Ellison's Must Read of the Day

Ellison Barber
February 5, 2014

My must read of the day is "Andrews proposed 646 bills, passed 0: Worst record of past 20 years," in the Washington Post:

In his 23 years in Congress, Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.) has written 646 different pieces of legislation. That is a vast array of bills, covering a vast number of subjects: children’s pajamas, relations with Taiwan, commemorative coins and trade duties on licorice.

But all of Andrews’s bills had one thing in common. They didn’t become law. […]

Andrews, 56, said Tuesday he would resign in two weeks, taking a position at the law firm Dilworth Paxson. In an interview Tuesday, he insisted that these statistics don’t capture his true record in Congress.

The reason, he said, is that the classic idea of how lawmaking works — an idea becomes a bill, the bill gets a debate, and the debate ends with a vote — does not mean much on today’s Capitol Hill.

He’s been in office for twenty years! You can’t blame that on "today’s Capitol Hill." That’s just called being an awful legislator. Andrews couldn’t even pass legislation when the Democrats controlled the House and Senate and presidency in 1993 and 1994 and 2009 and 2010.

He has misused campaign funds and has been called one of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress. And now he’s going to take a job at law firm, were he will likely be compensated quite well.

This embodies everything that frustrates Americans when we think of the cronyism in Congress. As a congressman, Andrews could not successfully perform the most basic function: passing legislation. Yet he is now able to use his title to further his career. He provides no value to the firm beyond the clout surrounding his title and connections to powerful Democrats. He is benefiting himself at the expense of taxpayers.