Congress and the art of “getting something done”

capitolRenee Ellmers has spent nearly four years in Congress.  For that entire period, the Dunn Republican has served in a Republican majority. Ellmers is all over the TV and newspapers.  It’s clear she enjoys the limelight.   She’s introduced 27 bills in the House — but only two have made it out of committee.    (Both of those were in 2011 — just a few months after she was sworn in to her first term.)

In the race for US Senate, Kay Hagan has been attacked for not having a “major” piece of legislation pass the Senate and get signed into law. Actually, she’s introduced 194 pieces of legislation in her nearly six years in office.  Only four have passed the Senate.

Let’s compare her record with that of Republican Richard Burr.  Burr is finishing his second term.  He was first elected in 2004 and spent two years as a member of a GOP majority.  (Hagan has been in a Democrat majority her whole term.)  In nearly 12 years in the Senate, Burr has introduced 250 pieces of legislation.  Eleven have been reported out of committee successfully, and THREE have passed the Senate.   Ten bills he has sponsored have been signed into law by the president. 

The late Senator Jesse Helms, who served 30 years, introduced 600 bills and 115 of those made it out of committee.  Forty-two of those passed the Senate and 30 were signed into law by the president.

Back in the House, we can look at freshman Mark Meadows (R-11th).  In his nearly two years in office, he has introduced ten bills and had three make it out of committee.  All three passed the House, while ONE has been signed into law by the president.

Freshman Rep. George Holding has introduced FOUR pieces of legislation in his nearly two years in office.  One has made it out of committe, and ONE has been signed into law by the president.

Patrick McHenry (R-10th) has served nearly ten years in the US House. He has introduced 22 bills, and had only two of them make it out of committee. Three of his bills have passed the House, and ONE has been signed into law by the president.

3 thoughts on “Congress and the art of “getting something done”

  1. I think Clay Aiken can get things done. The other members of Congress will realize that he is a star and will flock to his side and support his bills. Clay Aiken represents the values of the 2nd district. The world is changing and electing Aiken will show the world that the 2nd district is in the forefront of change.

  2. I don’t want them to get anything done.The more they do the worse it gets.At least she is good looking.A rare treat among all the very unattractive people in politics.I don’t believe we would miss any of them if they just stayed home.

  3. If “getting things done” means creating more laws which invariably cost us more money, infringe on our constitutional rights, favor donors or special interests, and expand the size and the scope of our federal government which already operates well outside of of its enumerated powers, then I’m all for “getting things undone.” What the government is supposed to do, it doesn’t. I’d be thrilled if the next congress spent its entire two year term repealing prior legislation. If it’s not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, it’s the province of the states or of the people. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. I don’t need the governments help selecting a toilet or a light bulb.

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