Tech Law Journal Congressional Scorecard 1998
House Top Ten
(January 5, 1999) Tech Law Journal ranked the top ten members of the U. S. House of Representatives for high tech as follows.
This ranking is a part of the Tech Law Journal Congressional Scorecard 1998 series. All 100 Senators and all 435 Representatives were rated on a 0 to 100 scale on the basis of their support for high tech. The scorecard utilized five objective criteria (roll call votes on, and sponsorship of, bills pertaining to encryption, Internet tax moratorium, securities litigation reform, H1B visas, as well as membership in the Internet Caucus).
Notes on Methods
TOP TEN LISTS
|Senate Top 10
House Top 10
Urban vs. Rural
Age and Seniority
1. Rick White (R-WA, Score 100). White was active in co-sponsoring and passing many tech bills in 1998, including the WIPO bill, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), and the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA). He was a member of House Commerce Committee, and its Telecommunications Subcommittee. He was a founder and Co-chair of the Internet Caucus. He was an ever present participant in the Commerce Committee's marathon series of hearings on electronic commerce. He also co-sponsored a bill which did not pass that would have prevented the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the Internet. White was also voted out of office by his constituents.
2. Anna Eshoo (D-CA, Score 100). Eshoo is a low key, but highly effective legislator who focuses on legislation that is favorable for development of high tech business. This should not be surprising, since she represents Silicon Valley. She has been a lead sponsor and backer of several key bills, including the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) and the digital signatures bill. She was also involved in the process of passing a Year 2000 liability bill. As a member of the Commerce Committee, she is involved in most high tech related legislation.
3. Chris Cox (R-CA, Score 100). Cox represents a suburban district in Orange County. He lead the House fight for passage of the Internet Tax Freedom Act. He sits on the Commerce Committee, and Telecommunications Subcommittee. He is also a member of Republican Leadership, although he lost a contest to become Speaker. He has been active in drafting and passing other tech bills, and has also sought to limit government's power to regulate the Internet.
4. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA, Score 80). Goodlatte is one of only two Representatives without a perfect score to be selected for the Top Ten. He missed the vote on the SLUSA. (Missed votes were coded the same as "no" votes.) However, he supported the bill, and entered a statement in the Congressional Record to that effect. He makes the list because he is leading the fight in the House to enact encryption legislation. Also, he was active in passage of the WIPO bill. He also sponsored a bill to bar online gambling. He sits on the Judiciary Committee (which has jurisdiction over intellectual property matters), and he is now a Co-chairman of the Internet Caucus.
5. Billy Tauzin (R-LA, Score 100). This Congressman from "Cajun country" is the Chairman of Telecommunications Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over many issues of importance to high tech.industry. He also presided over most of the many hearings into issues affecting electronic commerce.
6. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA, Score 100). Lofgren is another representative of Silicon Valley. She makes the list because she is the lead co-sponsor of the encryption bill. She is also a member of Judiciary Committee.
7. David Dreier (R-CA, Score 100). Despite his youth, he has been in Congress long enough to build up seniorty. With the retirement of Rep. Solomon, he should become the new chairman of the House Rules Committee, which is the "gatekeeper" for all legislation. Solomon was an opponent of encryption legislation. Dreier is a supporter. Dreier was also active in promoting two different Y2K liability limitation bills.
8. Tom Campbell (R-CA, Score 100). Campbell is yet a third representative of Silicon Valley. He tries to be active in passing tech bills, but his problem is that he is not on committee with jurisdiction over these matters. He is not popular with Republican leaders and many of the rank and file. His is liberal Republican. He gave up his House seat to run for the Senate, and then came back. And, he was involved in a failed Gingrich coup. He wants a seat on the Judiciary committee, where his legal and economics background would be important assets for drafting intellectual property legislation.
9. Jennifer Dunn (R-WA, Score 100). Dunn is a member of the House Republican leadership, as well as the important Ways and Means Committee. She has been, and probably will continue to be, a player in tax issues affecting telecom, capital gains (key to raising capital for high tech companies), and the "e-rate".
10. Rick Boucher (D-VA, Score
80). This is a difficult call. Boucher would have had a perfect
score, and would have been shoo-in for the Top Ten, if he had voted for the H1B
bill. He is very intelligent, well versed in tech issues, and generally supportive
of high tech. Moreover, he is in a position to assist high tech. He sits the two key
committees -- Commerce and Judiciary. The Judiciary Committee will likely take up patent,
database protection, and Y2K liability bills the 106th Congress. In the just
ended 105th Congress, Boucher had a hand in drafting or revising many tech
bills. He was also a co-sponsor of HR 4455, a Year 2000 liability limitation bill.
For these reasons, he is placed ahead of eighteen Representatives who had perfect
scores of 100.
Some Representatives Who Did Not Make the Top Ten
Tom Bliley (R-VA, Score 40). Chairman Bliley is far more supportive of high tech than his score suggests. He voted for SLUSA and H1B, but did not cosponsor the encryption or ITFA bills. As chairman of the House Commerce Committee, he has had a major say over what legislation affecting high tech gets passed. He uses his his power to advance legislation that is favorable for high tech industry.
Barney Frank (D-MA, Score 80). The Barney Frank often portrayed in the mass media is a bomb throwing radical Democrat who will defend any liberal social cause, and any transgression of Bill Clinton. But there is another Barney Frank. He is also the ranking minority member of the Courts and Intellectual Property Subcommittee, which oversees the Patent and Trademark Office, and has jurisdiction over bills pertaining to patents, trademarks, copyright, and database protection. On this subcommittee he is hard working, soft spoken, and collegial. Frank is a closet techno drudge. He did not make the Top Ten list because he did not cosponsor the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Pete Sessions (R-TX, Score 100). Sessions was first elected in 1996, but has already won a seat on the Rules Committee. He is the son of a former FBI Director, but supports encryption legislation opposed by the currrent FBI Director. He is also one of a small number of Representatives with a background in the tech industry. He worked for SBC Communications. He is one of the new breed of young Representatives from rural districts who love high tech.
Bart Gordon (D-TN, Score 100). Gordon also scored a perfect 100. He sits on the Commerce Committee. He is another one of the rural "rural techies."
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX, Score 80). Inner city Represenatives scored very low on the Scorecard. Lee is an exception. Also, she holds a seat on the House Judiciary Committee.