U.S. Chamber gives Vern Buchanan high marks, Frederica Wilson low ones
Vern Buchanan, Frederica Wilson.

Buchanan Wilson
Marco Rubio and Rick Scott scored in the 80s.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued high marks to Rep. Vern Buchanan for his legislative record this year. Rep. Frederica Wilson, on the other hand, did earn a passing grade from the group.

The most prominent pro-business lobby in the nation, the U.S. Chamber just released its annual scorecard for every Senator and Representative in Congress. That included scores in the 80s for both of Florida’s Senators, Republicans Marco Rubio (83% and Rick Scott (86%).

Rubio earned an 89% legislative score based on whether he took the same position as the Chamber on nine issues, voting differently only on a cloture vote for Kimberly Reed’s confirmation as Export-Import Bank president. But he received only a 47% score on leadership as he served as a sponsor on Chamber-backed legislation just twice in the year. The chamber also gives a grade on how often legislators work across the aisle and graded Rubio with a 72% bipartisanship score.

Scott, a freshman Senator, scored an 86% overall score, including an 89% legislative score, but for failing to agree with the Chamber on minting a coin to commemorate the opening of a National Law Enforcement Museum. The Chamber supported that move, but Scott did not. But Scott earned a 96% leadership score, which balanced out just a 53% score for bipartisanship.

In the House, Buchanan, a Sarasota Republican, tallied a higher Chamber grade than any Florida lawmaker, including either Senator.

“I’m honored to be recognized for supporting bipartisan policies that create jobs and grow the economy,” Buchanan said. “With so many people unemployed it’s critical to help workers and small businesses get back on their feet.”

He scored an overall grad of 96%, including a 100% as far as his votes on legislation. That means he held the same view as the Chamber on 18 House actions. He co-sponsored three Chamber-favored bills, earning a score of 63% as far as leadership. But he was buoyed by a 94% score for bipartisanship.

Hollywood Democrat Wilson, meanwhile, boasts the Florida Delegation’s lowest Chamber grade, with a 51%.. She actually supported the Chamber’s legislative agenda this year 60% of the time. But she scored just a 31% leadership score, thanks to co-sponsoring three bills the Chamber opposed and just one the organization supported. The biggest hit to her score, though, came form only a 3% score for bipartisanhip.

As expected, Republicans as a whole performed better on the scorecard than Democrats. Four other Florida Republicans besides earned scores in the 90s: Reps. Gus Bilirakis (94%), Mario Diaz-Balart, (94%), John Rutherford (93%) and Michael Waltz (90%). Retiring Rep. Francis Rooney earned the lowest GOP score from Florida with 59%.

Meanwhile, only three other Florida Representatives earned scores in the 50s besides Wilson, all of them Democrats: Kathy Castor (59%), Alcee Hastings (55%), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (57%). The highest scores for Democrats in the Delegation went to Reps. Charlie Crist and Stephanie Murphy, who both earned a 69%.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].



    June 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, in fact, chambers of commerce at all levels, are nothing but primary sponsors, promoters, and propagandists for the Republican Party. And, of course, since the post WW II period, Republicans everywhere have been the party of Big Business and monied special interests … and chambers of commerce have often been their mouthpieces. Like the stock market – chambers of commerce are mostly irrelevant to the American working class.

  • martin

    June 23, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    I can hear the cries from the left; “the grading scale of the chamber be racess..”

    Ted isn’t that what you really meant to say?

  • leon judge

    June 25, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Fredericka Wilson has represented one of the poorest communities in this state for decades. Guess what these folks unfortunately are still poor. Empty Hat….

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704