2002
12:01 AM
CONTACT:  Childrens Defense Fund
Gigi Hinton 202-662-3609
Corporate Welfare vs. Child Welfare:
Congressional Scorecard Reveals Who Chose Children
 
WASHINGTON - July 10 - In 2001, Congress passed the President's $1.3 trillion tax cut, which gives hundreds of billions of dollars to the wealthiest taxpayers while leaving millions of children behind. The 2001 Children's Defense Fund Action Council Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard, released today, documents how U.S. Senators and Representatives used the power of their offices as they cast votes affecting the lives of America's children. It records vote after vote in which individual members made choices that favored corporate welfare and the rich over child welfare and the poor.

Members of Congress were scored on 10 key votes cast in 2001 that had a significant impact on children's well-being. Co-sponsorship of the comprehensive Act to Leave No Child Behind (S.940/H.R.1990), introduced in May 2001 by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Representative George Miller (D-Calif.), was also considered. The CDF Action Council applauds the 10 Senators and 48 Representatives who co-sponsored the Act and scored 100 percent in 2001. Eight Senators and 95 Representatives consistently left children behind in 2001 with disgraceful scores below 10 percent.

"How can any Member of Congress say we don't have the money to pay for child care and health care and education and after-school programs for our children when the same Congress voted for a tax cut that gives billions to the richest Americans with average incomes over $1 million," said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund and the CDF Action Council. "We don't have a money problem in this country, we have a priorities and values problem. We must hold our leaders accountable for the choices they make. It is time to freeze the tax cuts for millionaires and invest in our children."

The Best Senators for Children in 2001

Clinton (NY).....100 percent
Dayton (MN)......100 percent

Dodd (CT)........100 percent

Inouye (HI)......100 percent

Kennedy (MA).....100 percent

Mikulski (MD)....100 percent

Reed, Jack (RI)..100 percent

Sarbanes (MD)....100 percent

Schumer (NY).....100 percent

Wellstone (MN)...100 percent

The Worst Senators for Children in 2001

Allard (CO)...........9 percent
Smith, Robert (NH). 9 percent

Enzi (WY).............9 percent

Voinovich (OH)........9 percent

Gramm, Phil (TX)......9 percent

Helms (NC)............0 percent

Kyl (AZ)..............9 percent

Nickles (OK)..........0 percent

The Congressional Scorecard shows that the House of Representatives voted to provide more than $7 billion in tax cuts to 16 large corporations just weeks after deciding they could not afford to guarantee $1 billion in help for abused and neglected children. The new corporate tax breaks were in addition to the President's tax bill that will continue to rob children for years to come. According to an analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice:

-- From 2001 to 2010 the wealthiest one percent of Americans with average incomes over a million dollars would pocket almost a half trillion dollars from the Bush tax cuts. Each member of this elite group will average $342,000 in tax cuts over the decade.

-- By 2010, when (and if) the tax cuts are fully in place, an astonishing 52 percent of the total will go to the wealthiest one percent whose individual windfall in that year alone will average $85,000.

The Congressional Scorecard reveals a wide disparity in the ratings among state delegations based on their members' votes.

The Best Delegations for Children in 2001

Hawaii..........91 percent
Rhode Island....91 percent

North Dakota....88 percent

Vermont.........88 percent

Massachusetts...88 percent

West Virginia...75 percent

Oregon..........74 percent

Arkansas........71 percent

Delaware........70 percent

South Dakota....70 percent

The Worst Delegations for Children in 2001

Alabama.........29 percent
Utah............27 percent

Kansas..........24 percent

Kentucky........22 percent

Oklahoma........20 percent

Arizona.........18 percent

New Hampshire...16 percent

Alaska..........15 percent

Idaho...........14 percent

Wyoming..........9 percent

"It is a national disgrace that nearly 12 million children live in poverty, more than 9 million children are uninsured, and 7 million children are home alone after school in the richest nation on earth," said Edelman. "It is time for Congress to 'leave no child behind(r)' rather than 'leave no millionaire behind'."

To review the complete Congressional Scorecard, visit http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org.

The CDF Action Council began in 1969 and is a private nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. We have never taken government funds.

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