- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 22, 2018

Only one House member received top rankings on the Club for Growth’s annual scorecard out Thursday.

Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Republican, was the only member to receive 100 percent rating while 29 members received a 90 percent or higher score. This is a relatively small number compared to past years. In 2016, five House members received a 100 percent ranking. In 2015, three members received a top score, and in 2014, eight members received the highest number. 

The scorecard is based on members’ votes from the past year on economic growth and limited government, according to the standards of the fiscally conservative group. Members are required to have a 90 percent or higher rating for both the recent year and for their overall lifetime record in order to qualify for the Defender of Economic Freedom Award.

No member of the House or Senate leadership qualified — all scoring below 90 percent. This is keeping in line with recent scorecards as well.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy ranked the lowest on the leadership in either chamber with a 64 percent rating.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh said that overall 2017 was a good year for economic growth.

“Between the efforts to roll back regulations and the historic pro-growth tax reform, Club for Growth saw an increase in the number of members earning the distinction of a ‘Defender of Economic Freedom,’” he said in a statement.

Democrats typically score very low, or even earn a zero percent rating. This year four Democrats in the Senate and 62 members in the House all received a zero rating.

The biggest surprise on the Senate side was Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Mr. Cruz has typically scored in the top or close to it since he was elected in 2012. But this year, he earned an 86 percent score, ranking 19 on the list. 

Three senators received a perfect score. Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and James Lankford of Oklahoma. Both Mr. Flake and Mr. Toomey also have a lifetime record above 90 percent. Additionally, Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina all scored high enough to qualify for the award.

The lowest-ranked Republican member in the Senate was Sen. Susan Collins at 42 percent.

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