According to a congressional scorecard published this week by the Human Rights Campaign, nearly every member of the Maryland congressional delegation has voted in favor of human and civil rights bills considered during the 116th Congress, earning a perfect score of 100%.
The odd man out is Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R) who has voted in opposition to each bill that the organization used to grade members of Congress, earning a score of 0% — not just for this year but for the last three.
Harris, the delegation’s only Republican, is facing Mia Mason (D), a military veteran and champion of LGBTQ rights, in his bid for a sixth term.
The report card scored lawmakers based on their votes on a series of civil rights and anti-discrimination bills, including:
The Equality Act, which would provide LGBTQ individuals protections from discrimination in employment, credit, housing, education and federal programs;
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which would reinstall certain domestic violence programming;
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020 which would expand the government’s ability to combat voter discrimination;
The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which seeks to give Dreamers the ability to apply for permanent legal status and eventual U.S. citizenship;
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which looked to ensure that all gun sales require background checks;
And the article to impeach President Trump.
All of these initiatives passed in the House.
Lawmakers were also graded on their co-sponsorship of several other civil rights initiatives, including:
The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which would classify conversion therapy as a fraudulent and harmful practice and require the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers against it;
The Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2019, which would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to mandate school districts in states that receive funding under the initial bill to enforce rules that would ban harassment against individuals on the basis of their race, color, sex, orientation, fender identity, national origin, religion or disability;
The Every Child Deserves A Family Act, which would bar public child welfare agencies that receive federal funding from discriminating against children and adoptive or foster families on the basis of their their gender expression, sexual orientation or marital status;
The FAMILY Act, which would provide aid to working families following the birth or adoption of a child, as well as in personal circumstances, like illness, which would require them to take a leave of absence from their jobs;
And the International Human Rights Defense Act of 2019, which would make the prevention of violence or discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community a foreign policy priority.
All of these were supported by the Human Rights Campaign. Every Democrat in the Maryland delegation, save for Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), who was sworn into former Rep. Elijah Cummings’ (D-Md.) seat in May, scored 100% on the score card’s grading scale. Mfume was not included in the tally.
Harris voted in opposition to each of these measures.
The report card also took a look at how lawmakers voted on amendments the HRC opposed, specifically:
The Cole Amendment, which would have removed a provision of the FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, Foreign Operations and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act that sought to allow medical professionals to deny care to LGBTQ individuals and people needing “reproductive care”;
And the Duncan Amendment that sought to remove a provision of the Further Continuing Appropriations Act that would have codified the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s guidance regarding the placement of transgender people in single-sex emergency shelters.
Both of these amendments were defeated. All of the Democratic members of the delegation voted in opposition to these amendments. Harris voted in favor of the Cole amendment, but withheld his vote for the Duncan amendment.
Maryland Matters reached out to Harris for comment on his scores, but did not receive an immediate response.