WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 — Sen. Conrad Burns was honored Tuesday by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) with its annual “Hero of the Taxpayer” award at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.
The taxpayer advocacy organization presents the awards to members of both houses of Congress who vote with taxpayers on 85 percent or more of the issues tracked by ATR as important to taxpayers.
“These key votes were the most critical for taxpayers in the second session of the 109th Congress,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and prominent D.C.-based activist. “Looking at these votes, taxpayers back home can tell if they have a friend or an enemy in Washington. As far as Conrad Burns is concerned, they have a friend.”
In addition to critical votes on the Death tax and other taxes, ATR also rated votes on comprehensive immigration reform, small business health plans, and the Bridge to Nowhere. The taxpayer group double-rated votes against the Death Tax, against tax-hiking “paygo” rules, and for extending capital gains and dividends that opened new markets for U.S. goods and removed tariffs and barriers on exports.
In the House, ATR double-rated a vote on earmark reform.
“During election season, every candidate is apt to allege that he or she will be a friend of taxpayers once in Washington,” Norquist said. “But the proof is in their votes. Constituents deserve to know who has worked for taxpayers’ interests, and not the special interests. Sen. Conrad Burns is squarely on the side of taxpayers, and Americans for Tax Reform offers thanks and congratulations.”
ATR counts its “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” as two votes in this annual rating. The pledge is a written promise offered to every incumbent and candidate opposing “any and all tax increases.” To date, the president, 223 members of the House of Representatives and 47 senators (including Sen. Burns) have signed the pledge.