Four members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation earned an “F” grade for their votes on fiscal issues during the 2011 session of Congress, according to new rankings from the National Taxpayer Union, a limited-government advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
The worst score of the pack belongs to outgoing U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, a Democrat representing the Tar Heel State’s 13th Congressional District. Miller garnered just 8 percent on the scorecard and ranked 424th out of the 435 House members. Due to an unfriendly redistricting plan, Miller decided to retire rather than seek a sixth term in office in 2012.
Reps. Mel Watt (of the 12th Congressional District), G.K. Butterfield (of the 1st Congressional District), and David Price (of the 4th Congressional District) followed closely on Miller’s heels. Watt and Butterfield each scored 11 percent and ranked 405th and 403rd, respectively. Price scored 12 percent and ranked 379th.
On the flip side, the best scoring members of the delegation were Republicans: Reps. Patrick McHenry (of the 10th Congressional District) at 84 percent, Howard Coble (of the 6th Congressional District) at 84 percent, Virginia Foxx (of the 5th Congressional District) at 82 percent, and Sue Myrick (of the 9th Congressional District) at 78 percent.
No member of North Carolina’s delegation earned an “Taxpayer’s Friend” grade of 85 percent or better. Nationwide, 53 lawmakers attained that score in 2011. The best performers in the House were Reps. John Duncan, R-Tenn., Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Ron Paul, R-Texas.
In the Senate, North Carolina’s Richard Burr, a Republican, earned a “B+” grade at 87 percent. Democrat Kay Hagan earned an “F” at 12 percent.
Scores for the remaining members of North Carolina’s delegation are:
• Renee Ellmers (Republican, 2nd Congressional District): 73 percent, 150th
• Walter B. Jones (Republican, 3rd Congressional District): 58 percent, 239th
• Mike McIntyre (Democrat, 7th Congressional District): 43 percent, 243rd
• Larry Kissell (Democrat, 8th Congressional District): 21 percent, 269th
• Heath Shuler (Democrat, 11th Congressional District): 28 percent, 258th
David N. Bass is an associate editor of Carolina Journal.