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Sen. Sessions, Rep. Byrne top state delegation in conservative group’s annual scorecard

Posted on May 12th, 2015

Source –

By Brendan Kirby

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, and Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Fairhope, scored at the top of the American Conservative Union’s annual ranking of members of Congress.

For 44 years, the conservative action group has scored members of Congress based on a series of votes. The latest scorecard, released Tuesday, measures votes taken in 2014 on subjects ranging from the budget to defense spending to energy subsidies to the farm bill.

Not surprisingly, Republicans scored much higher than Democrats.

Sessions voted the way the American Conservative Union favored on 24 of 25 votes analyzed. The 96 percent rating was the highest in the state delegation. The only vote that the organization did not approve of was his April 2014 vote to kill a proposed amendment that would have prevented people from receiving disability compensation and unemployment benefits at the same time.

Shelby voted the organization’s way on all but three votes, for a score of 88 percent. Both senators scored higher than in 2013. Sessions has the delegation’s highest lifetime rating at 94.33 percent.

By contrast, the delegation’s lone Democrat – Rep. Terri Sewell, of Birmingham – scored only 8 percent. Her only two votes that won the organization’s approval were a vote against a proposal to eliminate a requirement of military custody for those accused of terrorism and in favor of a bill to block new regulations on exiting power plants.

In Byrne’s first full year in office, he scored an 88 percent. The group marked off points for his votes in favor of a budget compromise in December, against a proposal to eliminate the Legal Services Corp. and in favor of the farm bill.

Byrne’s spokesman, Seth Morrow, welcomed the American Conservative Union’s rankings.

“It is an honor for Congressman Byrne to receive such a high distinction from the American Conservative Union, which is the oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the United States,” he said via email. “This scorecard confirms what people in southwest Alabama already know: Congressman Byrne is making a name for himself in Washington as a conservative reformer.”

American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp praised Byrne, despitebacking one of his GOP primary opponents in 2013.

“Rep. Bradly Byrne figured out quickly how to effectively fight for the conservative cause,” he said in a statement. “The American Conservative Union is proud to honor his solid voting record, and I am pleased to have his voice in Congress.”

The Republican with the lowest score in the Alabama delegation was Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, who voted the organization’s way 56 percent of the time. Her 70 percent lifetime rating also is the lowest in the delegation besides Sewell. Here are the rankings:

Representative This Year’s Score Last Year’s Score Lifetime Rating
Rep. Robert Aderholdt 61 66.67 85.54
Rep. Spencer Bauchus 72 56 88.98
Rep. Mo Brooks 84 84 87
Rep. Bradley Byrne 88 0 88
Rep. Martha Roby 56 64 70
Rep. Mike Rogers 84 60 78.79
Rep. Terri Sewell 8 12.5 7.13
Sen. Jeff Sessions 96 88 94.33
Sen. Richard Shelby 88 76 76.78

Here is a description of the votes that the American Conservative Union used to determine its 2014 rankings.