NY Daily News: Rep. Carolyn Maloney sponsors the most bills
WASHINGTON — Rep. Carolyn Maloney sponsors bills — lots of bills.
In the 21 years since Maloney entered Congress, no House member has proposed more legislation than the Manhattan Democrat,
There was her National Senior Citizen's Pet Ownership Act, and legislation authorizing the Treasury to mint 500,000 $1 coins recognizing "the fight against breast cancer."
She's written bills to prohibit banning breastfeeding in federal buildings, and to recognize the third Monday of every February as Susan B. Anthony Day.
Maloney has filed 618 bills since 1993, 43 more than the No. 2 bill-writer, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), according to Joshua Tauberer, whose Web site govtrack.us tracks legislative activity.
Eleven of the bills Maloney has proposed have been enacted, as standalone measures, into law.
"I work hard," Maloney said, when asked to explain her output. "I have a competent staff that works hard."
Her Republican challenger, Nicholas Di Iorio, a former pharmaceutical contractor, says the numbers show Maloney is more interested in public relations than results.
"We're talking about the worst member of Congress terms of effectiveness, " he harrumphed.
Independent analysts said that even with her habit of sponsoring so many bills that go nowhere, Maloney's legislative record is in fact significant.
Maloney's ability to get 11 bills passed since 1993 puts her above average among members who have served that long, Tauberer said.
Supporters said her quirky manner masks a relentlessness that makes her among New York's most effective legislators.
She was a lead sponsor of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, giving compensation to Grounz Zero workers who have fallen ill, as big a bill for the New York area as any in the last decade.
She also authored the 2009 Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, a popular bill Democrats passed over credit companies' opposition.
She has sponsored five other bills approved by Presidents in signing ceremonies, which are usually reserved for notable measures.
In a 2013 paper on legislative effectiveness, three political scientists cited Maloney's repeated introduction in the 1990s of a War Crimes Disclosure Act. They called it an effective strategy for building bipartisan support that helped it pass.
Her four bills passed this Congress are more than all but one Democrat has managed in the Republican-run House, where most Democratic measures — and many Republican bills, too — die.
Only 101 of 435 House members have passed any legislation in the 113th Congress.
Maloney said offering a bill places it on the congressional agenda, forcing members to move past rhetoric to take a stance, a step toward compromise.
"I introduce a bill to solve a problem," she said.
Maloney noted many bills are enacted as amendments — and not counted in legislative stats.
And she said she also reoffers unpassed bills each Congress to keep issues alive.
For example, she pushed the Debbie Smith Act, authorizing funding for local authorities to reduce backlogs in testing DNA in rape kits, in each Congress until it passed in 2004.
In a 45-minute interview Friday, Maloney twice said that her effort was featured in a Lifetime Channel movie "starring Carolyn Maloney."
Maloney was the only real lawmaker depicted in the film, though the movie was about Smith, a rape survivor-turned-advocate.
Maloney said she believes the Smith Act can be tweaked to bar grants to governments that fail to report rape kit backlogs to the Justice Department.
That proposal will be in "another bill that I look forward to introducing," she said.