Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn was elected to Congress in 2006 with about 16,000 total votes in a 6-way primary. He has never seen a real challenge in the Republican-dominated CD-5, and as a member of the majority Party in Congress, he has a great deal of freedom to champion legislation of his choosing. He just…doesn't.
Entering his 7th year in Congress, Lamborn has seen passage of only 1 bill where he was listed as the primary sponsor:
H.R. 4073 (112th): To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to accept the quitclaim, disclaimer, and relinquishment of a railroad right of way within and adjacent to Pike National Forest in El Paso County, Colorado, originally granted to the Mt. Manitou
The fact that he has even passed one bill is amazing when you consider that Lamborn has only seen 8 bills make it out of the House of Representatives in 7 years. Lamborn's track record of sponsoring successful legislation is due in no small part to the fact that nobody with any power in Washington D.C. wants anything to do with him. According to GovTrack.us, Lamborn had trouble in 2013 attracting the interest of, well, anyone:
0 of Lamborn’s bills and resolutions in 2013 had a cosponsor who was a chair or ranking member of a committee that the bill was referred to. Getting support from committee leaders on relevant committees is a crucial step in moving legislation forward.
compared to… Colorado Delegation 1st lowest (tied w/ 1) out of 7 0 4 bills View All House Republicans 1st lowest (tied w/ 72) out of 232 0 12 bills View All Safe House Seats 1st lowest (tied w/ 123) out of 396 0 14 bills View All All Representatives 1st lowest (tied w/ 137) out of 439 0 14 bills View All
So why all the Lamborn-bashing? Because the very same Rep. Doug Lamborn authored an op-ed for the National Journal titled "The Do-Nothing Senate." Seriously:
When anyone says it’s a “do-nothing Congress,” they are only half right. It’s actually a do-nothing Senate.
In this Congress, the House has passed and sent over to the Senate 253 bills. In stark contrast, the Senate has sent to the House 63 bills. The Senate produces only one quarter of what the House does.
I am not saying that passing bills is in and of itself an unalloyed good. (See the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.) But if you want to determine who is doing the actual work of legislating, counting bills is where you start.
Just in case you missed it, here's that last sentence again: "But if you want to determine who is doing the actual work of legislating, counting bills is where you start."
We doubt that Lamborn actually wrote this op-ed himself, but didn't he at least have a staffer read it to him before they sent it off to the National Review? In saying that "counting bills" is the first place to look when you want to determine "who is doing the actual work of legislating," Lamborn is essentially putting himself on the bottom of the usefulness list. The editors at the National Review probably had a good laugh when they read this; perhaps they should have included Lamborn on his own joke.