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Many politicians talk about protecting the interests of the middle class, but how many actually vote that way? The Drum Major Institute, a public-policy think tank, just released its first annual review of every congressional members’ vote on key legislation in 2003 that significantly impacts America’s middle class, defined as people in the $25,000 to $100,000 income range. In “Middle Class 2003: How Congress Voted,” representatives were graded on their positions on three bills that hurt the middle class, according to the institute, and six that help. Pols’ votes were compared on bills that would provide additional child care funding, increase aid to home ownership programs, or limit federal bankruptcy protections. Overall, the Senate earned a B and the House a C, but the report found major divisions along party lines. Ninety-six percent of Senate Democrats got an A, while a quarter of Senate Republicans failed. In the House, the split was similarly striking: Nearly half of House Democrats earned an A, while two-thirds of House Republicans got an F. [05/31/04]

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