The Washington Post’s Philip Bump uses Sen. Orrin Hatch’s congressional career as the gold standard by which to measure the legislative effectiveness of disgraced former Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock.
The collapse of Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-Ill.) brief career in Congress prompted a perhaps-expected question. Since arriving on Capitol Hill, how effective had he been?
There are a number of ways to evaluate this, from his fundraising prowess (high) to his ability to steer his caucus (low). One of the most tangible metrics is how many bills he sponsored that turned into laws. The answer to that? Zero.
That’s not entirely uncommon. Many members of Congress have no sponsored bills that have become law; many have only one or two. Sponsorship isn’t everything, mind you. Members of the House and Senate can also co-sponsor legislation, which is used as a means of building support before passage. But sponsoring bills that become law is a standard metric of legislative success. A metric by which Schock didn’t fare well.
Some of his colleagues have had much better luck. Since 1973, the first year for which data on sponsorship is available through GovTrack, no member of Congress has seen more sponsored bills become law (through signature or overturned vetoes) than Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).