Financial Executives International has begun scoring members of Congress on how well their votes match FEI’s legislative priorities.
Like what you see? Click here to sign up for Accounting Today's daily newsletter to get the latest news and behind the scenes commentary you won't find anywhere else.
The organization representing 15,000 CFOs, treasurers and controllers is taking a page out of the playbook of other advocacy groups such as the National Rifle Association, the Club for Growth and the League of Conservation Voters, which issue their own scorecards of lawmakers’ voting records.
FEI’s scorecard was developed by identifying key votes from the 112th Congress based on the organization’s advocacy committees and overall membership priorities and calculating the percentage of times lawmakers case votes in support of FEI’s positions out of the total key votes taken.
“As FEI members choose their representation in Congress this November, our Congressional Scorecard will give them valuable information on how their incumbent lawmakers have voted on the issues most important to senior-level financial executives,” said FEI president and CEO Marie Hollein in a statement. “At the same time, the scorecard complements FEI’s advocacy efforts by providing feedback to lawmakers on FEI priorities, increasing their awareness of the implications of their votes.”
The House and Senate were each scored on six individual votes that advanced FEI’s priorities, including three bills that became law: repeal of the new 1099 reporting mandate from the 2010 health care overhaul bill; repeal of the 3 percent withholding requirement on government contracts that was set to go into effect in 2013; and pension funding stabilization. FEI’s scorecard also recorded votes on the extension of the 2001 and 2003 individual tax rates, derivatives end-user legislation, and other business and individual tax provisions still pending in Congress.
“Despite Congress’ low overall approval rating, FEI’s Congressional Scorecard shows that the majority of lawmakers have voted with business and supported FEI’s priorities more than half of the time,” said Hollein. It is worth noting that 48 percent of House members and 22 percent of senators have voted with FEI 100 percent of the time.”
FEI’s Congressional Scorecard found that the overall House voting record in support of FEI positions is 83 percent, with Republicans voting with FEI 95 percent and Democrats 66 percent of the time. Of the 205 sitting members of Congress who have voted 100 percent with FEI, 186 are Republican and 19 are Democrats.
The Senate’s voting record is 59 percent, with Republicans voting with pro-FEI priorities 89 percent of the time, Democrats 33 percent, and Independents 18 percent.
The 22 Senators who have voted 100 percent of the time in accordance with the same priorities shared by FEI are all Republican. Only three—Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, and Utah’s Orrin Hatch—are up for re-election in November.
Later this week, members of FEI’s Committee on Private Company Policy and Private Company Roundtable will convene on Capitol Hill for their bi-annual Congressional Fly-in to converse about key legislative issues affecting private companies, including discussions of the approaching “fiscal cliff” and the likelihood of tax reform taking place in 2013.
For more information, visit www.financialexecutives.org/scorecard.