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AAUW Action Fund releases congressional voting record

congressThe American Association of University Women Action Fund has released its 2015–16 scorecard of congressional action on issues critical to women and their families. The AAUW Action Fund Congressional Voting Record covers the entire 114th Congress so far, outlining how U.S. senators and representatives voted and whether they co-sponsored legislation on AAUW priority issues affecting education, economic security, and civil rights.

“This voting record is a powerful accountability tool inside and outside the Beltway, especially for AAUW’s 170,000 members in more than 1,000 bipartisan branches around the country,” said Lisa Maatz, AAUW’s vice president of government relations and advocacy. “Women voters are a critical voting bloc and will cast their ballots based on issues important to them, like equal paycollege affordability and campus safety, creating well-paying jobs, and access to birth control. Women want to hear the candidates discuss these issues and will hold candidates’ feet to the fire come Election Day.”

The Congressional Voting Record assigns each legislator a score based on votes and co-sponsorships on bills such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the Women Airforce Service Pilot Arlington Inurnment Restoration (WASP AIR) Act. Legislators were scored for their votes not only on those acts but also on bills about campus sexual violence, campaign finance reform, human trafficking, women in the military, funding for reproductive health care, school vouchers, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Based on these vote parameters, 80 members earned a 100 percent favorable rating from the AAUW Action Fund. A breakdown by chamber shows that 72 U.S. representatives and eight U.S. senators received 100 percent ratings.

The AAUW Action Fund’s nationwide It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard program is working to educate and turn out women voters to ensure that elected officials are held accountable — before and after the election — on critical policy issues for women and families. The voting record will be used alongside our AAUW Voter Issue Guide to promote get-out-the-vote efforts such as issue forums, town halls, candidate debates, and local voter education events in communities and on college campuses nationwide. These programs and resources help AAUW members and supporters educate local communities on important issues and policy makers’ records and demonstrate — particularly to women voters — what’s at stake as they head to the polls.

“Candidates need to realize the key to winning in November is appealing to women voters who will be the deciding factors as we choose our next president, as well as many races on the ticket,” said AAUW’s Maatz. “Candidates and public officials must understand they need to speak to and act on issues important to women because they will be held accountable, on Election Day and beyond.”

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