Congress plays a crucial role in the direction of our foreign policy, and you play a crucial role in how Congress votes. Last month, to help you see the role your congressional leaders play in advocating a values-based US foreign policy, Peace Action West and Peace Action released the Congressional Scorecard for the 110th Congress. We graded senators and representatives on a range of issues including the US presence in Iraq, nuclear weapons policy and increasing civilian aid. We included the best and worst of 2008, from the successful blockade of a measure meant to punish Iran, to the detrimental passage of the US-India nuclear deal. Although much about the last several years in foreign policy has been disheartening, there was reason to be hopeful. One hundred seventeen members of Congress scored 90% or better, and of those, fifty-eight received a perfect score, illustrating a superior commitment to peace, diplomacy and security strategies grounded in the principals of global citizenship and justice.
Now, 3 of the 58 are speaking about what this means to them and demonstrating further that your voice matters:
“I am honored by the recognition given me by Peace Action West for my advocacy of peace, human rights, and genuine security issues. When I first came to the Congress, I did so as an advocate for peace, economic prosperity for working families, environmental sustainability, and civil and human rights. I remain vigorously committed to these issues.” – Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
“Peace Action is a vital part of the movement for a more just nation and a more peaceful world. I greatly appreciate their recognition and I thank them for their tireless work. While one war may be slouching to an end, there is still much work ahead on preventing a nuclear tragedy, committing the United States to ethics and accountability with regard to torture, and moving toward a rational defense budget. I look forward to continuing to work with Peace Action on these issues.” – Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
“I am proud to have voted last year for stronger congressional oversight of the funding and war in Iraq, for nuclear non proliferation, against wasteful weapons systems and military spending, and against torture of detainees at Guantanamo. My votes reflect my longstanding principles and beliefs. I am also proud that this year we have a new President of the United States, who has reversed the policies and priorities of the Bush Administration’s policies. We will work closely together for more responsible and progressive foreign policy.” – Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
By using tools like this scorecard, you can ensure that the United States uses its leadership role to foster cooperative policies that enhance our security and provide remedies to global issues. Click here to see how your members of Congress fared on the Congressional Scorecard for the 110th Congress, 2008, and click here to tell your member of Congress what you think about their grade.
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