While reading yet another press release from U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s office bragging about a bill he was
mooching cosponsoring with other lawmakers, it occurred to us that we never actually hear about any of Bennet’s own original legislation actually passing Congress and getting signed into law by President Obama.
So, we decided to check out Bennet’s legislative record through the Library of Congress, and what we found is dismal.
In short, not a single bill he has authored during this 2015-2016 session has been passed into law.
Instead of focusing on substantial legislation of his own, he appears to spend his time desperately latching onto hundreds of other bills through co-sponsorships in a feeble, and failed attempt to claim credit for someone else’s work.
The great thing about cosponsorships, there is absolutely no actual work involved for the senator or staff, except to pick up the phone and call the people who actually did all the work and say, “hey, add my name to the cosponsorship list,” and then put out a press release claiming credit for another lawmaker’s hard work.
So here’s the breakdown, plus some fascinating tidbits we found while poring over Bennet’s record.
Bennet has sponsored and cosponsored 458 measures. Of those, only 24 are his actual bills. None of the bills authored by Bennet were ever passed into law, many were just shuffled into a committee and left to die a sad and lonely death.
It doesn’t appear to be a great loss that his bills aren’t going anywhere. Those measures addressed carbon capture, cyber security and a wilderness bill, among others.
Of the 378 measures written by another lawmaker that he cosponsored, only six of those were actually passed into law.
Interestingly, one of the successful bills that did become law was authored by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.
What this shows is Bennet’s inability to legislate on his own, and that he’s dependent on riding the coattails of others to build up a legislative record.
Whose coattails? U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, for one. It turns out that Bennet cosponsored nine of the Republican majority leader’s measures, compared to seven of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bills.
We’re pretty sure Bennet’s Democrat base won’t be pleased to learn that.
He also mooched on Gardner’s press, cosponsoring 15 of his bills.
Bennet’s only legislative success, was in adding one sentence amendments to two bills that were passed into law; an education bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, and an appropriations bill.
However, his other 50 amendments failed to make it through the process.
So the next time you see a news report with Bennet bragging about all the hard legislative work he’s doing in Washington — the people’s business, for our benefit — keep in mind that it doesn’t really mean a thing.