Members who score 85% or better qualify for annual "Hero of the Taxpayer" award to be presented 2/28/02 at US Capitol ceremony.Contact Damon Ansell at 202-785-0266 for details.

WASHINGTON – On February 28th, America\’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), will issue its "Hero of the Taxpayer" and "Enemy of the Taxpayer" awards during a ceremony at the United States Capitol. The group will also issue its 2001 ratings for the first session of Congress.

Taxpayer Advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR in Washington, said, "These awards show voters all across America which members of Congress represent taxpayers on important issues, not the raptorial government spending lobbies that swarm around the Congressional office buildings in Washington."

Fully 197 members of the U.S. House and 34 Senators will receive the "Hero of the Taxpayer" award, commemorated by a plaque, which praises their dedication to taxpayers and taxpayer issues.

Meanwhile, 157 House members and 41 Senators will receive the "Enemy of the Taxpayer" award. These legislators will receive no plaques.

The awards based on 20 important congressional votes on taxpayer issues throughout the first legislative session of the 107th Congress. Each vote counts for five points, with a highest possible score of 100. Heroes score 85 or above; enemies score 15 or below. Recipients\’ individual scores, as well as an explanation of the votes, can be found on ATR\’s website at:

"Taxes are the single most important domestic policy issue in America today," continued Norquist. "Until President Bush\’s tax relief legislation last year, when compared to the output of the American economy, taxes were at a post WWII high. But tax levels remain well above the historical average even with last year\’s tax cut, and more senators and representatives need to prove their mettle taxpayers by keeping the government small and our tax burden under control."