To really understand how a place works, first you have to speak the language.
Key votes are one way lobbyists, advocates, and special interest groups flex their political muscles. If an amendment or bill is very important to an organization they will designate it a â€œkey vote,â€ to let members of Congress know that if they vote the wrong way they risk losing that groupâ€™s support. At the end of the year, when groups like the Chamber of Commerce or the AFL-CIO issue report cards for members of Congress, they base it largely on their key vote records. It can be a risky move though, to draw a line in the sand with Congress, so when a group key votes a bill theyâ€™ve got to make it count.
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