Scorecard Pushback Means We’re Winning

Our Legislative Scorecard, a dynamic tool for activism and conservative accountability, is drawing fire from Members of Congress. Our scorecard is activist-centered and seeks to include all legislative activity that is revealing of true conservative leadership. Thus it includes both votes and co-sponsorships. We update it in real time and conservatives across the country use it to guide their activism.

No wonder the Washington Establishment doesn’t like it.

Heritage Action for America — the fresh-faced activist attaché of the esteemed Heritage Foundation — is now issuing bad grades when members of Congress fail to co-sponsor a favored bill or don’t sign onto a letter advocating for policies backed by the organization. Those are new standards for lawmakers who are accustomed to being only graded on their actual votes.

Politico published this article with Members of Congress on the record opposing our effort at accountability. Read the whole piece on

Some Members of Congress expect to automatically get 90% or above just for being a Republican. Now they’re upset because they have to justify their voting records to their constituents.

Republicans of all stripes love to boast about the support of influential activist groups when they’re on the campaign trail. They brandish endorsements, scores and awards as they scrounge for votes. Not so long ago, the scorecards served mostly to give voters a sense of who shared their worldview and who didn’t. But the new grading culture, designed to put pressure on lawmakers to observe orthodoxy, has created a sense of paralysis for many members of Congress. The threat of political retribution, carried explicitly and implicitly in grass-roots “action alerts” and scorecards, is injected into every imaginable act.

To be sure, we believe that with every vote and legislative act, freedom expands or recedes. The stakes are that high. Our scorecard is geared towards that level of accountability. After all, what’s the use of giving out high scores if government continues to grow and individual liberty becomes a hallmark of a bygone era?

As our COO Tim Chapman said in the Politico piece:

 Heritage Action defends its new scorecard model — including co-sponsorship and letter-signing — as a way to tell voters where their elected leaders stand on issues that don’t come to the House floor because the GOP leadership doesn’t place a high priority on them.

“If we only score what’s put before us in terms of votes on the floor, we’ll never get the opportunity to use the scorecard to push the policy that we want to see,” Chapman said.”

Learn more:

Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham discusses the reason we created a scorecard and the role is plays in conservative accountability: A Tough Conservative Scorecard

Politico: Right Fight: Activists vs. House GOP

How conservative are your Members of Congress? Heritage Action’s Legislative Scorecard.

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