We've reached the point where in 2014, incumbents in Congress and especially the House are actively running on not introducing legislation at all.
This House is on track to produce the lowest number of legislative proposals since the Clinton administration. Through mid-May, representatives introduced 18 percent fewer bills compared with the same point in the previous Congress. That’s the largest drop between Congresses in the period beginning in 1995, when Republicans overturned decades of Democratic rule in the House. The number of lawmakers who have introduced at least 25 proposals has fallen by nearly two-thirds compared with the previous Congress. The number who have produced five or fewer pieces of legislation has jumped 81 percent.
The representatives who have introduced little or no legislation come from both parties and are veterans and newcomers alike. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, has introduced two bills this Congress. In the previous six years he was responsible for 42. John Mica, a Florida Republican and a high-ranking member of committees with jurisdiction over transportation and government oversight, also has proposed two bills (and two amendments), none since last year. That’s down from 27 bills in the previous Congress.
I can sort of understand Democrats choosing not to introduce legislation that will never get a vote under the House GOP that controls the chamber, but at this point even Republicans no longer give a damn.
The legislative pullback has few starker examples than Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
The Financial Services committee — which oversees banking, the Federal Reserve and mortgage lending, among other areas — has held hearings and considered bills drafted by others. And Mr. Hensarling has been active in proposing bills that, in particular, address the government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But he has not proposed any legislation of his own since the 113th Congress began in January 2013, whether related to the financial industry or his Dallas-area district (he has added his name as a co-sponsor of other legislation at least 105 times).
And why should he have to do the hard work when ALEC and Club For Growth and Heritage Foundation will introduce legislation for him? He's a manager who delegates, baby.
You're a sucker if you think Republicans want to make government work for anyone but themselves.