Poverty Scorecard 2012

Source: Shriver Center, March 2013

The Poverty Scorecard measures how every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted on what we have identified as the most significant poverty-related proposed legislation of 2012.

Key findings
• In 2012, Congress did virtually nothing to advance justice or opportunity for the 46 million people living in poverty in the U.S.
• While the significant poverty-related legislation voted on by Congress in 2012 spanned a wide range of subject areas, Congress passed only two pieces of significant poverty-related legislation, both of which were compromise measures related to extending tax cuts and credits and averting fiscal disaster.
• There were very few moderates in Congress in 2012. 95% of the Senators and 92% of the Representatives were at one extreme or the other, receiving a grade of A+ or A or D, F or F-. Only 5 Senators and 32 Representatives received a B or C grade.
• States with a lower poverty rate were more likely to have a Congressional delegation with a good recording in voting to fight poverty. 9 of the 10 states with A or A+ records had poverty rates below the national average of 15%.
• States with a higher poverty rate were more likely to have a Congressional delegation with a poor record in voting to fight poverty. 14 of the 20 states with D, F or F- records had poverty rates that were higher than the national average of 15%.
•There is at most only a very weak correlation between the poverty rate in a Congressional district and the voting record of the Member of the House of Representatives who represents that district.
See also:
Executive Summary
Bill Summaries
Voting Records by State
Summary Analysis
Infographic: What Are Our Representatives Doing About Poverty?