Presumptive GOP nominee John McCain gets a failing grade for his work on legislation affecting children's issues, according to a just-released study from a leading advocacy group. The Children's Defense Fund gave McCain a paltry 10 percent rating in its annual report card, the lowest of any other senator.
The rating was based on how senators voted on ten key issues relating to children. McCain's low score owes in great part to his being absent from the senate floor while out campaigning and raising money. Indeed, according to a review of his schedule, he missed eight of the ten votes monitored by the group in order to attend high-end fundraisers across the country.
When the Senate voted on the Protect Children From Unsafe Medications Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act in May, McCain was greeting donors at a $1,000 to $2,300 fundraising breakfast in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Five months later, when the Help Youth Pay For College Act of 2007 hit the floor, the GOP presidential candidate was weaving his way among three separate fundraising receptions in Southern California.
During the controversial debate on expanding the SCHIP program (which the Senate passed over a presidential veto threat), McCain was shuffling between a New York fundraiser the day before and a Michigan reception the day after.
Both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton also missed several votes (four and three, respectively), on Children's Defense Fund issues, and also for campaigning purposes.
On many of the issues, McCain's vote likely would have had no tangible affect on the legislative outcome. For the 2006 congressional year, he also received a 10 percent grade from CDF, while for 2005 his grade was 22 percent.
However, in the 110th Congress McCain missed more time on the floor than any senator not suffering from a brain hemorrhage. Sen. Tim Johnson did not weigh in on 311 votes (65.3 percent of all votes). McCain missed 268 votes or 56.3 percent. And Obama missed 189 votes, or 39.7 percent.
A non-partisan, non-profit organization, the Childrens Defense Fund has been sympathetic to Democratic causes and candidates.
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