Monday, January 30, 2017

Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump

FiveThirtyEight started a site that's worth bookmarking, Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump. "An updating tally of how often every member of the House and the Senate votes with or against the president." Details here.

I think this is really useful, though I have one reservation. Since I've been blogging we have mroe and more sites that rate our representatives on their votes. That's great, I love transparency and I like that this is more easily available via the Web. However, usually this is broken down into a binary yes/no based on ideologies. The result is candidates are evaluated in primaries based on purity. 95% on abortion (pick your side for or against) isn't good enough, why aren't you 100%? I don't think that's been good for the country. Remember the "I was for it before I was against it" debacle of John Kerry. I'm not sure of a solution.

Anyway, after 8 votes, here's my Trump Score:

  • SENATE: Nikki Haley as Ambassador to UN - YES. She had no international experience and her positions on world affairs aren't known. She's certainly skilled as Gov and GOP rising star. At least at one point she opposed Trump's Muslim ban.
  • HOUSE: Banning federal funds for abortion - NO.
  • SENATE: Mike Pompeo as CIA Director - NO. I'm not happy with anyone that is equivocal on torture. He's said we should re-establish bulk metadata collection.
  • SENATE: John Kelly as Sec of DHS - YES. I know less about him than other nominees. Seems well respected. Absent other info, I'd let the president have his pick.
  • SENATE: James Mattis as Sec of Def - YES. Seems to be one of Trumps saner picks, particularly in security.
  • BOTH: James Mattis waiver for Sec of Def - YES. I'm ok making an exception here.
  • BOTH: Repeal ACA - NO
  • HOUSE: The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 - NO. As best I understand this requires new congressional approval for regulations from federal agencies that have a $100 million effect on the economy.

So a 50% Trump Score overall. Broken down it's 25% for House votes and 66% for the Senate. So I'm not a complete knee-jerk liberal. :) I point out, that's more pro-Trump than my Rep Kennedy (0%) and more than my Sen. Markey (50%) and Sen. Warren (33%). I suspect, with a few more votes I'll get closer to them.

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