By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter | Thursday, September 15, 2022
WASHINGTON — A parental rights organization has awarded more than half the members of Congress an “F” on its Congressional Report Card as it seeks to assist mothers in making informed decisions about who to support in the upcoming midterm elections.
The parental rights advocacy group Moms for America held a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday to unveil its Congressional Report Card, which graded members of the 117th Congress based on what the organization classified as “12 key issues that matter most to moms.” Moms for America President and Founder Kimberly Fletcher spoke at the event alongside Aly Legge, the organization’s family lobby manager, and Debbie Kraulidis, vice president of Moms for America.
Two of the lawmakers who received an “A” rating or higher from the organization, Reps. Billy Long, R-Mo., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., also spoke at the press conference. In a group that includes both Long and Greene, 43 Republican members received a grade of “A+,” 47 received a grade of “A,” and 79 received a grade of “A-.” A total of nine senators, all Republicans, received a grade of “A+” on the report card, while an additional 12 Senate Republicans received a grade of “A.”
Senators receiving a grade of “A” or higher constitute less than half the 50-member Senate Republican conference and a sizable majority of the House Republican conference. More than half of lawmakers in both chambers received grades of “F.” All 50 Democrats and six Republicans received a grade of “F” in the Senate, while all Democrats and three Republicans received a grade of “F” in the House.
The House Republicans awarded a grade of “F” were Reps. Connie Conway, R-Calif., Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn. Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
In a statement issued ahead of the event, Moms for America President Kimberly Fletcher declared, “We are excited to release our first-ever Congressional Report Card, and are more excited to distribute our report card to the hundreds of thousands of mothers who are headed to the polls in a few short months.”
“Moms represent a key voting block, and they are typically responsible for providing for their children’s education, their diets, their healthcare and their safety,” she added. “From Medical Mandates to Mask Mandates, from radical Critical Race Theory to Gender Equality, from the right to keep and bear arms to School Choice, our 2022 Report Card finds both political parties lacking the will to take necessary steps to protect the interests of America’s moms.”
After identifying her organization as a “national movement of moms working to reclaim our culture for truth, family, freedom and the Constitution” and comprising “over 500,000 moms across the country in all 50 states,” Fletcher said, “We’re in the midst of a mom-led revolution. That revolution is about reclaiming our culture, and we’re going to start by doing it in our homes by promoting those principles of liberty that matter to us and made us the freest, most prosperous nation on Earth.”
Fletcher described the purpose of the Congressional Report Card as part of her organization’s efforts to “help moms know who it is that’s representing them and what it is that they stand for.” In addition to the Congressional Report Card, Moms for America has created a questionnaire that candidates for office who are not serving in the U.S. Congress can fill out. Based on their responses to those questions, the candidates will receive grades.
Fletcher told The Christian Post that Moms for America is distributing the Congressional Report Card to “hundreds of thousands of moms” across the U.S. ahead of the midterm elections. “We’re sending it out over email, text, social media, and we have network partners all across the country.”
The parental rights activist expressed optimism that her organization’s network of hundreds of thousands of mothers would spread the report card far and wide: “If you have any familiarity with the way moms work, it’s a word of mouth thing and we share what we like.”
Fletcher added, “The simple answer is the Constitution of the United States” when addressing the wide disparity in grades among members of Congress. “Those who got an ‘A’ grade, they knew that when they raised their hand and took an oath to defend the Constitution that that meant something, and they knew what that Constitution said.”
“They say a lot of things but when they go down to vote, they don’t vote the way that they speak,” Fletcher told CP. “That’s the reason why this report card is so important. It isn’t just repeating what they say on a campaign site or a stump speech. It’s actually showing how they voted when that was brought up, when that specific issue or policy was brought up.”
Fletcher said her group also sent a questionnaire to congressional candidates running for Congress and Moms for America will score and publish the candidates’ responses ahead of the midterm elections.
In addition to the Congressional Report Card and the candidate questionnaire, Fletcher explained that Moms for America has a “massive ground game” that is “helping moms get registered to vote.”
Moms for America has created a project called MomVote, which helps mothers learn about the “voting process, how it works” and gives them information about “who the candidates are, what the issues are” and “the process of registering to vote.”
“We’re also mobilizing our moms on the ground and doing the same thing we’ve done in the last two years in elections: doing the ground game, knocking on doors, sharing information via email and text.”
Fletcher reported that her organization has no plans to update the Congressional Report Card to reflect additional votes ahead of the 2022 midterm elections but will take such votes into consideration in future Congressional Report Cards and “will make these things available on the website” in the form of a database containing information about lawmakers and candidates.
Moms for America plans on releasing a new Congressional Report Card every election cycle, meaning every two years, with the future goal of releasing it every year.
The votes that determined the lawmakers’ grades included controversial legislation that has passed the U.S. House of Representatives but failed to gain traction in the Senate. Most notably, the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have codified the right to abortion into federal law and the Equality Act, which would have codified nondiscrimination protections for LGBT identifying individuals into federal law.
Critics of the Equality Act worry about its implications for women’s sports, specifically expressing concern that it would require schools to allow biological males who identify as females to compete on women’s sports teams despite the physiological differences between men and women that give males an advantage over their biologically female counterparts.
Additionally, the lawmakers’ grades took into account their votes on lesser-known legislation, including the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, which Moms for America has characterized as the “More than 2 Genders Act.” Other bills the grades took into consideration included lawmakers’ votes on gun control bills, measures that would have increased federal oversight over elections, a bill that would have given statehood to Washington, D.C., an aid package designated for Ukraine and stimulus packages including the so-called Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan.
In the statement released ahead of Wednesday’s press conference, Moms for America explained why it penalized lawmakers for supporting certain legislation not directly related to education. The group specifically highlighted its opposition to the Ukrainian aid bill because it “sent billions of dollars to Ukraine, while America’s moms are struggling to put food on the table and gas in their minivans.”
Concerns about inflation, the economy and crime figured prominently at Wednesday’s press conference, where Fletcher decried “what’s going on in our country today.” She spoke of “a serious downgrade in everything that we care about, from freedom, to the protection of our children, to the education that they’re receiving” in the first two years of the Biden administration.
The release of Moms for America’s Congressional Report Card comes as education has emerged as a major point of contention in American politics. The teaching of critical race theory, the inclusion of sexually explicit material and LGBT ideology in school curriculum, efforts by school officials to encourage students to transition their gender without parental knowledge and the promotion of comprehensive sex education characterized by critics as inappropriate for children has led to outrage among American parents.
This outrage has led to the formation of advocacy groups such as Parents Defending Education and the 1776 Project PAC, which supports candidates for school board elections that oppose critical race theory and “want to reform our public education system by promoting patriotism and pride in American history.”
Last month, several school board elections in Florida resulted in candidates endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC and the state’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis performing very well, including in populous metropolitan areas that usually favor Democratic candidates. Fletcher described the school board elections in Florida as a “precursor of things to come” in the upcoming midterm elections. “The moms are making a major difference.” She concluded her interview with CP by proclaiming that “the most important thing about this election is that we get out and we vote, that our values are represented and that our voices are heard.” She lamented that “the vast majority of conservative women of faith aren’t voting. Most of them aren’t even registered to vote.”
“If you think that this mom-led revolution is just a little thing that’s going to come and go, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” she vowed.