IAVA Action has taken a straightforward approach to scoring lawmakers' support for veterans.
Based on the legislative priorities outlined in IAVA's Legislative Agenda, IAVA Action has selected 22 key votes on veterans' issues in the 110th Congress (9 votes in the Senate and 13 votes in the House). The votes cover the entire range of issues facing new veterans, including veterans' health care, the new GI Bill, mental health, and support for homeless veterans. The significance of each individual vote is described in the "Vote Description" section of the report card. You can download the full Report Card here.
Scores are based on how often legislators took the pro-veteran position and voted with IAVA Action. For every vote in line with IAVA Action and in support of veterans, the lawmaker receives one point. Those who vote against the position of IAVA Action, or those who fail to vote, do not receive a point.
In addition, because the fight for the new GI Bill was of such historic importance, we wanted to recognize those who had gone above and beyond voting in the bill's favor. Any Senator or Representative who signed on to be a cosponsor of the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Senate bill 22, and House bill 5740) receives two additional points.
The letter grades are then determined by the simple charts below:
About 30 Senators and Representatives who were either ineligible or medically unable to vote during a significant portion of the 110th Congress receive an "incomplete" grade, marked "INC" in the vote totals. In addition the House Speaker, who customarily does not vote, is simply marked "S."
Still have questions about IAVA Action or the Report Card? Check our Frequently Asked Questions.