Serving Franklin County, WA

State congressional delegation fails to make the grade

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington state’s congressional delegation doesn’t make the grade.

That's according to a report card prepared by the Washington, D.C.-based National Taxpayers Union for their votes on taxing and spending.

Three members of Congress representing Washington state – Reps. Jaime Herrera Butler, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse – were given a “C+” grade, and those were the best grades out of all the elected representatives state voters send to Congress.

The rest of the state congressional delegation — including its two U.S. senators — were given “F”s by the organization that calls itself the “Voice of America’s Taxpayers.”

The National Taxpayers Union’s rating system ranks representatives and senators on their actual floor votes affecting taxes, spending and debt.

“The Taxpayer Score measure the strength of support for reducing wasteful government spending, opposing higher taxes, and often opposing burdensome regulations that can stifle U.S. economic growth,” according to the criteria. “In general, a higher score is better because it means a member of Congress voted to spend less money.”

A score of 90 or more earns an “A” as a “taxpayers’ friend.” A score of 85- 89 earns a “B+” and 80-84 is a “B.” A 75-79 is a “B-,” with all “B” grades considered “good.”

A score of 65- 74 earns a “C+,” 50-64 earns a “C” and a 40-49 score earns a “C-,” with all “C” grades considered “satisfactory.”

A score of 22-39 earns a “D,” or a “poor” rating.

A score of less than 22 earns an “F” and the title “Big Spender.”

The most recent rankings are for the first session of the 117th Congress, which started Jan. 3, 2021, and ended Jan. 3, 2022. The second session of the 117th Congress started Jan. 3 and will end Jan. 3, 2023.

Reps. Herrera Butler, McMorris Rodgers, and Newhouse – all Republicans – scored 69, 73, and 66, respectively, for their “satisfactory” designation.

The rest of Washington’s congressional delegation, all Democrats, were given an “F” with the following scores: Rep. Suzan Delbene (8), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (12), Rep. Derek Kilmer (8), Rep. Rick Larson (8), Rep. Kim Schrier (6). Rep. Adam Smith (9), and Rep. Maryland Strickland (7).

Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both Democrats, did even worse, garnering their “F” grades by each scoring a 5.


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