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Stutzman in conservative group's top tier

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, was the most conservative member of Indiana’s delegation in the last session of Congress in the eyes of Heritage Action for America.

Washington-based Heritage Action has named Stutzman one of 29 “sentinels” of the 112th Congress. Those lawmakers scored 90 percent or higher on the conservative policy group’s legislative scorecard.

“Not only did they advance the conservative cause, but they also held back the incessant tide of tax increases, out-of-control spending, and harmful policies that breed dependency on government,” Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said in a statement.

Heritage Action is a sister organization to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Stutzman scored 90 percent and was the only Hoosier on the list of sentinels, which included six Republican senators and 23 Republicans in the House.

Top scores were 99 percent for former Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. DeMint resigned from the Senate in December to become president of the Heritage Foundation.

Former Republican Rep. Mike Pence – now Indiana’s governor – scored 80 percent; Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., scored 78 percent; and former Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly – now a senator – scored 23 percent.

Among votes that lawmakers were rated on were bills to repeal the health- care law, cut spending, increase the national debt limit and deny federal funds for Planned Parenthood and NPR.

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