At the end of last week, Representative John Sullivan checked himself into the Betty Ford rehabilitation center, where he is seeking help in ending his abuse of alcohol. It’s a good thing that Sullivan is getting himself some help, but many of his constituents back in Oklahoma are wondering whether Sullivan can hold himself together well enough to represent them effectively in Washington D.C.
I reviewed Representative Sullivan’s work in the House of Representatives so far this year, to see how well such concerns are based in reality. Sullivan has introduced 4 pieces of legislation so far, 3 of which are of reasonable substance (the other is merely a resolution honoring radio personality Paul Harvey). 3 bills in five months may not seem like a lot of work, and honestly, given the modest scope of Sullivan’s legislation, it’s not a record to crow about. However, other Republicans in Congress aren’t getting much done either.
Representative Bill Cassidy of Louisiana also has introduced only three pieces of legislation, and at least two of those three bills were crafted for him by lobbyists, granting special exemptions to the law for the importation of glyoxylic acid and cyclopentanone. He’s really looking out for the needs of ordinary Americans, isn’t he?
Tom Latham of Iowa has only introduced two minor bills this year. Pete Olson of Texas has only introduced one bill. The same is true of Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington. John Culberson, of Texas, hasn’t introduced any bills at all.
There are plenty of Republicans in the House of Representatives who are slacking off this year, only rising on occasion to complain about Democrats. John Sullivan, alcoholic or not, cannot be fairly singled out as particularly lazy among the Republicans.
Also, while it’s true that Representative Sullivan will be away from Capitol Hill this week, the same is true for his colleagues as well. They’re all away from D.C. this week, shaking hands in events back home, not getting any actual legislative work done.