An anti-Trump conservative group is launching an effort to track and evaluate whether Republicans in Congress, in the group’s view, have acted to either undermine or uphold democracy and democratic values and what role, if any, they played in attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
The Republican Accountability Project has created what it’s calling a “GOP Democracy Report Card,” which assigns grades to Republican members of Congress ranging from an “A,” which the group describes as excellent, to an “F,” which it describes as very poor. The details of the report card were first shared with CNN ahead of its release on Monday.
The group behind the effort, the Republican Accountability Project, is led by Republicans and conservatives who were outspoken in their opposition against former President Donald Trump’s reelection, including former Trump administration officials Olivia Troye and Elizabeth Neumann. The group operates as part of the advocacy organization Defending Democracy Together founded by prominent Trump critic Bill Kristol and Sarah Longwell, a longtime conservative and Republican consultant.
Only 14 Republicans in Congress received an “A,” the highest possible grade. In contrast, more than 100 Republicans received an “F,” the lowest possible grade.
The initiative and its findings underscore the divide in the Republican Party over how to move forward in the wake of the deadly January 6 Capitol attack and Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen. While many in the party continue to embrace the former President and his political legacy, some Republicans and conservatives have argued that the party must change course and hold those who participated in efforts to overturn the election accountable for their actions.
In an interview, Troye, a former top aide to Vice President Mike Pence who now serves as a director of the Republican Accountability Project, described the report card as a “reference tool” and informational resource for voters that can be updated over time in light of new events and Republican lawmakers’ actions.
Troye, who calls herself “a radically moderate conservative,” said the report card “says a lot about where the Republican Party is” and “speaks to the overall direction of where the GOP is based on where Trump has played a role and led it and how Trumpism has taken ahold of the base of the party.”
The grades are based on a set of four criteria and how lawmakers acted in relation to them, including whether a GOP lawmaker objected to the certification of Electoral College votes and if he or she voted to impeach or convict Trump for inciting the deadly January 6 attack.
The other two criteria the Republican Accountability Project evaluated lawmakers on was whether they have publicly made statements that cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and whether they signed on to an amicus brief backing a lawsuit from Texas to the Supreme Court that sought to overturn the results of the election in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia.
The report card is also an effort to shine a spotlight on what GOP lawmakers did in the run up to and immediate aftermath of the election so that those events — and their actions — won’t be forgotten.
“Actions have consequences and this is part of us working to hold these individuals accountable and not let them get away with it as time passes and they try to move past it and paint it under a different light,” Troye said, adding that voters can also use the tool to identify lawmakers “who have been actively trying to do what’s right for the country.”
Some of the GOP lawmakers assigned an “A” grade according to the rating system include: Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as well as House GOP conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican.
Some of the GOP lawmakers who received an “F” grade include: House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California, House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who recently announced a Senate campaign and placed his baseless opposition to the certification of the 2020 election at the center of his candidacy.
CNN reached out to the offices of the six lawmakers to request comment.
Romney, Murkowski and Cheney all voted to either impeach or convict Trump, did not object to the certification of Electoral College votes and did not sign onto the Texas amicus brief. In contrast, McCarthy, Scalise and Brooks voted against impeachment, signed onto the Texas amicus brief and supported objections to the Electoral College certification.
The Republican Accountability Project has profile pages on its website for GOP lawmakers in the report card database, some of which feature notable public statements related to events like the election and the Capitol attack.
Cheney’s profile displays an excerpt from her January statement announcing that she would vote to impeach Trump. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” it reads.
McCarthy’s profile page features a comment the House GOP leader made to Fox News in which he said, “President Trump won this election. So everyone who’s listening, do not be quiet, do not be silent about this. We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes, we need to unite together.”