More Comparisons

Earlier today I posted a list of the bills and amendments sponsored by either John McCain or Barack Obama that were enacted into law. In this installment, I list the bills and amendments that they co-sponsored that were passed in the 110th Congress. (The 109th is coming later.)

Co-sponsorship is tricky. On the one hand, it’s worth including, since each bill only gets to have one lead sponsor, and often more than one Senator does significant work on it. Bills like Nunn-Lugar and McCain-Feingold are named after two Senators for a reason, but each had only one lead sponsor. This means that looking only at sponsored legislation leaves out important work that Senators have done. On the other hand, co-sponsorship is no guarantee that a Senator has done significant work: they might just sign on because they like the bill. I have tried to correct for this as much as possible: I have counted only bills that McCain and Obama signed onto at the earliest possible moment, and in the case of amendments, I went to the Congressional Record to see whether they were listed as co-sponsors when the amendment was introduced. This rules out bills and amendments that they clearly signed onto after the fact. On the other hand, it undoubtedly includes legislation that they did not actually help draft. I’ve listed the number of original co-sponsors for each bill/amendment: a bill with two original co-sponsors is more likely to reflect those co-sponsors’ work than one with fifty. Nonetheless, this list undoubtedly includes too much; I don’t know how to rectify that.

As before, I have omitted the following: (a) bills that just do something ceremonial, like name a post office; (b) bills that merely call for a report or express the sense of the Senate (too easy to mean anything); (c) bills that appropriate less than $40 million, and that do nothing else; (d) bills of purely local interest. I got lazier on two counts: first, when it wasn’t obvious, I did not check the amendments to make sure that they appropriated more than $40 million. (I.e., when an amendment struck a section of an existing bill and replaced it with an appropriation of more than $40 million, I did not check the underlying bill to make sure that the difference between the two was, in fact, over $40 million.) Second, I stopped checking to see whether amendments’ underlying bills were passed. (There were just too many of them.)

The list is below the fold.

Co-Sponsored Legislation, 110th Congress:

Bills Passed:

McCain and Obama (2 bills): S.2829 : A bill to make technical corrections to section 1244 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which provides special immigrant status for certain Iraqis, and for other purposes. (16 original co-sponsors, Summary: “Makes technical corrections to provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 which provide special immigrant status for certain Iraqis employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government. Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security or State to convert approved petitions for such status with respect to which visas are not immediately available to approved petitions for petitions filed before October 1, 2008.”)

S.3406: A bill to restore the intent and protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. (55 original co-sponsors(!))

Obama (3 bills): S.231: A bill to authorize the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program at fiscal year 2006 levels through 2012. (15 original co-sponsors)

S.2488 : A bill to promote accessibility, accountability, and openness in Government by strengthening section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act), and for other purposes. (17 original co-sponsors)

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to codify increases in the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans that were effective as of December 1, 2007, to provide for an increase in the rates of such compensation effective December 1, 2008, and for other purposes. (Cleared for White House; 10 original co-sponsors)

McCain: none.

Bills Placed On Calendar:

Obama and McCain (2 bills): S.223: A bill to require Senate candidates to file designations, statements, and reports in electronic form. (21 original co-sponsors)

S.1606: A bill to provide for the establishment of a comprehensive policy on the care and management of wounded warriors in order to facilitate and enhance their care, rehabilitation, physical evaluation, transition from care by the Department of Defense to care by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and transition from military service to civilian life, and for other purposes. (30 original co-sponsors)

Obama (3 bills): S.2: A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage. (28 original co-sponsors. Eventually passed via another bill.)

S.2166 : A bill to provide for greater responsibility in lending and expanded cancellation of debts owed to the United States and the international financial institutions by low-income countries, and for other purposes. (5 original co-sponsors)

S.2555 : A bill to permit California and other States to effectively control greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, and for other purposes. (17 original co-sponsors)

McCain (6 bills): S.1675: A bill to implement the recommendations of the Federal Communications Commission report to the Congress regarding low-power FM service. (McCain the only original co-sponsor)

S. 1771: A bill to increase the safety of swimming pools and spas by requiring the use of proper anti-entrapment drain covers and pool and spa drainage systems, to educate the public about pool and spa safety, and for other purposes. (8 original co-sponsors)

S.1853: A bill to promote competition, to preserve the ability of local governments to provide broadband capability and services, and for other purposes. (7 original co-sponsors)

S.2087 : A bill to amend certain laws relating to Native Americans to make technical corrections, and for other purposes. (McCain only original co-sponsor)

S.2128 : A bill to make the moratorium on Internet access taxes and multiple and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce permanent. (McCain one of two original co-sponsors)

S.2606 : A bill to reauthorize the United States Fire Administration, and for other purposes. (McCain one of three original co-sponsors)


Obama: 25 Co-Sponsored Amendments

S.AMDT.3 to S.1 In the nature of a substitute. (This is, for all intents and purposes, the Senate Ethics bill: it begins: “Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:” (or: delete the existing bill, and replace it with this), and then the “amendment” takes up six or seven pages of the Congressional Record. 9 original co-sponsors.)

S.AMDT.4 to S.1 To strengthen the gift and travel bans. (Three original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.15 to S.1 To require Senate committees and subcommittees to make available by the Internet a video recording, audio recording, or transcript of any meeting not later than 14 business days after the meeting occurs. (Obama is the only original co-sponsor)

S.AMDT.31 to S.1 To prohibit former Members of Congress from engaging in lobbying activities in addition to lobbying contacts during their cooling off period. (Obama is the only original co-sponsor)

S.AMDT.33 to S.1 To prohibit former Members who are lobbyists from using gym and parking privileges made available to Members and former Members. (Obama is the only original co-sponsor)

S.AMDT.529 to S.CON.RES.21 To increase funding for the COPS Program to $1.15 billion for FY 2008 to provide state and local law enforcement with critical resources necessary to prevent and respond to violent crime and acts of terrorism and is offset by an unallocated reduction to non-defense discretionary spending and/or reduction to administrative expenses. (13 original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.1009 to S.1082 To insert provisions relating to antibiotic access and innovation and certain enantiomer drugs. (Five original co-sponsors. Underlying bill held at the desk.)

S.AMDT.1169 to S.1348 To reduce to 200,000 the number of certain non-immigrants permitted to be admitted during a fiscal year. (Four original co-sponsors. Underlying bill failed cloture vote.)

S.AMDT.2132 to H.R.1585 To provide and enhance rehabilitative treatment and services to veterans with traumatic brain injury and to improve health care and benefits programs for veterans. (12 original co-sponsors.)

S.AMDT.2268 to H.R.1585 To provide for an increase in the number of nurses and faculty. (10 original co-sponsors.)

S.AMDT.2402 to H.R.1538 In the nature of a substitute. (50 original co-sponsors. An immensely long substitute for HR 1538, the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act.)

S.AMDT.2467 to H.R.2638 To authorize the release of data used to determine eligibility for assistance under title IV of the Robert T Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. (Obama sole original co-sponsor)

S.AMDT.2509 to H.R.2638 To mitigate the health risks posed by hazardous chemicals in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and for other purposes. (Five original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.2719 to H.R.2764 To prohibit the application of certain restrictive eligibility requirements to foreign nongovernmental organizations with respect to the provision of assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. (12 original co-sponsors. I think this is legislaton lifting the global gag rule.)

S.AMDT.2797 to H.R.3074 To prohibit the establishment of a program that allows Mexican truck drivers to operate beyond the commercial zones near the Mexican border. (Six original co-sponsors.)

S.AMDT.2872 to H.R.1585 To assist certain Iraqis who have worked directly with, or are threatened by their association with, the United States. (13 original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.2962 to H.R.1585 To implement the recommendations of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health. (Obama one of two original co-sponsors.)

S.AMDT.2969 to H.R.1585 To provide for the establishment of a Center of Excellence in Prevention, Diagnosis, Mitigation, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of Military Eye Injuries. (Obama one of four original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.2999 to H.R.1585 To provide for the study and investigation of wartime contracts and contracting processes in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. (26 original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.3349 to H.R.3043 To prohibit the Secretary of Education from using funds with respect to an evaluation for the Upward Bound Program until congressional examination of the regulation providing for such review. (Seven original co-sponsors.)

S.AMDT.4203 to S.CON.RES.70 To increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. (27 original co-sponsors.)

S.AMDT.4230 to S.CON.RES.70 To increase FY 2009 funding for the Byrne/Justice Assistance Grant program to $906,000,000 with an offset. (18 original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.4245 to S.CON.RES.70 To restore full funding for the international affairs budget, in support of the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, nuclear nonproliferation, foreign assistance, fighting global AIDS, promoting sustainable development, and other efforts, with an offset. (17 original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.4370 to S.CON.RES.70 To provide for a deficit-neutral reserve fund to make improvements to ensure access to the Medicare program for low-income senior citizens and other low-income Medicare beneficiaries. (16 original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.4539 to H.R.1195 To call for a review by the Department of Justice of allegations of violations of Federal criminal law. (Three original co-sponsors. Adds section requiring investigation of the Coconut Road earmark, which mysteriously appeared in an earlier transportation bill between when it was passed and when the President signed it.)

McCain: 7 Co-Sponsored Amendments

S.AMDT.98 to S.1 To provide for better transparency and enhanced Congressional oversight of spending by clarifying the treatment of matter not committed to conferees by either House. (2 original co-sponsors. Allows Senators to raise points of order against anything in conference report that was not submitted to conference by either house of Congress, or which provides a level of funding not submitted by either house.)

S.AMDT.411 to S.4 To advance and strengthen democracy globally through peaceful means using transformational diplomacy to assist foreign countries to implement democratic forms of government, to strengthen respect for internationally accepted human rights standards and norms in foreign countries through increased United States advocacy, to strengthen alliances of democratic countries, and to increase support for programs of nongovernmental organizations, individuals, and private groups that promote democracy. (McCain only original co-sponsor)

S.AMDT.477 to S.CON.RES.21 To provide for a budget point of order against legislation that increases income taxes on taxpayers, including hard-working middle-income families, entrepreneurs, and college students. (7 original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.990 to S.1082 To provide for the importation of prescription drugs. (9 original co-sponsors)

S.AMDT.1173 to S.1348 To provide for minimum sentences for aliens who reenter the United States after removal. (6 original co-sponsors. Underlying bill failed.)

S.AMDT.2019 to H.R.1585 To provide for the care and management of wounded warriors. (McCain only original co-sponsor)

S.AMDT.2174 to H.R.1585 To provide, with an offset, $59,041,000 for other procurement for the Army for the General Fund Enterprise Business System of the Army. (McCain only original co-sponsor)