RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH, MICHAEL MARTZ
Two Virginia representatives in Congress stand at the opposite ends of a new ranking of political bipartisanship among members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, was ranked the fifth most bipartisan member of the House and Rep. Bob Good, R-5th, the fifth least bipartisan in a new index based on the record of representatives and senators in working across party lines on legislation in the 117th Congress.
In the Senate, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., ranked 35th most bipartisan and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., ranked 50th.
The Lugar Center, founded by former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University published the new Bipartisan Index on Thursday, based on the performance of 435 representatives and 100 senators last year.
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This year’s rankings showed that congressional bipartisanship “plummeted” in 2021, said Dan Diller, policy director at the Lugar Center, who noted questions about “how well members of Congress would work together in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol” by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. The index measured performance in the first year of President Joe Biden’s term.
Virginia’s congressional delegation showed the same political polarization affecting the rest of the country, according to the new rankings, which measured how often members of Congress introduced bills with co-sponsors from the opposite political party or co-sponsored bills proposed by the other party.
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Diller, at the Lugar Center, called Spanberger “one of the stars of the Bipartisan Index.”
“Our index — based on objective sponsorship and co-sponsorship data — shows that Rep. Spanberger worked with Republicans with great consistency to advance legislation on behalf of her district and the country,” he said in a statement released by the congresswoman’s office.
Spanberger, who currently represents a district anchored in Henrico and Chesterfield counties, is facing a tough re-election campaign in a new district based in eastern Prince William County and the Fredericksburg area. Republicans will choose a nominee to oppose her from a field of six candidates in a primary on June 21.
“Virginians expect me to work tirelessly to get things done — and this mission necessitates finding common ground and working with both parties to achieve progress on the issues most important to the people I represent,” she said in a statement on Thursday announcing the rankings.
Spanberger was a member of a bipartisan, bicameral group that produced COVID-19 emergency relief packages in the final year of the Trump administration and the first year of Biden’s term.
At the other end, Good ranked 431st in the bipartisan index, just ahead of a trio of conservative Republicans — Andy Biggs of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — who anchor the far right of the party in the House. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., was ranked the least bipartisan member of the House.
A spokesman for Good could not immediately be reached for comment.
A resident of Campbell County in the Lynchburg area, Good is running for a second term in a newly drawn district that includes Goochland, Powhatan and Amelia counties, and part of Hanover County.
He faces a Republican challenger, Dan Moy, in a GOP convention on May 21. Democrats have nominated Josh Throneburg to challenge Good in the Republican-leaning district.
These are the rankings of Virginia’s other House representatives, descending in order of bipartisanship according to the Lugar Center:
Rep Elaine Luria, D-2nd, 26th;
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th, 72nd;
Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-10th, 79th;
Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-9th, 154th;
Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1st, 203rd;
Rep. Don Beyer, D-8th, 231st;
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-3rd, 240th;
Rep. Ben Cline, R-6th, 265th; and
Rep. Donald McEachin, D-4th, 341st.