Obama Scores 100% on High Tech Test
President-elect Barack Obama hit 100 percent on the Information Technology Industry Council's Congressional Vote Scorecard for the 2007-2008 U.S. House and Senate session released Dec. 15. In all, 53 senators scored 100 percent on ITI's scorecard.
ITI based its rankings on five key Senate tech votes considered "critical" by the Washington trade group that counts among its members Adobe, Cisco, Dell, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Research In Motion.
The key votes were on the America COMPETES Act, the U.S.-Peru Trade Agreement, comprehensive energy legislation, the tax extenders package that included renewal of the research and development tax, and the Wall Street bailout package. In each case, ITI urged a "yes" vote.
Obama was absent on three of the key votes (trade agreement, energy legislation and tax extenders) but voted yes on the America COMPETES Act and the financial rescue package. Sen. John McCain, Obama's Republican competitor for the White House, also scored 100 percent on the ITI dipstick, missing all the votes except for the bailout plan.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, who challenged Obama in the Democratic primaries, missed the votes for the U.S.-Peru trade agreement and energy legislation, but still scored 100 percent for her "yea" votes on the America COMPETES Act, the tax extenders bill and the financial rescue package. Vice President-elect Joe Biden missed four of the five key votes, although he was present to vote "yes" on the rescue package.
Of senators who were present for all five votes, 26 Republicans and 18 Democrats scored 100 percent, including Sen. Daniel Inouye, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Science and Commerce Committee, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the incoming chairman of the panel.
"This scorecard is an important benchmark and a useful tool," Ralph Hellmann, senior vice president for ITI's Government Relations, said in a statement. "Lawmakers can use it as a reference, tech companies can check it to see how their own representative has voted, and journalists can refer to it to inform their coverage of big issues."
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., had the lowest mark on ITI's scorecard with a 25 percent ranking. DeMint voted "yes" on the trade agreement, skipped the tax extenders package and voted "no" on the America COMPETES Act, energy reform and the financial bailout. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and James Inhofe, R-Okla., scored 40 percent to follow DeMint.
In the House, 111 members earned 100 percent marks on a different package of bills that included patent reform and the Internet tax moratorium. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, scored a zero in the ITI rankings, missing three votes and voting "no" on patent reform, the Internet tax moratorium and the financial bailout.