Republican Representative Rodney Alexander (LA-5) was honored today on Capitol Hill by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and presented with the Spirit of Enterprise Award for his pro-business record during the first session of the 111th Congress. Alexander was joined by Sen. David Vitter and five other GOP Representatives – Joseph Cao, Steve Scalise, John Fleming, Bill Cassidy and Charles Boustany – in receiving the SOE designation.
“The Chamber applauds Representative Alexander for supporting the private sector and job growth through these difficult times,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “He has demonstrated great courage and we commend him.”
Eligibility for the award is based on how Members of Congress vote on key business issues, which the Chamber outlines in its annual publication How They Voted. These designated “key votes” are recorded floor votes on issues established as priorities on which the Chamber communicates its position prior to the vote. Those members of Congress who support the Chamber’s position on at least 70% of those votes receive the award.
According to the scorecard, Representative Alexander maintained an 80% rating with the Chamber this year and collectively holds an 85% ranking during his tenure in Congress.
Vitter, meanwhile, scored an 86 percent rating in 2009, and has a lifetime 90 percent rating from the Chamber. His Senate counterpart Mary Landrieu scored a 60 percent for 2009, down from a 72 percent lifetime score.
Cassidy actually had the highest score from the Chamber, posting an 87 percent mark in his first year in Congress. Boustany scored 80 percent for 2009, good enough to keep his lead among the congressional delegation with an 89 percent lifetime score. Meanwhile Scalise (80 percent for 2009, 87 percent overall) and Fleming (80 percent for 2009, 80 percent overall) also maintained 80 percent scores, while Cao sneaked in with a 73 percent score to earn the award.
Democrat Charlie Melancon scored a 64 percent mark in 2009. His lifetime score from the Chamber is 74 percent.
The only House member with a 100 percent score was Republican Chris Lee, a first-term representative from the 26th District in New York. No Senator scored higher than Vitter’s 86 percent, though a host of Republicans matched that number.
The Chamber scored Congress on 7 Senate and 15 House votes in 2009, including the economic stimulus package, legislation to promote the U.S. as a travel destination abroad, and both the House and Senate healthcare reform bills.