The Buzz

February 24, 2014

POLITICS: Club for Growth releases congressional scorecard

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and a trio of South Carolina's U.S. House representatives led the state's congressional delegation on the 2013 Club for Growth scorecard released Monday.

Five members of South Carolina's congressional delegation will receive the Defender of Economic Freedom Award from the limited government group, including U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-Charleston, one of eight freshmen lawmakers to receive the award.

The Defenders must score 90 percent or above on the 2013 scorecard and have a lifetime rating of 90 percent or more.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-North Charleston, was the highest ranked of any S.C. lawmaker, coming in at sixth in the Senate with a 94 percent rating for the year.

The Club for Growth grades lawmakers on how their policies align with the Club's agenda. The group advocates for lower taxes, deregulation, tort reform, school choice and other limited government philosophies. The Club for Growth PAC backs candidates.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, ranked 39th, with a 65 percent rating and a 75 percent lifetime rating.

Graham faces five GOP primary challengers, including state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, who has a 100 percent rating with the S.C. Club for Growth.

In the House of Representatives, U.S. Reps. Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens, Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, and Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, tied at eighth in the House, scoring 97 percent on the 2013 scorecard.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, ranked 76th, with a 78 percent rating, 86 percent for life.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, R-Myrtle Beach, ranked 89th, with a 76 percent rating for the year and for life.

Only two U.S. Senators -- Tea Party heroes Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah -- received perfect scores in 2013. Four members of the U.S. House scored perfectly in 2013.

Nineteen Senate Democrats scored zero in 2013. Every Senate Democrat received a 20 percent or worse rating, and only three Democrats received higher than 10 percent.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-Columbia, ranked 307 on the House scorecard with a 2013 rating of 15 percent and a lifetime rating of 8 percent.

To check out the Club for Growth scorecards, click here.

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