WASHINGTON-The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has announced its Awards for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence in the 108th Congress. In all, the association chose 279 lawmakers to receive the award because they compiled at least a 70 percent record on NAM-designated "key manufacturing votes."

"When practically every campaigning incumbent claims to be concerned about American manufacturing, the NAM's voting records and awards make it easy to separate true allies from the many pretenders," says NAM President John Engler.

According to Engler, this year produced the largest number of congressional members to win recognition in the award's history. "It's gratifying to know that the NAM's efforts to educate lawmakers about the issues most critical to a healthy and prosperous manufacturing sector are paying off-our message is getting through."

According to Engler, "true allies of manufacturing" are those representatives who understand that the costs for such things as employee health care, regulatory compliance, taxes, energy, and defense against frivolous litigation must be controlled if American businesses are to compete successfully in global markets. He also says policymakers must address a "looming skills shortage" if U.S. workers are to meet the demands of 21st century manufacturing and that Congress "must help, not hinder" the expansion of American exports.

Voting records for every member of Congress, and other NAM award and key vote details are posted at www.nam.org/votingrecord.