Middle-Class Blues

Middle-Class Blues

The Drum Major Institute grades Congress.


Ninety percent of GOP senators and 99 percent of GOP House members received failing grades for their votes on middle-class economic issues in 2004, according to the second annual legislative scorecard released by the nonpartisan Drum Major Institute for Public Policy (DMI). Executive director Andrea Batista Schlesinger explained that the study tots up each legislator’s pro and con votes on legislation relevant to strengthening and expanding the middle class (defined as people with annual incomes from $25,000 to $100,000), e.g., the Overtime Compensation Amendment, limits on bankruptcy protection, increases in Pell Grants for college tuition. In contrast, 98 percent of Democratic senators and 100 percent of Democratic House members got passing grades and nearly half the Democrats in House (49 percent) and Senate (47 percent) earned an A grade. The DMI scorecard shows that the GOP-dominated Congress put corporate tax cuts and ideologically driven legislation above addressing the concerns of middle-class families struggling with debt and the skyrocketing costs of healthcare and education.

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