How Globally Minded Will the New U.S. Congress Be?

It is fair to say that today’s election is not, exactly, going to turn on foreign policy.  Still, the group of lawmakers voted into office today will have a set of global issues vying for their attention. There may be key votes on treaties like START, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Law of the Sea Treaty, and also issues like UN funding, State Department authorization, and foreign development assistance.

So how does the slate of candidates up for election today fare on those issues? I turn to Citizens for Global Solutions, which is a DC-based political action committee that tracks members of congress and candidates on these issues.  CGS sent out a questionnaire to candidates containing a number of questions important to their members. The questions range from the philosophical:

Within the last decade, the U.S. role in the geopolitical landscape has shifted away from being seen as a constructive leader. What role do you believe the U.S. should play in the world today?

To the very specific:

Do you support the full and timely payment by the U.S. of its funding obligations to the U.N. and its special fund for peacekeeping operations? Will you vote to oppose legislation that withholds or conditions the payments of dues by the U.S. to the U.N.?

27 candidates from both political parties responded to these questions (though the vast majority of respondents were Democrats.)  In addition to the questionnaire, CGS issues a “Congressional Report Card” based on how members of congress have voted on key pieces of legislation pertaining to treaties, State Department funding, the United Nations, human rights, climate change, and other priorities for CGS.Of the eight serving Senators that received an A+, only one (Barbara Boxer, D-California) is up for re-election.  Joe Sestak, who received an A+ as a member of the House of Representatives, is now running for Senate in Pennsylvania.   Of the 24 members of the House that received an A+, 22 are seeking re-election.

When the dust settles today, you can cross reference the results with these two tools to see how many global superstars remain in U.S. Congress.   And if you are an American, well, stop reading this post, find your F-@&$$& polling place, and cast your ballot!