How the CDF Action Council Compiles This Congressional Scorecard

The 2007 Children's Defense Fund Action Council® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard scores ten Senate and ten House votes that directly affect the lives of children. The Senate and House votes in this year's Congressional Scorecard cover a range of issues, including the budget, appropriations, child health, education and tax relief/minimum wage measures. Members not voting and votes cast as "present" are scored as votes against children. While we acknowledge that some missed votes are unavoidable due to Member or family illness, it is not possible for us to objectively determine the reason behind each missed vote. For example, as a result of the presidential election in 2008, scores for some Members who have devoted significant time to campaigning for the upcoming election may be considerably lower than in past years. However, Members who served only part of a term are scored only on votes cast while in office. It should also be noted that the Speaker of the House holds a unique position. Although entitled to participate in debate and to vote, he or she traditionally votes only when the vote would be decisive and on matters of special importance such as constitutional amendments.

State delegation scores are calculated by adding each state's Senators' and Representatives' votes for the CDF Action Council position and dividing by the number of votes scored. Information on how a Representative or Senator voted on each selected bill comes from, an automated Internet legislative database, and is based on the Congressional Quarterly’s record of the votes. These votes are also checked against the House and Senate roll call votes to ensure they are consistent. We hope this Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard will serve as an important educational tool as you review the actions of your Members of Congress and make decisions about who you will elect to Congress in the future. Judge for yourself how well your Senators' and Representative's votes and actions matched their rhetoric about protecting children. We encourage you to call, write and visit your Senators and Representative in Washington, D.C., and in their district offices.

This annual Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard is part of the CDF Action Council’s public education, ongoing policy analysis and advocacy for children. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any candidate for public office.