Two GOP Congressmen Win Anti-War Group's Approval

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:31pm EDT

( - It is no surprise that 66 members of Congress and the only independent - U.S. Rep. Bernard Sanders of Vermont - were given high marks in an anti-war group's congressional voting scorecard Monday. What is surprising is that two Republicans also won praise.

North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones and Texas Rep. Ron Paul landed on the "honorable mentions" list. Both representatives voted to reduce military aid to Colombia, develop timetables for withdrawing troops from Iraq, prohibit torture, and restrict the Bush administration's ability to initiate military action against hostile nations. Paul also voted against an $82 billion emergency supplemental appropriations bill in 2005

The Peace Action Education Fund gave 27 House members - all Democrats and Sanders - 100 percent ratings. No senators earned a perfect score due to the 99-0 vote in that chamber in May of last year approving the $82 billion in appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

36 representatives - including the two Republicans -- and six senators received "honorable mentions" from the anti-war group.

Senators were judged on nine war-related issues, including the vote to confirm Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and the ultimately unsuccessful attempt by Senate Republicans to end a filibuster involving the nomination of John Bolton to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Although Bolton failed to win Senate confirmation, he was later given the position anyway in a recess appointment by President Bush.

The Peace Action Education Fund (PAEF) also judged senators on their support for bills calling for an investigation into allegations that the U.S. military used torture and secret detentions in dealing with suspected terrorists.

Representatives were judged on 12 votes, including the legislation calling on President Bush to develop a plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and the bill banning weapons in outer space.

"Never has it been as important for U.S. citizens to hold their representatives in Congress accountable on issues of war and peace as it has since George W. Bush launched his war against Iraq," PAEF director Kevin Martin said in a release.

In the report, Martin encouraged readers to hold members of Congress accountable. "Building congressional support for ending the war in Iraq is a top priority, and cutting off funding for the war is a key strategy for congressional and activist opponents of the war," he said.

Six Republican members of Congress - five representatives and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama - received zero ratings because they consistently voted on what PAEF considered the "pro-war" side of the issues.

Joe Eule, a spokesman for Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona, who received one of the zero ratings, dismissed the report. "Not too long ago peace protestors planned a demonstration at our Arizona office," Eule said. "Two people showed up. That tells you all you need to know about how popular the radical views of Peace Action are in Congressman Hayworth's congressional district."

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