Representative Thaddeus McCotter
Republican of Michigan, District 11

1632 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 18304
Phone: 202-225-8171
Fax: 202-225-2667
Website: http://www.house.gov/mccotter/
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Progressive Action Score: 0

A score of 0 means that Rep. McCotter has acted to support 0% of a slate of progressive policies in the 109th Congress.
By our reckoning, Representative McCotter has done nothing to merit classification as a progressive. An accounting of Rep. McCotter's failings as a leader of reason include the following:
  • Rep. McCotter failed to vote "no" on the Tyranny Act, H.R. 6166. Rep. McCotter swore a solemn oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. That oath was violated when Rep McCotter failed to oppose H.R. 6166, which is a direct attack upon the Constitution, and through its attack upon the Constitution an attack upon the freedom of every American and every person living under American jurisdiction.

    Passed into law, the Tyranny Act installs undemocratic executive committees without review to designate citizens and noncitizens alike as enemy combatants without standards for proof. It grants George W. Bush amnesty for his current violations of law. It allows the thoroughly untrustworthy George W. Bush supreme authority to decide whether an interrogation technique qualifies as torture. It allows hearsay evidence to be used to convict an accused person. It permits indefinite detention without review.

    All of these provisions in the bill are unconstitutional. That makes this bill unAmerican. And Representative McCotter betrayed the dream of America by allowing this bill to pass into law without a vote of opposition. It bears saying again: Rep. McCotter has betrayed the dream of America.

  • By voting "no" on the Farr Amendment, Rep. McCotter voted to keep Section 102 in H.R. 418, giving a Bush administration bureaucrat the ability to nullify any law without judicial review of that decision. Where we come from, they call that dictatorship.

  • The Patriot Act is a betrayal of the great American tradition of liberty because it encourages the government to spy on the legal, personal activities of Americans who have not broken the law and for whom there is no demonstrated probable cause to suspect criminal activity. Specifically, the Patriot Act violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which promises that Americans shall not be subject to search and seizure of their persons or their papers without probable cause. The Bush Administration is using that power to grab information out of commercial and public databases and assemble them into a single giant computer database through which the private affairs of every American citizen can be tracked by government officials. Rep. McCotter failed to vote against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, empowering the Bush administration to continue to dismantle American liberties and erect a Big Brother edifice in their place.

  • By voting for the Hostettler Amendment to H.R. 2862, Rep. McCotter voted to keep a ruling of a federal court from being enforced. Why? Because a judge decided that a religious monument on the grounds of the Gibson county courthouse was an unconstitutional endorsement of one religion over others. Rep. McCotter has apparently decided that any personally distasteful court ruling can be overturned, just because. That's not the rule of law. That's an arbitrary violation of the separation of powers. And, in this case, it allows pushy and vocal religious groups to shove their beliefs down everybody else's throats. That's not just wrong, it is downright unAmerican.

  • By voting "no" on the Scott Amendment, Rep. McCotter voted to keep language in H.R. 27 that allows organizations to engage in government-funded religious discrimination in hiring. We had thought that bigotry was old hat, and that the separation of church and state was secure. With this vote, Rep. McCotter has helped to weaken the constitution and bring bigotry back in style.

  • To members of Congress, talk of patriotism comes easy. But what about action to preserve what is great about America? What about protecting the symbol of America, the bald eagle itself? On September 29, 2005, a slim majority of member of the United States House of Representatives voted for H.R. 3824, an attack upon the landmark law that brought the American bald eagle back from the brink of extinction. Without the Endangered Species Act, the American bald eagle would probably not exist any more, except on the backs of our quarters and as a graphic on Republican web sites promoting corporate pollution.

    We've seen the American bald eagle fly, and we think that it is worth protecting. 229 members of the House of Representatives disagreed. They voted to seriously weaken the protection of endangered species like the American bald eagle. They did it for the sake of profits for big business. A NO vote would have represented a courageous stand for the Endangered Species Act. In a telling betrayal, Representative McCotter failed to vote NO. For shame.

  • Rep. McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 2412, which would provide more information to the public about contacts between lobbyists and politicians, and which would slow down the revolving door of politics in which politicians move into cushy corporate jobs after they retire in exchange for favors. What is Representative McCotter's problem with ethics?

  • Rep. McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 40, which would acknowledge the injustices of slavery and racial discrimination and establish a commission to study them.

  • Rep McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 63, which would make Election Day a federal holiday to make it easier to get out and vote.

  • Rep McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 759, which would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through market-based systems.

  • Rep. McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 550, which would sensibly require the establishment of a backup paper record of votes for those times when electronic voting machines fail. Why is Rep. McCotter unwilling to protect the bedrock of democracy, Americans' faith that every vote counts?

  • Rep. McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 952, which would put an end to the practice of "extraordinary rendition," in which Bush Administration officials send people into the custody of certain nations, knowing full well (some would say intending) that they will be tortured there. Extraordinary rendition is another stain on the moral clarity of the United States. It is a horrible irony that in a "War on Terror," the United States government would enable the use of terror as a tool. Why is Rep. McCotter unwilling to stand against American complicity in the use of torture?

  • Thaddeus McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 1157, which would keep government agents from riffling through your bookstore receipts and library records without your permission or knowledge. Why is Rep. McCotter standing against privacy, against individual liberty, and with Big Brother? That's not a rhetorical question.

  • Thaddeus McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 1440, which would keep members of the Federal Communication Commission from using their appointed positions to censor cable, satellite or internet programs they consider to be indecent. These "narrowcast" programs are accessed only by those who specifically request them, so why should the government make it their business to keep people from seeing what they want to see? Why has Rep McCotter not yet lent support to this sensible, freedom-defending bill?

  • We may think we live in modern times, but the U.S. Constitution still does not guarantee that individual rights shall apply equally to men and women. Without such a constitutional guarantee, all it could take is a rogue judge or an emboldened conservative Congress to take women's rights away by a simple majority vote. On the other hand, this nation is still encumbered with unfair legal notions that, all other things being equal, give mothers custody advantages over fathers. The current state of unequal protection is unfair to both women and men, and devalues our common underlying humanity.

    Thaddeus McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.J. Res 37, which would amend the United States Constitution to simply state the following: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification." It's simple, it's obvious, and it's about time something was done to enshrine this principle in the Constitution for men and women alike. When will Rep. McCotter take this important stand for equality?

  • Rep. McCotter has not yet cosponsored H.R. 567, which would preserve and protect the pristine coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from short-sighted, unnecessary development.

Contact Rep McCotter by E-mail, Phone (at 202-225-8171), or Fax (at 202-225-2667), and ask when these progressive policy priorities will merit support.

Regressive Conservative Score: 85

A score of 85 means that Rep. McCotter has acted to support 85% of a slate of conservative, wrongheaded policies in the 109th Congress.
Regressive, destructive, and downright unAmerican actions Rep. McCotter has taken that contribute to a RCS of 85:

  • Rep. McCotter voted YES on the Tyranny Act, H.R. 6166. Rep. McCotter swore a solemn oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. That oath was violated when Rep McCotter voted for H.R. 6166, a bill that makes a direct attack upon the Constitution, and through its attack upon the Constitution makes an attack upon the freedom of every American and every person living under American jurisdiction.

    Passed into law, the Tyranny Act installs undemocratic executive committees without review to designate citizens and noncitizens alike as enemy combatants without standards for proof. It grants George W. Bush amnesty for his current violations of law. It allows the thoroughly untrustworthy George W. Bush supreme authority to decide whether an interrogation technique qualifies as torture. It allows hearsay evidence to be used to convict an accused person. It permits indefinite detention without review.

    All of these provisions in the bill are unconstitutional. That makes this bill unAmerican. And Representative McCotter betrayed the dream of America by helping to push this bill into law. It bears saying again: Rep. McCotter has betrayed the dream of America.

  • The Patriot Act is a betrayal of the great American tradition of liberty because it encourages the government to spy on the legal, personal activities of Americans who have not broken the law. The Bush Administration is using that power to grab information out of commercial and public databases and assemble them into a single giant computer database through which the private affairs of every American citizen can be tracked by government officials. Unfortunately for the Amercan tradition of liberty, the Patriot Act reauthorization passed, with Rep. McCotter casting a craven YES vote.

  • To members of Congress, talk of patriotism comes easy. But what about action to preserve what is great about America? What about protecting the symbol of America, the bald eagle itself? On September 29, 2005, a slim majority of member of the United States House of Representatives voted for H.R. 3824, an attack upon the landmark law that brought the American bald eagle back from the brink of extinction. Without the Endangered Species Act, the American bald eagle would probably not exist any more, except on the backs of our quarters and as a graphic on Republican web sites promoting corporate pollution.

    We've seen the American bald eagle fly, and we think that it is worth protecting. 229 members of the House of Representatives disagreed. They voted to seriously weaken the protection of endangered species like the American bald eagle. They did it for the sake of profits for big business. A NO vote would have represented a courageous stand for the Endangered Species Act. In a telling betrayal, Representative McCotter voted YES for the gutting of the Endangered Species Act. For shame.

  • H.R. 1070 marks a determined, deliberate attempt by fundamentalist politicians to lay the groundwork for knocking down barriers between the powers of church and state once and for all. The bill is sneaky in its obfuscation but dastardly in its effect. Read, then re-read, then re-re-read the central text of H.R. 1070:

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

    ...

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the district courts shall not have jurisdiction of a matter if the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to review that matter by reason of section 1260 of this title.


    What does all that highfalutin language mean?

    1. Imagine that some Federal, State or Local government official uses the power of her or his office to shove her or his personal beliefs about God down citizens' throats. Alternatively, imagine that a federal body (say, the Congress) or a state body (say, a state legislature) or a local body (say, the school board) passes a policy that codifies one set of religious beliefs into law.

    2. Imagine that you consider this act to be not only wrong but unconstitutional. What can you do about it?

    3. Nothing. You can't bring the issue up in any district court. You can't bring it up before the Supreme Court. You have no place to go to challenge the policies of your government, except for the very same government body or official who engages in the odious behavior to begin with.

    In short, H.R. 1070 sets the legal foundation by which the President, the Congress, the State Legislatures, Town Councils, School Boards and the Local Dogcatcher can do anything they want in the name of God without review. Does that frighten you? Well, what's even more frightening is that Thaddeus McCotter seems to think this is a good idea.

  • Section 102 of H.R. 418 authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to nullify any law she or he deems necessary to build roads and fences in the vicinity of a national border. Furthermore, Section 102 of H.R. 418 makes it legally impossible for any court or agency of the government to review the Secretary of Homeland Security's decision to nullify any law. In short, Section 102 places the Bush administration untouchably above the law.

    The Farr Amendment would have stricken this language, and only this language, from H.R. 418, making a vote against the Farr Amendment a vote against the rule of law. Shame on you, Representative McCotter, for voting "no" on the Farr Amendment. You stand in disgraceful historical company among those who favor arbitrary dictatorship. That's downright unAmerican.

  • Representative Thaddeus McCotter has decided to support H.R. 997, a bill that would declare English to be the official language of the United States, would mandate that official government business be conducted in English only, and presumptively declare that workplaces in the private sector follow these rules too. Look, just because Rep. McCotter seems to have some kind of personal problem with brown-skinned "ethnic" people who speak a different language than English doesn't mean that such prejudice should be pushed on the rest of the country. The United States of America has always been a nation of multiple origins, multiple cultures and multiple languages. Legislating diversity away will not make it disappear. On the contrary, this legislation will only divide the nation into a privileged English-speaking clique and an untouchable caste of non-English speakers who are denied access to government, to civic participation, and even to the private workplace. This is not what America stands for. Shame on you, Thaddeus McCotter, for demeaning the standard of openness that has made this country great.

  • By voting for the Hostettler Amendment to H.R. 2862, Rep. McCotter voted to keep a ruling of a federal court from being enforced. Why? Because a judge decided that a religious monument on the grounds of the Gibson county courthouse was an unconstitutional endorsement of one religion over others. Rep. McCotter has apparently decided that any personally distasteful court ruling can be overturned, just because. That's not the rule of law. That's an arbitrary violation of the separation of powers. And, in this case, it allows pushy and vocal religious groups to shove their beliefs down everybody else's throats. That's not just wrong, it is downright unAmerican.

  • The way that U.S. citizenship works is pretty simple when you get down to it: if you are born in this country, you are a citizen. Leave it to Representative Thaddeus McCotter to come up with a way to change that. Representative McCotter has thrown support behind H.R. 698, which would deny citizenship to American-born babies if their parents arenít themselves citizens. Such a change would move us toward the German model of citizenship, in which families who have lived in Germany for generations were denied citizenship because they lacked the so-called "virtue" of a German bloodline.

    Even more bizarrely under this bill, if a baby is born in America of a father who is a citizen and a mother who is not, the baby is denied American citizenship if the father and mother are not married. Yes, you are reading that right ó the Republicans even want to deny babies citizenship when the father is himself a citizen. How extreme. How xenophobic. How simply unacceptable.

  • By voting "no" on the Scott Amendment, Rep. McCotter voted to keep language in H.R. 27 that allows organizations to engage in government-funded religious discrimination in hiring. We had thought that bigotry was old hat, and that the separation of church and state was secure. With this vote, Rep. McCotter has helped to weaken the constitution and bring bigotry back in style.

  • It's bad enough that a number of states have decided on their own to take away marriage rights from same-sex couples. Now H.R. 72 proposes to do the same for people living in the District of Columbia. What makes this bill particularly nefarious is that it would have the Congress dictate social mores for residents of the District of Columbia at a time when members of the District of Columbia have no legal representation whatsoever in the Congress. By supporting this bill, Rep. McCotter has dragged the practice of telling others how to live their lives down to a new low.

  • At a time when our budget deficit is soaring, George W. Bush and the Congress should be finding ways for the American people to fulfill their responsibilities to future generations. That means that we must pay our way: when Bush and the Congress propose and pass large budgets, they must provide for their payment as well. Yes, this means taxes. But while the Republican-controlled Congress is allowing the government's budget to spiral wildly higher, it irresponsibly suggests that we ought to cut taxes. And to make matters worse, the taxes they propose to cut are taxes paid by those who can by definition afford to pay them: the wealthy. Nobody has to pay a penny for anything up to a million dollars they get in income when a relative dies. But H.R. 8 would permanently eliminate income taxes on any unearned money over a million bucks that people receive as part of an inheritance. You and I won't get that kind of inheritance: it's the already filthy rich who will benefit. At this time of budget deficits, we shouldn't be cutting away these sorts of taxes. It's not fiscally prudent. It's radically regressive. By supporting this legislation, Representative McCotter has decided to act in an irresponsible manner that is fiscally dangerous to us all.