With deep divisions in the country and the emergence of right-leaning political movements - such as the Tea Party - there are plenty of congressmen in the House and Senate vying to be among the most conservative members of the legislature. Read on to see who are the most conservative members of Congress as compiled by Conservative Review, Graphiq, a data-compiling website that looks at various sources to generate tables and statistics on current issues, and the "National Journal," a conservative publication.
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)
Texas Rep. Pete Olson is the most conservative member of the House, says Graphiq, which used data from GovTrack. Olson introduced the Taxpayer Conscience Protection Act, antiabortion legislation that would require states to report on how Medicaid funds are spent on abortion providers. He also supports President Donald Trump's border wall and is working with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to defund Planned Parenthood. Graphiq says that Olson tied as the most conservative congressman with Sen. James M. Inhofe. Both received Graphiq's "Ideology Score" of 1, which is the equivalent of a 100-percent conservative voting score.
Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK)
Oklahoma Sen. James “Jim” Inhofe ranked as the most conservative senator, according to GovTrack's data. He introduced the Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2015, which hoped to promote permanent families and provide securities for unwed mothers, says Graphiq. The bill also suggested the creation of a National Responsible Father Registry, which would provide “a mechanism to determine whether there are any possible fathers who may have an interest in participating in the placement decisions of the child.”
Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
Graphic gave Babin, a Texas Republican, at score of 0.98 - or a 98 percent conservative record. He introduced the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act of 2015, which intended to stop refugees from coming into the U.S. in order to evaluate the potential costs. Babin noted how the legislation “also gives us an opportunity to examine potential national security issues related to entry and resettlement, particularly as federal law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about home-grown terrorists.”
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen. Pat Roberts, the senior senator from Kansas, earned a 0.97 ideology rating from Graphic because he introduced the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act, which disqualifies individuals with large tax debts from federal employment. Roberts has also been a strong proponent of President Donald Trump's termination of the DACA program - President Barak Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order, which offers protection to children of immigrants who have come to the U.S. illegally. “The president has done the right thing in allowing this challenge to be resolved in the Congress where it should be debated, and a bipartisan, reasonable and permanent solution can be reached," Roberts said on his own website.
Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN)
Conservative Review gave Kustoff a 100-percent conservative rating and placed the Tennessee representative at the top of its list of most conservative members of Congress. Kustoff voted yes on: Kate's Law, a bill that proposed increasing criminal penalties for individuals in the country illegally who are convicted of certain crimes, deported, and then reenter the U.S.; the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which withholds federal funds from states and localities that do not follow federal immigration laws; and a House bill to repeal the Affordable Health Care for America Act, also known as "Obamacare," according to Ballotpedia, which bills itself as the encyclopedia of American politics.
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, a Republican from Idaho, is among the Senate members ranked by the "National Journal" as being among the most conservative congressmen. He scored an 89.7 rating, meaning that he was more conservative than about 90 percent of his colleagues in the Senate when it came to votes on important issues. Crapo introduced the Local Leadership in Education Act, which would limit the federal government's power to allocate funding to states based on the adoption of specific academic standards, Graphiq notes.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, is also among the Senate members ranked by the "National Journal" as being the most conservative. He scored an 89.7 rating, meaning that he was more conservative than about 90 percent of his colleagues in the Senate when it came to votes on important issues. Barrasso introduced the Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act, which would expedite the approval process for permits for natural gas pipelines on federal and Indian land, Grapiq notes.
Sen. James Risch (R-ID)
Risch, a Republican from Idaho, is also among the Senate's most conservative members as ranked by the "National Journal." Graphiq also gave Risch a top conservative ranking - a 0.95 rating, which is equivalent to a 95 percent conservative voting record. Risch introduced the Small Business Lending Reauthorization Act, which seeks to improve loans for small businesses, says GovTrack.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Sessions from Texas cosponsored the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act, which provides safeguards against federal regulations. Among other bills, Sessions voted: to ban federal health coverage that includes abortion; against expanding research involving embryonic stem cells; and for restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions, notes OnTheIssues, a political website that tracks the voting records of members of Congress.