Making the Grade

Black congressional members pass NAACP test

opportunities to lure businesses. It encourages investments and savings, Watts asserts, and offers families their choice of public schools.

Voting for final passage of the election reform bill cost Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.). “I thought it was absolutely essential that we get the $400 million out into communities so that they could buy new equipment. It was a case of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good,” says Wynn. His education reform vote favoring high-stakes testing brought his grade down to a B.

NAACP
Report Card
37 Black Voting Members of the 107th Congress

Grade Member of Congress State

A

Rep. Eva Clayton D-NC

A

Rep. John Conyers D-MI

A

Rep. Danny K. Davis D-IL

A

Rep. Earl Hilliard D-AL

A

Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick D-MI

A

Rep. Donald Payne D-NJ

A

Rep. Robert Scott D-VA

A

Rep. Maxine Waters D-CA

A

Rep. Melvin Watt D-NC

A

Rep. William Clay Jr. D-MO

A

Rep. Elijah Cummings D-MD

A

Rep. Chaka Fattah D-PA

A

Rep. Alcee Hastings D-FL

A

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. D-IL

A

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee D-TX

A

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones D-OH

A

Rep. William Jefferson D-LA

A

Rep. Barbara Lee D-CA

A

Rep. John Lewis D-GA

A

Rep. Cynthia McKinney D-GA

A

Rep. Gregory Meeks D-NY

A

Rep. Major Owens D-NY

A

Rep. Charles Rangel D-NY

A

Rep. Bennie Thompson D-MS

B

Rep. Corrine Brown D-FL

B

Rep. Julia Carson D-IN

B

Rep. James Clyburn D-SC

B

Rep. Harold Ford Jr. D-TN

B

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson D-TX

B

Rep. Bobby Rush D-IL

B

Rep. Edolphus Towns D-NY

B

Rep. Albert R. Wynn D-MD

C

Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald D-CA

C

Rep. Sanford Bishop D-GA

C

Rep. Carrie Meek D-FL

F

Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. R-OK

I

Rep. Diane E. Watson D-CA*

Source: NAACP
*Indeterminate score because of partial term

While most CBC members voted in harmony with the NAACP, several lost points over H.R. 3295, the Help America Vote Act of 2001. Among other things, the bill sought to provide states with funds to replace punch card voting systems and to establish the Election Assistance Commission to facilitate the administration of federal elections.

Lore
nzo Morris, professor of political science at Howard University, thinks the report card has its greatest impact in a close election. But as an analytical tool, Morris finds the report lacking “because there are assumptions of the left-leaning tendencies of African American congressional candidates,” he says. “I think analysts do not consider it, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have an affect in marginal cases.”

The census Bureau states that African Americans made up 12.3% of the American population in 2000. This percentage is expected to increase in the coming years. As that happens, the NAACP Congressional Report Card and similar reports are likely to carry more weight in Washington, D.C.

NAACP’s Key House of Representatives Votes in 2001

Bill Description Date Voted Outcome: Yea/Nay NAACP Position
H. R. 3 The President’s Tax Plan 3/8/01 Passed: 230/198 Opposed
H. R. 1 Education Reform/ High Stakes Testing 5/22/01 Failed: 173/255 Supported
H .R. 1 Education Reform/School Vouchers 5/23/01 Failed: 155/273 Opposed
H. R. 1 Education Reform/School Construction Funds 5/23/01 Failed: 207/223 Supported
H. R. 2052 Sudan Relief/Final Passage 6/13/01 Passed: 422/2 Supported
H. R. 7 Charitable Choice/Motion to Recommit with Antidiscrimination Language 7/19/01 Defeated: 195/234 Supported
H. R. 2563 Patients’ Bill of Rights/Limit Liability Amendment 8/2/01 Agreed to: 218/213 Opposed
H. R. 169 Notification and Federal Employee
Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act
Final Passage
10/2/01 Passed: 420/0 Supported
H. R. 3090 Economic Stimulus Package/Substitute 10/24/01 Failed: 166/261 Supported
H. Con Res. 102 Africa Relief/Passage 12/5/01 Passed: 400/9 Supported
H. R. 3129 Immunity for U.S. Customs Service
Racial Profiling/Passage
12/6/01 Failed: 168/256 Opposed
H R. 3295 Election Reform/Rule Preventing Amendments 12/12/01 Passed: 223/193 Opposed
H. R. 3295 Election Reform/Motion to Recommit 12/12/01 Failed: 197/226 Supported
H. R. 3295 Help America Vote Act of 2001/Final Passage 12/12/01 Passed: 362/63 Opposed

source: NAACP

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