Senators Rated on Non-domestic Issues of Jewish Concern

Democratic Sens. Hubert H. Humphrey (Minn.), Abraham A. Ribicoff (Conn.) and John V. Tunney (Calif.) and Republican Sens. Hugh Scott and Richard S. Schweiker (both Pa.) have scored 100 in the ratings compiled by the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies on the official actions of the Senate’s 100 members on non-domestic matters of Jewish concern. Sens. Jacob K. Javits (R.N.Y.) and Walter F. Mondale (D. Minn.) scored 97.

Sen. George McGovern (D.S.D.), the Democratic Presidential nominee, rated 87.5 ranking 15th in a tie with three other Senators. But McGovern out-scored Sens. James L. Buckley (R.-C. N.Y.), who got 83.5; Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D.Mass.), who got 81.5 each; Stuart Symington (D. Mo.), 63.5; Barry Goldwater (R.Ariz.), 55, and Frank Church (D. Ida.), 50. J. William Fulbright (D. Ark.) was the only Senator who scored zero.

The ratings reflect the Senatorial response over the past six years to 22 measures–six roll call votes and 16 miscellaneous legislative actions including military aid to Israel, aid for resettling Soviet Jewish emigres, Yiddish broadcasts to the Soviet Union, Iraqi Jews, “durable peace in the Middle East” and “denial of trade advantages to the Soviet Union so long as it restricts emigration through economic blackmail or other means.” This is the first time Congressmen have been rated on issues of importance to Jews.

EXPLAINS LOW RATING FOR JACKSON

Nathan Lewin, national director of the Center, admitted that the ratings have “caused comment from some Senators.” Lewin, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, singled out Jackson by name in explaining that “some” Senators are “well-known to the Jewish community and to its leaders as active proponents of aid to Israel, assistance for Soviet Jewry and advocacy of other concerns expressed by the community, yet they may–by inadvertence or otherwise–have failed to join a particular statement or cosponsor a particular resolution.”

Other members of the Senate “have signed their names to all the appropriate resolutions and declarations and have consistently voted in accordance with Jewish interests, but they cannot be relied upon to lead their colleagues in these areas,” Lewin said in attempting to explain the relatively low scores of Jackson and “some” others known as strongly pro-Israel. “There is, unfortunately, no objective measure of this kind of support,” he went on, “and the present rating is limited to such actions as can be objectively classified,” He said the polling system used was similar to those of the liberal-oriented Americans for Democratic Action, the conservative-oriented Americans for Constitutional Action and other groups.

Research on the ratings was carried out since June by Theodore N. Mirvis of Hampton, Va., a summer intern at the Center and a pre-law student at Yeshiva University, New York, and A. David Stern, a researcher at the Center. Prof, Harvey Lieber, academic director of the School of Government and Public Administration at American University here, assisted in the project. The Center was formed in 1971 by Lewin, and referred to as “Nats Gnats.”

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