Terrorists and Heart Disease: Who in Congress Focuses on the Real Harm?

It’s not about harm. It’s about hype.

According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, every year heart disease kills two hundred times more Americans than terrorist attacks killed in the peak year of 2001. In other years, heart disease deaths are hundreds of thousands of times more numerous than terrorism deaths. Yet year after year, as this Sunlight Foundation graph of the Congressional Record shows, our members of Congress focus on terrorists in their remarks, neglecting heart disease.

In the 112th Congress, the following members of Congress have been most likely to roll out the word “terrorists” in their remarks on the floor:

#1: Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH
#2: Sen. Richard Durbin, D-IL
#3: Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY
#4: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA
#5: Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-TX
#6: Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-MD
#7: Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL
#8: Rep. Lamar Smith, R-TX
#9: Sen. Mark Udall, D-CO
#10: Rep. Dan Burton, R-IN

On the other hand, the following are the ten members of Congress most likely to mention “heart disease” in the Congressional Record of the 112th Congress:

#1: Sen. Tom Harkin, D-IA
#2: Rep. Laura Richardson, D-CA
#3: Rep. Lois Capps, D-CA
#4: Sen. John McCain, R-AZ
#5: Rep. Danny Davis, D-IL
#6: Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA
#7: Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA
#8: Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK
#9: Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-MN
#10: Rep. Jared Polis, D-C

There is absolutely no overlap between those two lists.

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