Progressive Action Score: 81A score of 81 means that Rep. Wexler has acted to support 81% of a slate of progressive policies in the 109th Congress.
Progressive, forward-looking actions Rep. Wexler has taken to merit a PAS of 81:Rep. Wexler voted a firm "NO" against the Tyranny Act, H.R. 6166. Rep. Wexler swore a solemn oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Rep Wexler honored that oath by actively opposing H.R. 6166, which directly attacks the Constitution, and through its attack upon the Constitution attacks the freedom of every American and every person living under American jurisdiction.
Shamefully 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. But Representative Wexler acted with honor by standing up to this unAmerican bill. Had more members of Congress acted with the sense of honor displayed by Rep. Wexler, our liberty would not now be in such peril.
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. Although the Patriot Act reauthorization passed, Rep. Wexler took a brave stand by voting NO, protecting traditional American liberties.
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 for the Farr Amendment a vote for the rule of law. Thank you, Representative Wexler, for voting "yes" on the Farr Amendment and supporting the rule of law.By voting "yes" on the Scott Amendment, Rep. Wexler tried to remove language in H.R. 27 that allows organizations to engage in government-funded religious discrimination in hiring. Unfortunately, the Scott Amendment failed. Still, with this vote, Rep. Wexler made an important stand, protecting traditional constitutional bulwarks and making it clear that at least for some Americans, discrimination is simply unacceptable.
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. So does Representative Wexler, who voted NO in a courageous stand for the Endangered Species Act.If you believe that making it easier to vote in elections is a good thing, you will be happy to hear about the introduction of H.R. 63, which would make each November's Election Day a federally-recognized holiday. With the passage of H.R. 63, people who are faced with extraordinarily long lines at their polling places would not have to decide between their voting rights and their job. We applaud Representative Wexler for cosponsoring H.R. 63 and lending support to the continued expansion of institutional respect for democracy in the United States.
The Climate Stewardship Act is the most significant American
legislation yet to address the threat of global climate change. The CSA proposes market-based methods of promoting clean alternatives to
America's current Industrial Age systems for transportation and energy. Under the CSA, emissions of greenhouse gases would be reduced over a
five year period back to the levels produced in the year 2000. Although the CSA offers only minor controls, it is an important first step in keeping the problem of preventing the emissions of gases
related to global climate change from growing worse than they already are. It is supported by environmental activists and strongly opposed by pollution industries and the Bush Administration.
The House of Representatives last voted on the CSA in March 2004, unfortunately failing to pass the bill. Fortunately, Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland has reintroduced the act in the 109th Congress as H.R. 759. For lending support to the CSA by cosponsoring H.R. 759, Rep. Wexler has taken an important progressive stand.By voting against the Hostettler Amendment to H.R. 2862, Rep. Wexler stood for the rule of law and the rights of minorities from government-funded religious proselytization in public spaces. Rep. Hostettler of Indiana and an unfortunate majority of the House of Representatives 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. These 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.
Although the Hostettler amendment unfortunately passed, Rep. Wexler had the courage to stand against it, and so deserves our thanks in this regard.
Any reasonable person who believes that trust in America's democratic institutions is important can see the value in being able to determine with assurance how a person has voted. It should be a matter of common sense, for instance, that when an electronic voting machine malfunctions and loses votes (as has happened in the past), a backup paper record of the actions of the machine would help elections officials set things right and make sure that every person's vote has been counted. Yet today, despite a history of malfunctioning electronic voting machines, there is no requirement for a backup paper trail. It's as easy as attaching a printer to a voting machine. Thanks to Congressperson Wexler for supporting H.R. 550, a bill which would require the establishment of such a paper trail.
Rep. Wexler has taken the principled step of formally lending support to H.R. 952, which would put an end to the practice of "extraordinary rendition." This is a practice 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 allow the use of terror as a tool. Rep. Wexler deserves our gratitude for standing for a return to sanity and against American complicity in the use of torture.
Robert Wexler has formally supported H.R. 1157, which would keep government agents from riffling through your bookstore receipts and library records without your permission or knowledge. Unlike others, Rep. Wexler has shown true backbone, standing for privacy, for individual liberty, and against the Big Brother mentality that seems to be all the rage in Washington these days.
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.
Robert Wexler has formally supported 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. Thank you, Rep. Wexler, for pushing the too-long-lingering ERA forward.
According to scientists, the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is as close to an untouched wilderness in the United States as we can get, with a rich diversity of wildlife in an ecologically sound setting. The area's biological diversity prompted President Dwight D. Eisenhower to set aside the area in perpituity, to protect it for all generations to come. Some in the Congress want to forever destroy the pristine nature of this habitat for the sake of a few years' oil supply, rather than invest in alternatives that would allow us to maintain the Refuge for future generations. Thankfully, Representative Robert Wexler has formally supported H.R. 567, which acts to protect and preserve the Refuge from short-sighted development.
Progressive political actions that Rep. Wexler could have taken but unfortunately chose not to take:
Contact Rep Wexler by E-mail, Phone (at 202-225-3001), or Fax (at 202-225-5974) to ask why they have chosen not to take the progressive path in these matters.
- Rep. Wexler 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 Wexler's problem with ethics?
- Rep. Wexler has not yet cosponsored H.R. 40, which would acknowledge the injustices of slavery and racial discrimination and establish a commission to study them.
- Robert Wexler 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 Wexler not yet lent support to this sensible, freedom-defending bill?
Regressive Conservative Score: 0A score of 0 means that Rep. Wexler has acted to support 0% of a slate of conservative, wrongheaded policies in the 109th Congress.
We are happy to report that among the political decisions by Representative Wexler that we have tracked, not one qualifies as regressively conservative.