Precinct 333

Sunday, October 17, 2004

How Many Bills?

Bush says Kerry has passed five. Kerry says the number is 56. What is the correct answer? According to The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

There are eleven Kerry authored laws, if you include a couple that don't bear his name but came out of a House-Senate conference committee in a form substantively similar to the original Kerry bill passed by the Senate. Five are cited by the Bush campaign.
* S.791: Authorizes $53 million over four years to provide grants to woman-owned small businesses. (1999)
* S.1206: Names a federal building in Waltham, Massachusetts after Frederick C. Murphy, who was killed in action during World War II and awarded (posthumously) the Medal of Honor. (1994)
* S.1636: A save-the-dolphins measure aiming “to improve the program to reduce the incidental taking of marine mammals during the course of commercial fishing operations.” (1994)
* S.1563: Funding the National Sea Grant College Program, which supports university-based research, public education, and other projects “to promote better understanding, conservation and use of America’s coastal resources.” (1991)
* S.423: Granting a visa and admission to the U.S. as a permanent resident to Kil Joon Yu Callahan. (1987)

The Kerry camp offers two more.
* H.R.1900 (S.300): Awarded a congressional gold medal to Jackie Robinson (posthumously), and called for a national day of recognition. (2003)
* H.R.1860 (S.856): Increased the maximum research grants for small businesses from $500,000 to $750,000 under the Small Business Technology Transfer Program. (2001)

The Associated Press and find these as well, which while not technically bills have the force of law.
* S.J.Res.158: To make the week of Oct. 22 – Oct. 28, 1989 “World Population Awareness Week.” (1989)
* S.J.Res.160: To renew “World Population Awareness Week” for 1991. (1991)
* S.J.Res.318: To make Nov. 13, 1992 “Vietnam Veterans Memorial 10th Anniversary Day.” (1992)
* S.J.Res.337: To make Sept. 18, 1992 “National POW/MIA Recognition Day." (1992)

Nothing very substantive in that, is there? And that still only gets us up to eleven, which is far short of the 56 Kerry cited.

How does Kerry reach the higher number? Go look at the things he uses to pad his claim. There may be a total of 56 measures passed (less than three a year since he entered the Senate), but most do not even qualify as law. After all, does anyone really consider S.Res.123: To change the name of the Committee on Small Business to the "Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship." (2001)to be a significant legislative accomplishment?

Hat Tip to Blogs for Bush.


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