Citing significant gains made in last week's election, the Consumer Federation of America is predicting the new 98th Congress will be "decidedly more pro-consumer" next year.
In an analysis of last week's wins and losses released this week, CFA--the nation's largest consumer group--noted that a significantly large number of anti-consumer congressmen were defeated.
Of the five senators who were defeated or are retiring, four "have lifetime CFA voting records of less than 25 percent, placing them among the worst anti-consumer members of the Senate," CFA said. The four are: S. I. Hayakawa (R-Calif.), Harrison Schmitt (R-N.M.), Nicholas F. Brady (R-N.J.), and Harry F. Byrd Jr. (I-Va.).
What's more, CFA's legisaltive representative Glen Nishimura noted, of the 81 retiring or defeated House members, 75 percent "have consumer voting records signficantly lower than the House as a whole. And over 40 percent (34 of 81) voted the consumer position less than 25 percent of the time."
Even better, Nishimura said, many of the new congressmen are "consumer heros in their own right." Among those are Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who defeated Schmitt.
"All indications point to the conclusion that the upcoming 98th Congress will be decidedly more pro-consumer," CFA said.
CFA was particularly encouraged that the House Energy and Commerce Committee--which orginates more consumer bills than any other House committee--will lose nine of its present members, of whom all but one have done poorly on consumer issues, according to CFA.