Home   »  Our Work  »  Focus Areas  »  Challenging U.S. Policy  »  Congressional Advocacy  »  Congressional Report Cards  »  Report Card for the 108th Congress ...

Key to Interpret 108th Congressional Report Cards

Here is a sample Senate report card from Tennessee:
 
Senator

1

2

3

4

5

6

Total

Bill Frist (R)

-1

 

-1

-3

 

-5

Lamar Alexander (R)

+1

 

-1

-1

-1

-2

The Senators are listed along with their political party.  (R) stands for Republican, (D) stands for Democrat, and (I) stands for Independet.

Click on a Senator's name for detailed contact information.

Senators are graded on six legislative/policy issues (the columns numbered 1-6) and their scores are added togther in the column marked "Total".  Below are explanations of the legislative/policy issues on which the Senators are graded.  There are also links to the full text of legislation.

1) Senate Concurrent Resolution 32 (S.Con.Res.32)
Scoring: Sponsor -2, Cosponsor -1
Introduced 4/2/03
 
Explanation: S.Con.Res. 32 is problematic because it resolves that it is the sense of Congress that "holy sites currently under the sovereignty of the State of Israel should remain under Israeli protection." It is not clear whether this resolution is advocating for continued Israeli "protection" of holy sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The resolution also fails to mention any of Israelís policies of restricting or prohibiting access of Palestinians to Muslim and Christian holy sites.
 
2) Unbalanced Road Map "Dear Colleague" Letter
Scoring: Sponsor -2, Cosponsor -1, Non-Signer +1
Circulated 4/30/03
 
Explanation: Although less strident than its House counterpart, this Senate "Dear Colleague" letter is nevertheless unbalanced and therefore scored negatively. It only mentions Palestinians requirements under the "road map" and fails to make mention of the fact that Israel has clearly delineated obligations as well.
 
3) Senate Resolution 276 (S.Res. 276)
Scoring: Sponsor +2, Cosponsor +1
Introduced 11/25/03
 
Explanation: This resolution "applauds the courage and vision of Israelis and Palestinians who are working together to conceive pragmatic, serious plans for achieving peace; calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to capitalize on the opportunity offered by these peace initiatives; and urges the President of the United States to encourage and embrace all serious efforts to move away from violent military stalemate toward achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace."  Although not worded perfectly, this resolution is more balanced and constructive than most Congressional resolutions and is therefore scored positively.

4) Letter to Kofi Annan on ICJ Case on Israel's Wall
Scoring: Signer -1, Non-Signer +1
Sent 4/1/04

Explanation: On April 1, 2004, 79 Senators sent a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan regarding the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the legal ramifications of the illegal Wall Israel is building in the West Bank.  The letter urges Annan to "act so that the ICJ does not take up the issue."  Signers of the letter are graded negatively because the letter attempts to shield Israel's illegal activities from international scrutiny and undermines the functioning of international institutions.   

5) Senate Resolution 393 (S.Res.393)
Scoring:  Sponsor -3, Cosponsor -2, Yes Vote -1, Not Voting 0, No Vote +1
Introduced 6/24/04

Explanation:  This resolution endorses the Bush-Sharon exchange of letters and prejudges final status issues by providing US endorsement for Israeli annexation of West Bank settlement blocs.  The resolution states that "in light of realities on the ground, including major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949."  It also negates Palestinian refugees' right of return.  The resolution states that a "framework for a solution to the Palestinain refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinan state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel."

6) Senate Resolution 408 (S.Res.408)
Scoring: Sponsor -2, Cosponsor -1
Introudced 7/20/04

Explanation: S.Res.408 condemns the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion on the illegality of the wall Israel is building in the West Bank.  The resolution only mentions Israel's security concerns and neglects the human rights of Palestinians and Israel's obligations as an Occupying Power under international law.  The resolution undermines an important international institution and demonstrates U.S. contempt for human rights and international law.
     

 
Here is part of a sample House of Representatives report card from Illinois:
 
CDC Dist. Representative

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 8

9

Total

Yes 1 Bobby Rush (D)

+1

+1

 

-1

 

 

-1

+2

+2

No 2 Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D)

+1

+1

 

-1

+1

 

-1

+2

+3

 
CDC stands for Congressional District Coordinator.  The CDC is responsible for organizing and mobilizing constituents in a particular Congressional district.  If you live in a district where there is a "Yes" in the CDC column and you would like to help, then click on it and send an email to the CDC whose name and organization will appear also.  If you live in a district where there is a "No" in the CDC column and you would like to help, then email us to become a CDC.
 
"Dist." stands for Congressional district.  Click on the district number if you would like to see a map of that Congressional district.  "At Large" means that the state has only one Congressional district.
 
The Representatives are listed along with their political party.  (R) stands for Republican, (D) stands for Democrat, and (I) stands for Independet.

Click on a Representative's name for detailed contact information.

Representatives are graded on nine legislative/policy issues (the columns numbered 1-9) and their scores are added togther in the column marked "Total".  Below are explanations of the legislative/policy issues on which the Representatives are graded.  There are also links to the full text of legislation.

1) House Resolution 167 (H.R.167)

Scoring: Sponsor -2, Cosponsor -1

Introduced 1/7/03

Explanation: H.R. 167 calls for "certain steps toward recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." Sponsorship of this resolution is given a negative score because this resolution seeks to predetermine the status of Jerusalem to Israelís benefit. Jerusalem is one of the "permanent status" issues that must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians. It is inappropriate for Congress to try to predetermine this issue is an unbalanced way.
 
2) House Concurrent Resolution 111 (H.Con.Res.111)
Scoring: Sponsor +2, Cosponsor +1
Introduced 3/25/03
 
Explanation: H.Con.Res. 111 "calls on the United States Government to undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie.." Rachel was a 23 year-old American college student who was killed by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in March 2003 while trying to protect nonviolently a Palestinian home from being demolished. Sponsoring of this resolution is given a positive score because it calls for an investigation into Rachelís death and encourages the United States and Israel to work together to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again.
 
3) Unbalanced Road Map "Dear Colleague" Letter
Scoring: Sponsor -2, Signer -1, Non-Signer +1
Circulated 3/27/03
 
Explanation: This "Dear Colleague" letter is unbalanced and therefore scored negatively because it contradicts the spirit and letter of the "road map." The "road map" provides for reciprocal and simultaneous steps toward peace to be taken by both Israel and the Palestinians. This letter states that all Palestinian steps must be taken and "only then can we expect Israel to respond with concrete actions."
 
4) Balanced Road Map "Dear Colleague" Letter
Scoring: Sponsor +2, Signer +1
Delivered 5/20/03
 
Explanation: This "Dear Colleague letter is balanced and therefore scored positively. It states that: "Along with changes on the Palestinian side, we share your belief that the Roadmap must also be implemented by IsraelÖ" It recognizes that both sides have a responsibility to take steps toward peace.
 
5) House Resolution 294 (H.Res.294)
Scoring: Sponsor -3, Cosponsor -2, Yes Vote -1, Not Voting 0, Present +1, No Vote +2
Introduced 6/24/03
 
Explanation: H.Res. 294 is a highly unbalanced and unproductive piece of legislation. It rejects the term "cycle of violence" because it "implies moral equivalence" between Palestinian terrorism and Israeli oppression. The resolution also claims that Palestinians are also victims of Palestinian terrorism, rather than Israeli military violence, and fails to enumerate Palestinian casualties while doing so for Israeli casualties.
 
6) House Resolution 479 (H.Res.479)
Scoring: Sponsor +2, Cosponsor +1
Introduced 12/8/03
 
Explanation: This resolution "applauds the courage and vision of Israelis and Palestinians who are working together to conceive pragmatic, serious plans for achieving peace; calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to capitalize on the opportunity offered by these peace initiatives; and urges the President of the United States to encourage and embrace all serious efforts to move away from violent military stalemate toward achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace."  Although not worded perfectly, this resolution is more balanced and constructive than most Congressional resolutions and is therefore scored positively.

7) House Concurrent Resolution 371 (
H.Con.Res.371)
Scoring: Sponsor -2, Cosponsor -1
Introduced 2/26/04

Explanation: H.Con.Res.371 supports "the construction by Israel of a security fence to prevent Palestinian terrorist attacks" and rebukes the United Nations for requesting the assistance of the International Court of Justice in determining the legality of it. The resolution ignores the barrier's encroachment on Palestinian land and other human rights violations and undermines the authority of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

8) House Concurrent Resolution 460 (
H.Con.Res.460)
Scoring:  Sponsor -3, Cosponsor -2, Yes Vote -1, Not Voting 0, Present +1, No Vote +2
Introduced 6/24/04

Explanation:  This resolution endorses the Bush-Sharon exchange of letters and prejudges final status issues by providing US endorsement for Israeli annexation of West Bank settlement blocs.  The resolution states that "in light of realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949."  It also negates Palestinian refugees' right of return.  The resolution states that a "framework for a solution to the Palestinain refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a permanent alternative and the settling of Palestinian refugees there rather than in Israel."   

9)  House Resolution 713 (H.Res.713)
Scoring:  Sponsor -3, Cosponsor -2, Yes Vote -1, Not Voting 0, Present +1, No Vote +2   
Voted on 7/15/04

Explanation:  H.Res.713 deplores the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion on the illegality of the wall Israel is building in the West Bank.  The resolution only mentions Israel's security concerns and neglects the human rights of Palestinians and Israel's obligations as an Occupying Power under international law.  The resolution undermines an important international institution and demonstrates U.S. contempt for human rights and international law.