Comparing voting records of local congressional members

Both representatives in Congress from the Jacksonville area have conservative voting records but there are differences.

They are somewhat difficult to compare based on their voting records because John Rutherford has been In the U.S. House eight years while Aaron Bean is only in his second year.

Bean represents most of Jacksonville north and west of the river, and the remainder is in Rutherford’s district.

The question of differences in their philosophy came after they voted differently on a critical issue a few weeks ago.

In effect, half of Jacksonville voted for the amendment and half voted against.

Bean voted for a provision requiring additional safeguards in federal investigations into terrorism, which was favored by an unusual alliance of Far Right and Far Left House members.

Rutherford, saying it was unnecessary, voted against.

“I’m tired of the Deep State spying on us.” Bean told Eye on Jacksonville. “It was a no brainer. You can’t put enough checks and balances on liberty.”

In an effort to determine how closely the city’s two congressmen are in thinking, Eye on Jacksonville looked at several ratings by various organizations that examine the voting records of members of Congress and rate them according to how often the member votes in ways the organization considers to be correctly.

The conservative Heritage Foundation rates Bean at 92 percent conserrvative, Rutherford at 57 percent.

The Web site 538 declared Rutherford voted with President Joe Biden only 13.8 percent of the time. But it stopped doing that comparison before Bean was elected.

Rutherford voted with the liberal American Civil Liberties Union 11 percent of the time.

The Freedom Index rates members of congress based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements. Bean got a 85 score, Rutherford 55 in the Freedom Index.

Govtrack rated Rutherford 24th among 436 house members as being to the right in an “ideology” score. Bean hasn’t been rated.

Conservative Club for Growth gave Rutherford 90 percent 2022, (105th in the House) and a 65 pct lifetime score.

Bean got a 95 percent lifetime score Freedom Works. Rutherford got only 54 percent. Freedom Works says, “Our vision is for a future where growth and prosperity results in opportunity for all Americans.”

National Taxpayers Union rates U.S. representatives and senators on every vote that affects taxes, spending, and debt. For the 117th Congress it gave Rutherford a C grade, with a 63 percent “satisfactory” rating. Bean was not rated.

The liberal ADA gave Rutherford a 0 for 2021, strong evidence that he is not a liberal.

Citizens Against Government Waste gave Rutherford a 93 (“taxpayer hero”) for 2922.

The CPAC Center for Legislative Accountability gave Bean an Award for Conservative Excellence with 96 percent for 2023. Rutherford got a 72 percent lifetime score. Some key areas CPAC examines include taxation, spending, education, labor, licensure, regulation, environment, life, free speech, Second Amendment rights, foreign aid, defense priorities and global organizations, including the United Nations

Overall, it appears from the various ratings that Rutherford is moderately conservative while Bean, based only on his relatively brief time in Congress, could be seen as more conservative.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


One response to “Comparing voting records of local congressional members”

  1. Bean and Rutherford Ratings:
    Thank you for this, Lloyd. I’ve followed Rutherford closely since his characterization of Rep. Matt Gaetz as a “rogue congressman” a while ago during the Mccarthy ouster, and am of the opinion that 8 years is enough – maybe already too much.

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