In the Republican presidential debate of August 11 2011, contender Tim Pawlenty said of fellow contender Michele Bachmann, “Representative Bachmann’s record of accomplishment is nonexistent.”
Is this true? Let’s summarize Rep. Bachmann’s actual record in the 110th, 111th and 112th Congresses:
In the 112th Congress, Michele Bachmann introduced 7 bills. None passed.
In the 111th Congress, Michele Bachmann introduced 20 bills and 2 amendments. Two measures passed:
1. H.Res.373: Expressing support for the designation of September as “National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month.” Passed by Voice Vote.
2. H.Amdt.634: Requiring the Department of Energy Inspector General to report to Congress on waste, fraud and abuse within the Department. Passed by Voice Vote.
In the 110th Congress, Michele Bachmann introduced 16 bills and 1 amendment. Two measures passed:
1. H.Res.789: Honoring public child welfare agencies. Passed by roll call vote.
2. H.Res.923: Recognizing the State of Minnesota’s 150th Anniversary. Passed by roll call vote.
Nominally speaking, Tim Pawlenty is wrong. Michele Bachmann does have a record of accomplishment after all; it’s just a record of weak accomplishment. Bachmann has passed three rhetorical bills with no force of law, and one amendment that asks an Inspector General to conduct inspections. That’s a record. It’s four accomplishments. Whether these are four accomplishments to be proud of is another matter.