Out of curiosity, I did a search at www.govtrack.us to see what our federal government accomplished last year. My search included all the legislation sponsored by either house that was signed into law in 2009. Here’s the round up:
Democrat Sponsored Legislation:
- H.R. 1626: Statutory Time-Periods Technical Amendments Act of 2009 (co-sponsors from both major parties)
- H.R. 1687, H.R. 2162, H.R. 2004, H.R. 2053, H.R. 1713, H.R. 1284, H.R. 1397, H.R. 1271: All of these either name or rename a various government buildings (courthouses, post offices …) in honor of a specific person. Most of these have co-sponsors from both major parties.
- H.R. 1512: Federal Aviation Admin. Extension Act of 2009 (co-sponsors from both major parties)
- H.R. 1541: Provides additional temporary extension of programs under Small Business Act & Small Business Investement Act of 1958 (Democrat co-sponsors only)
- H.R. 1777: Makes technical corrections to the Higher Education Act of 1965 (co-sponsors from both major parties).
- H.R. 2131: Amends the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 to reauthorize the U.S. Advisory Commision on Public Diplomacy (Democrat co-sponsors only).
- H.R. 1016: Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009 (co-sponsors from both major parties)
- H.R. 1105: Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (no co-sponsors)
- H.R. 1127: Extends certain immigration programs (no co-sponsors)
- H.R. 146: Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (co-sponsors from both major parties)
- H.R. 1: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Bill) (Democrat co-sponsors only)
- H.R. 2: Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (Democrat co-sponsors only)
- H.R. 1209: Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 (co-sponsors from both parties)
- H.R. 1388: Serve America Act (Democrat co-sponsors only)
- H.R. 1275 Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act of 2009 (1 Republican co-sponsor)
- H.R. 1243: To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer to recognize his service and promotion of excellence and good sportsmanship in golf (co-sponsors from both major parties)
- H.R. 1256: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (co-sponsors from both major parties)
Republican Sponsored Legislation:
- H.R. 1595, H.R. 1516, H.R. 2215, H.R. 2090: All of these name or rename post office buildings (co-sponsors from both major parties)
- H.R. 2121: Authorizes the conveyance of a parcel of property in Texas to the Galveston Historical Foundation (co-sponsors from both major parties)
- H.R. 131: Establishes a Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission (co-sponsors from both major parties)
In comparing the Democrat sponsored legislation with the Republican sponsored legsilation, what do we see? A paltry amount of Republican legislation has been passed. And it isn’t even any legislation of significance: naming post offices, a land grant, and establishing a commission for the celebration of Reagan’s birthday.
Does this mean that Republicans didn’t introduce any other legislation? Not at all. Looking through the records, Republicans introduced into Congress hundreds of bills. The thing to remember is that the party in charge gets to pick what is brought up for debate and vote. When all of congress is controlled by the Democrats, there is virtually no chance of any Republican bill of substance even being debated, let alone voted on. So, it is no wonder that Republican accomplishments are limited.
Expect more of the same for this coming year as Democrats really aren’t interested in any legislation the Republicans introduce. This is the lesson of one party rule. It’s something to remember come election time this year.