The Votes and Results
Congress was scored on 12 individual votes cast on seven bills, two amendments and three procedural motions that advanced key FEI legislation. Three of the bills have ultimately become law and are legislative victories for FEI.
They include repeal of the new 1099 reporting requirements that were included as part of the 2010 health care overhaul bill and of the 3 percent withholding requirement on government contracts that was set to go into effect in 2013. These two bills will relieve businesses of onerous and expensive tax compliance burdens.
The third victory resulted in an improvement in the way employer-provided pension funding obligations are calculated to make contributions more manageable.
Two votes are included in the House scorecard on end-user exemptions to derivatives regulation. In both cases, a "yea" vote was in support of FEI's position.
Another recorded vote was on legislation the House and Senate considered this summer to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all taxpayers for an additional year through 2013. Lawmakers in both chambers received credit for votes in favor of extending the tax cuts for another year.
In addition, a "yea" vote in the Senate on an amendment to renew the package of expired business and individual tax provisions known as the "tax extenders" was scored positively. Similarly, "nay" votes in the Senate against repealing certain tax provisions for oil and gas companies were scored in support of FEI's position.
Overall, the House voting record in support of FEI positions is 83 percent, with Republicans voting with FEI 95 percent and Democrats 66 percent of the time. A total of 205 sitting members of Congress have voted 100 percent with FEI. That tally includes 186 Republicans and 19 Democrats.
If the largely party-line vote to extend the Bush-era tax cuts is excluded from the calculation, an additional 50 Democrats and one Republican would have 100 percent voting records. The members of Congress with a voting record of 50 percent or higher total 408, which represents 95 percent of the House.
In the Senate, the pro-FEI voting record stands at 59 percent. Democrats voted with FEI only 33 percent of the time, whereas the Republican record is 89 percent. The two Independent senators (who caucus with the Democrats) have a voting record of just 18 percent in support of FEI positions.
Of the 22 senators with 100 percent support for FEI positions --all Republicans--three senators are up for reelection in November: Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada and Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch.
There are 60 senators who supported FEI positions 50 percent of the time or better. All of the 100 percent supporters are listed in the tables in the chart on the left.
Using the Scorecard
FEI intends to use the scorecard as a tool in its advocacy efforts. In addition to allowing FEI's advocacy committees and Government Affairs department to measure congressional support for FEI's legislative agenda, the scorecard also gives FEI members valuable information on how their senators and representatives voted on issues important to them.
At the same time, the scorecard gives FEI an opportunity to provide feedback to lawmakers on how they are voting on FEI priorities and to make them accountable for their votes. FEI members are encouraged to communicate with their congressmen and senators about supporting FEI's legislative agenda, as this is another important way to reinforce FEI's efforts to get the priority issues heard in Congress.
To view the complete FE! Congressional Scorecard and find specific senators and congressmen, visit www.finan cialexecutives.org/scorecard.
Key Vote Descriptions
* 1099 Reporting Requirement: FEI supported repeal of a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring businesses to file Form 1099 to report transactions totaling at least dollar 600 in a year paid to all businesses for goods and services. The requirement would have substantially increased the compliance burden on businesses of all sizes.
The provision was included in the health care law but had nothing to do with health care. It was used to offset part of the cost of the bill and would have done little to reduce the so-called "tax gap." The House approved H.R. 4, Small Business Paperwork Reporting Mandate Elimination Act, March 3, 2011, by a 314-112 vote (Vote No...