With its eyes squarely fixed on the U.S. Congress, the Humane Society of the United States has published its “Humane Scorecard,” which shows Washington, D.C., lawmakers’ position on “animal-rights” issues.
House and Senate Democrats scored higher than their Republican counterparts, Seven Democratic senators received a 100+ rating, as did 22 congressmen. HSUS’ measure for the 100+ rating reflected those members who were the prime sponsors of pro-animal legislation that became law.
Senate Democrats on the “100+” list include Joe Biden (Del.), now the U.S. vice president, Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Diane Feinstein (Calif.), John Kerry (Mass.) and Carl Levin (Mich.) Ten other Democrats rated a score of 100, while only two Republicans in the Senate earned a 100 rating: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, earned the relatively low score of 33.
Lawmakers also were rated based on their co-sponsorship of bills, and the scorecard gave lawmakers credit for attempting to increase funding to enforce animal-welfare laws on the books.
In the House, 38 Democrats received 100 percent ratings, including Barbara Lee (Calif.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and Charles Rangel (N.Y.). Only six Republicans rated 100: Christopher Shays (Conn.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Todd Russell Platts (Pa.), Dave Reichert (Wash.) and Frank LoBiondo (N.J.)
House Republican legislators receiving a score of “0” totaled 16, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), and five in the Senate: Tom Coburn (Okla.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), George Voinovich (Ohio), John Sununu (N.H.) and Pete Domenici (N.M.).
The scorecard also outlines HSUS’ goals for the 111th Congress. Among those goals is to ensure that emissions from “factory farms” are not exempt from legislation to combat global warming. Others include animal-cruelty crimes to be reported as a separate category in federal crime statistics databases, ensuring that students can choose humane alternatives to animal dissection, phasing out the use of chimpanzees in research and much more.