Rand Paul

Brookings Moneyball Scores: Ted Cruz Most Efficient Senator, Ron Wyden and Rand Paul Most Effective

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The Brookings Institute has released scores ranking how effective members of Congress were in 2013. And by "effective" they mean how effective congresspersons were at getting their proposed legislation through committee, a major hurdle in the legislative process. What they find may surprise you.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the most efficient Senator, which means Cruz got the highest percentage of his proposed bills through committee (7 out of 8). Compare this to Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) who proposed 61 pieces of legislation and literally none of them made it through committee.

Using another metric to define productivity, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had the highest number of their bills make it through committee, 13 and 11 respectively. Thinking about this another way for instance, Rand Paul was 4x as effective at getting bills through committee than the average Senator would be expected to.

It may surprise some that Paul and Cruz, two senators dubbed tea party "wacko birds" could be so effective in getting their legislation through committee. It demonstrates that while these Senators are often defined by their willingness to take ideological stances on issues, albeit different stances at times, they are also willing to engage with the actual political process in efforts to make changes.

Here are some examples of what Rand Paul has gotten through committee:

The Fourth Amendment Restoration Act is an effort to prevent US government agencies from searching Americans' phone records without a warrant based on probable cause.

The National Right-to-Work Act, would repeal existing law in efforts to reduce the use of coerced union membership as a condition of employment.

The Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act essentially tells the President that Congress will not accept any executive orders, signing statements, or expenditures of federal funds on projects or programs not appropriated to the executive branch.

The Default Protection Act outlines priorities for federal government obligations if the debt limit is reached, including paying the interest and principal on public debt, paying benefits to members of the Armed Forces, and paying Social Security and Medicare.

Aside from getting bills through committee, examining simply the number of bills proposed, Democratic senators and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took 9 of the 10 top slots, while Vitter, the lone Republican, was first in proposing the highest number of bills. (In the Republican-controlled house, Democrats also took a higher share of the top slots with 7 of the top 10 bill proposers compared to 3 in 10 being Republicans.) 

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  1. What a fucking joke our government is if Rand has to introduce a bill to “restore the fourth amendment.”

    1. Rand should just type out the 4th amendment word for word, and send it through congress. The real joke will be when nobody in congress actually recognize what they’re reading.

    2. I agree, why is that document enshrined like it’s the Magna Carta or something in some ridiculous building in DC. It’s so obsolete.
      Where does it touch on terrorist jihad?
      Where does it touch on health care?
      It was important a long long long long time ago, but now things are way way way way way way way way way way too crazy for us to accept that.
      People want to blow themselves up in places where we are occupying them for their own good for godsssakes.
      H-e-l-l-o

      1. They hate us for our freedoms, dude. Geez, did I really have to splain that to ya?

  2. Wouldn’t a better measure of effectiveness be whether the bill became law? A bill that gets out of committee but fails in the full Senate is just as meaningless as one that dies in committee.

    1. Harry Reid doesn’t allow votes on bills he doesn’t like. Bills don’t “fail in the full Senate,” they’re quietly allowed to die by never getting a vote.

      1. Hence, getting out of committee (especially for a minority member) is a better example of building a bipartisan coalition than getting something passed, which is entirely about placating Harry Reid.

    2. Once a bill makes it through committee it gets a lot more publicity and has a much bigger impact on the discussion of that topic. It also forces other senators to make a decision on the topic.

      Also, it would be difficult to make a reasonable measurement based on laws passed since relatively few laws are passed per senator. The statistics just aren’t going to be significant.

      1. Other senators don’t have to make any decision. It’s pretty easy for a small group to keep the bill from ever coming to vote, and they never need reveal who did it. Again, a bill that dies in committee is just as dead as one that dies later in the legislative process.

    3. Except that after it leaves the committees, it becomes a collective product of admendments, rules committees and negotiations with the House.

      So it might start with protecting the 4th amendment and end up funding the preverted arts and NSA pensions.

      1. Bills can and are amended in committee.

  3. My vote for most effective senator goes to the guy who gets the most stuff repealed. Has anyone seen that guy?

    We need to repeal every single piece of legislation passed since the last amendment and start from there.

    Of course that’s not going to happen, so when we found Libertopia, we can start with the Bill of Rights, first 4 amendments, and then make it exceedingly difficult for politicians to pass any new laws. I’m thinking the requirement should be that anyone proposing a new bill or amendment needs to do so while walking on water that they just turned to wine and feeding 10k people with 5 breadsticks and a herring.

    1. Rand’s “repeal the Iraq AUMF” has a decent shot at becoming law. Just introduced it, with Mike Lee, Kristen Gillenbrand, Wyden, and a few other Dems.

  4. Ted Bundy was “efficient”.

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