While AOC introduced 21 ‘substantive’ bills to Congress, her legislation failed to progress any further, according to the Center for Effective Lawmaking – a joint project between Vanderbilt University and the University of
None of the legislation received action in committees, floor votes, nor did any become law, according to the data collected from Congress.gov.
Ocasio-Cortez ranked 230th out of 240 Democrats across the country and was dead last among the 19 that are in the state of New York.
While AOC introduced 21 ‘substantive’ bills to Congress, her legislation failed to progress any further, according to the Center for Effective Lawmaking
‘She introduced a lot of bills, but she was not successful at having them receive any sort of action in committee or beyond committee and if they can’t get through committee they cannot pass the House,’ Alan Wiseman, a political scientist at Vanderbilt and co-director of the center, explained to the
He added: ‘It’s clear that she was trying to get her legislative agenda moving and engage with the lawmaking process. But she wasn’t as successful as some other members were — even among [other] freshmen — at getting people to pay attention to her legislation.’
Bills that failed for AOC included her federal overhaul of public housing, a ban on fracking and a mandate to provide full federal public benefits to undocumented immigrants.
Insiders to the workings of Democratic House members say that many of AOC’s colleague find her to be alienating, according to the Post.
‘Tweeting is easy, governing is hard. You need to have friends. You need to understand the committee process, you need to be willing to make sacrifices,’ one insider said. ‘Her first day in Congress … she decided to protest outside of Nancy Pelosi’s office.’
Another said that for AOC, ‘legislation was never her focus. It was media and narrative.’
Ocasio-Cortez ranked 230th out of 240 Democrats across the country and was dead last among the 19 that are in the state of New York
The Center for Effective Lawmaking ranked lawmakers’ effectiveness based on 15 different metrics, including how many bills they sponsored, how far they progressed through Congress and how ‘significant’ the bill is, according to
Craig Volden, the co-director of the Center, suggested that high-profile lawmakers like AOC were less effective than ‘workhorse’ colleagues, because they spend more time dealing with the media.
‘Most effective’ members of Congress
Most effective House Democrats:
- Nita Lowey, New York
- Peter DeFazio, Oregon
- Carolyn Maloney, New York
- Frank Pallone, New Jersey
- Mark Takano, California
Most effective House Republicans:
- Michael McCaul, Texas
- Chris Smith, New Jersey
- John Katko, New York
- Andy Barr, Kentucky
- Garret Graves, Louisiana
Most effective Senate Democrats:
- Gary Peters, Michigan
- Jeff Merkley, Oregon
- Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada
- Jon Tester, Montana
- Tammy Duckworth, Illinois
Most effective Senate Republicans:
- Marco Rubio, Florida
- Roger Wicker, Mississippi
- John Cornyn, Texas
- Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
- Dan Sullivan, Alaska
‘We’ve found initial patterns that those more effective tend to be what we would call the workhorses rather than the show horses, and because of their policy focus, they’re less likely to be called upon by the media,’ Volden told USA Today.
‘We’ve kind of relatedly found that those who are called on by the media, that there tends to be more of an interest in talking about … politicking and personalities than there is in talking about policy and lawmaking.’
The study found the most effective House Democrat was New York’s Nita Lowey, who sponsored 30 bills, 14 of which passed the House and seven of which became law during the 116th Congress.
Lowey, who retired after the 116th Congress, was Chair of the Appropriations Committee.
The most effective House Republican was Texan Michael McCaul, who introduced 24 bills, with 10 passing the House, and two becoming law.
In the Senate, Michigan Democrat Gary Peters and Florida Republican Marco Rubio were the most effective for their respective parties, according to the data.
Rubio, who chaired the Senate Small Businesses committee, put forward 107 bills, ten of which passed the Senate, and six of which became law.
Rubio told USA Today: ‘It is a great honor to have been named the most effective Republican lawmaker in the Senate. I believe in the work I have done and continue to do for the state of Florida and for our nation. I am committed to protecting America’s economic and national security, and will work with anyone, regardless of party, who shares those goals.’
Peters introduced 86 bills, with 14 passing the Senate despite the Democrats being in the minority, and ten became law.
The Center for Effective Lawmaking noted that this exceeded the previous record by a minority-party Senator of seven laws.
In a statement, Senator Peters said: ‘Michiganders expect us to get things done for them – and that’s always been my focus. I’m proud to be recognized as the most effective senator and for passing legislation on issues impacting Michiganders.’
The least effective Democrats in the 116th Congress were Debbie Stabenow of Michigan in the Senate, and Jim Cooper of Tennessee in the House.
For the GOP, Alabama’s Richard Shelby was ranked least effective in the Senate, while Kay Grander of Texas was at the bottom of the list among House Republicans.