Many animal protection issues never receive a recorded vote in Congress. Some are enacted by voice vote, and some languish. To accurately measure legislators’ support, we count not just recorded votes but other meaningful ways they can help issues advance, such as co-sponsoring key bills and co-signing letters seeking increased enforcement of animal welfare laws. To give a balanced snapshot across a broad range of animal protection concerns, we only count co-sponsorship of a few priority bills that have a critical mass of support and a reasonable chance of enactment. Scores are given as percentages of the number of items counted. Prime sponsors of legislation and those who led on a letter to an agency also receive extra credit equal to one vote or co-sponsorship and a ✔ in the Leaders column. Those who led on multiple legislative or regulatory efforts or led on a top priority issue counted in this scorecard receive double extra credit equal to two votes or co-sponsorships and a ★ in the Leaders column. If a legislator already has a score of 100 before counting the extra credit for Leaders, that score appears in bold with a plus sign. HSLF acknowledges the limitations of judging legislators based on a few votes, co-sponsorships, joint letters and leadership on animal issues. In some cases, legislators must miss votes for unavoidable reasons, such as a death in the family, serious illness, birth of a child or emergency in their district. Please also consider such unrecorded matters as performance on committees, positions of House or Senate leadership, constituent service and co-sponsorship of other animal protection bills not included in the scorecard.
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Humane Society Legislative Fund
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