League of Private Property Voters Names Champions and Enemies in Congressional Vote Scorecard
(BATTLE GROUND, WA) – The League of Private Property Voters (LPPV) today released the 2003 Private Property Congressional Vote Index. It names 31 US Senators as Champions of Private Property Rights and 35 as Enemies of Private Property Rights.
Every Senator and Representative who scores at least 80% receives a "Champion" of Private Property Rights certificate. Every Member who gets 20% or less is rated an "Enemy" of Private Property Rights. Full size examples of actual "Champion" and "Enemy" certificates are printed in each Vote Index.
35 of 51 Senate Republicans were named Champions scoring over 80%. Of the 35 Senators named as Enemies of Private Property Rights scoring 20% or less, 34 of 49 Senate Democrats were included along with one Independent, James Jeffords (I-VT).
In the House, 190 Representatives were named as Champions including one Democrat. There were 164 House members named Enemies of Private Property Rights including 161 Democrats, 2 Republicans and 1 Independent.
The 2003 Vote Index, the 13th since 1989, includes the first session of the 108th Congress and rates twelve key votes in the House and 6 in the Senate. It is based on actual floor votes, co-sponsorship of bills or letters of support for particular bills that either support or reduce private property rights or the multiple-use of Federal lands.
“Of great importance were the votes in both the House and Senate to give as much as a 50% tax break to land trusts to buy private land and remove it from the tax rolls. If successful, this provision would have devalued the private land of other landowners and put churches, schools and many other non-profit groups at a competitive disadvantage in acquiring property,” said Chuck Cushman, Chairman of the League of Private Property Voters.
“The 50% tax break was defeated in the House but a 25% tax break passed in the Senate. A conference committee has yet to be formed to resolve the different bills,” Cushman said.
“Of continuing importance in the 108th Congress was reintroduction of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) under new Clone names, the Get Outdoors Act in the House and the Americans Outdoors Act in the Senate,” Cushman said. “No bill in Congress in 30 years has threatened landowners nationwide like CARA or its Clones,” he said.
“If a CARA Clone like Americans Outdoors Act were to pass, it would guarantee massive land acquisition funding and bypass the appropriations committee process. The CARA Clones would receive special treatment, taking a higher priority than other important social needs like medical research, health care, prescription drugs or even the military.
“CARA Clone opponents in Congress fought to require that all these important needs must compete in the congressional budget process each year. Hopefully they’ll prevent the CARA Clones from becoming a new entitlement to take land away from private citizens,” Cushman said.
Key House votes included permitting ANWR energy exploration in Alaska, forest health thinning, repealing the death tax, Klamath Basin farming, eliminating snowmobiles from national parks, codifying the Clinton Forest Service Roadless Rule, RS 2477 Rights-Of-Way, forest fire fighting funds, limiting funds to the United Nations and more.
Important Senate votes included repealing the death tax, the tax break for land trusts, environmental pork projects, reducing legal barriers to forest thinning and fire prevention, and protecting rural areas.
The League of Private Property Voters is a national non-partisan coalition of over 600 co-sponsoring organizations including the American Land Rights Association, Alliance for America, People for the USA, Blue Ribbon Coalition, American Policy Center, numerous Farm Bureaus, mining, grazing, forestry and agriculture groups as well as most national, regional and local private property, multiple-use and taxpayer organizations.
The 2003 Private Property Congressional Vote Index is available in both printed form and on our highly regarded landrights.org website.
Go to http://www.landrights.org for the complete 2004 Private Property Congressional Vote Index including all the individual scores for every Senator and Representative.
Previous editions of the Vote Index are available at http://www.landrights.org as well.
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