Nation’s Largest Taxpayer Group Honors Rep. Cliff Stearns with “Taxpayers’ Friend Award”

Nation’s Largest Taxpayer Group Honors Rep. Cliff Stearnswith “Taxpayers’ Friend Award”

WASHINGTON – Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) today was recognized for his outstanding pro-taxpayer voting record last year. The 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), a nonpartisan citizen group, has announced that Stearns is among the distinguished recipients of the 2011 “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.”

“As our nation continues to confront challenges to a strong economic recovery, fiscal discipline in Washington, DC has never been more important,” NTU President Duane Parde said. “Fortunately, residents of the Sixth District of Florida could count on Stearns, to whom National Taxpayers Union is proud to present a ‘Taxpayers’ Friend Award.’”

The award is given to Representatives and Senators who achieve an “A” grade in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress. The Rating, which is based on everyroll call vote affecting fiscal policy, assigns a “Taxpayer Score” to each Member of Congress that indicates his or her support for reducing or controlling federal spending, taxes, debt, and regulation. For 2011, a total of 337House and 234 Senate votes were selected.

“Stearns pro-taxpayer score was one of the best in the entire Congress,” Parde continued. “By casting principled votes for limited government time and again, Stearns has led by example in the fight to defend overburdened taxpayers across the country.”

Between 2010 and 2011, the average “Taxpayer Score” in the House rose from 42 percent to a rounded level of 50 percent. This is the first time the House mean has managed to reach the halfway mark since 1996. The Senate’s average inched up from 45 percent to 46 percent.

In the latest Congress, 53 lawmakers attained scores sufficient for an “A” grade (a minimum score of 85 percent in the House and 90 percent the Senate) and therefore won the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” – representing a decline from the 79 who achieved the honor in 2010. On the other hand, more than 200 Senators and Representatives were tagged with the title of “Big Spender” for posting “F” grades (20 percent or less in the House and 19 percent or less in the Senate).

Unlike those of other organizations, NTU’s annual Rating does not simplistically focus on only a handful of equally weighted “key votes.” For this reason, it has received praise from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including the late Sen. (and “Golden Fleece Award” creator) William Proxmire (D-WI).

If every Member of Congress voted as carefully as Stearns, current and future generations of Americans could enjoy much lower taxes and a less wasteful government,” Parde concluded. “Hard-working families in Florida and across the nation owe Stearns a debt of gratitude for his effort on their behalf. Cliff Stearns has truly earned the title ‘Taxpayers’ Friend.’”

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: The 2011 Rating and a searchable Rating database from 1992 to 2011 is available at For questions about the Rating, its history, or methodology, please contact NTU Communications Manager Doug Kellogg at (703) 683-5700.

Paid for by Friends of Cliff Stearns, Copyright 2012