This year’s 120 Champions and Defenders of Children include 40 senators and 80 representatives who have stepped forward to make children a top priority in the Senate and House. Many others in Congress have taken important votes that would either improve the lives of children or protect children from harm or might prioritize children on a specific issue. What makes this group of 120 policymakers unique is that the have stepped forward to address problems facing America’s children across a range of issues.

And, as Congress debates and sets the nation’s federal priorities on policy and budget matters, they are willing to ask and demand a positive answer to the simple but critically important question: “Is it good for the children?”



We would also like to recognize our 2017 Defenders of Children.
These members of Congress have supported efforts to advance policies to improve the well being of kids.

  • Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
  • Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
  • Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
  • Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA)
  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
  • Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
  • Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
  • Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-CA)
  • Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)
  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
  • Rep. André Carson (D-IN)
  • Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)
  • Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)
  • Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA)
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
  • Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA)
  • Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
  • Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA)
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL)
  • Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)
  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
  • Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
  • Rep. John Katko (R-NY)
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)
  • Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
  • Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
  • Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)
  • Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
  • Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
  • Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA)
  • Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL)
  • Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
  • Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)
  • Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
  • Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)
  • Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)
  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)
  • Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)
  • Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)


State Delegation Rankings 2017


1. Rhode Island
2. Connecticut
3. New Mexico
4. Massachusetts
5. Oregon
6. California
7. Minnesota
8. New York
9. New Jersey
10. Hawaii
11. Illinois
12*. Delaware
12*. Maine
14. Nevada
15*. New Hampshire
15*. Vermont
17. Michigan


18. Washington
19. Maryland
20. Virginia
21. Colorado
22. Ohio
23. Pennsylvania
24. Florida
25. Wisconsin
26. Missouri
27. Alaska
28. Indiana
29. North Dakota
30. Arizona
31. West Virginia
32. Montana
33. Iowa


34. Louisiana
35. Texas
36. Utah
37. Nebraska
38. South Carolina
39. Alabama
40. Mississippi
41. Arkansas
42. Georgia
43. Kansas
44. South Dakota
45. Tennessee
46. Idaho
47. North Carolina
48. Oklahoma
49. Kentucky
50. Wyoming

*Denotes states that are tied in ranking


The rankings for congressional delegations are based on the combined total of:

  1. the average points earned by each state’s two senators

  2. the average points earned by each state’s congressional members

Therefore, the Senate members and House member(s) in state delegations each count for half of a state’s total points. An important component of the scorecard includes votes, so for purposes of comparison, we are only able to fairly include full voting members of the House of Representatives. Thus, the non-voting members from the District of Columbia and the territories cannot be fully scored and are not included.