The WashingtonWatch.com Blog
When Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) was announced as Senator Barack Obamaâ€™s (D-IL) running mate, I did a quick scan here of his legislative priorities in the current Congress. Now, for the start of the Republican convention, hereâ€™s one on Senator John McCain (R-AZ).
(Weâ€™ll look at Barack Obama in a week. Without a record as a federal legislator, Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) wonâ€™t get a similar analysis, but weâ€™ll be looking for tidbits on her as well.)
Senator McCain has introduced 21 bills in the current Congress. Just one of them has passed into law. That is S. 327, the Cesar Estrada Chavez Study Act, which was passed as a part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008.
This law authorizes a study of sites associated with the life of Cesar Chavez and the farm labor movement. Itâ€™s not a significant piece of legislation, and the life of a farm labor organizer is not the usual fare for a Republican, but it probably appeals to some of McCainâ€™s home state constituencies, which include Mexican-American immigrants and the children of immigrants and farm workers who have established themselves as U.S. citizens.
Much of McCainâ€™s legislating is oriented toward his home state, with native American issues and Arizona land issues joining interests of Senator McCainâ€™s like military reform, campaign finance regulation, and a smattering of other things. Boxing regulation has been a McCain hobby horse for some time.
Senator McCain has introduced only one bill in 2008. This is the fuel tax holiday he proposed at the beginning of the summer. McCainâ€™s 2008 is the portrait of a man campaigning for the presidency. (I hasten to add that quantity is not an important metric of a representativeâ€™s work. One good bill is worth a thousand pieces of symbolic legislation or 10,000 bad bills passed into law.)
With that, here are Senator John McCainâ€™s legislative priorities, as expressed by his actions in the current Congress. Itâ€™s one of many snapshots of this contender for the presidency. PASSED INTO LAW S. 327
The Cesar Estrada Chavez Study Act
was passed as The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, Public Law 110-229 INTRODUCED BILLS S. 32
The Defense Acquisition Reform Act of 2007 S. 83
The Rail Security Act of 2007 S. 84
The Professional Boxing Amendments Act of 2007 Costs $0.32 per family S. 85
The Indian Tribes Methamphetamine Reduction Grants Act of 2007 S. 86
The Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River Act of 2007 Costs $0.00 per family S. 166
The Cell Phone Tax Moratorium Act of 2007 S. 192
The Lobbying, Ethics, and Earmarks Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007 S. 463
The 527 Reform Act of 2007 S. 478
The Federal Election Administration Act of 2007 S. 519
The SAFE Act of 2007 S. 531
A bill to repeal section 10(f) of Public Law 93-531, commonly known as the â€œBennett Freezeâ€ Costs $0.00 per family S. 663
A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to repeal the statutory designation of beneficiaries of the $100,000 death gratuity under section 1477 of title 10, United States Code, and to permit members of the Armed Forces to designate in writing their beneficiaries of choice in the event of their death while serving on active duty S. 722
The Walnut Canyon Study Act of 2007 S. 744
The SAVE LIVES Act S. 952
A bill to amend the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental and Native American Public Policy Act of 1992 to provide funds for training in tribal leadership, management, and policy, and for other purposes Costs $0.04 per family S. 1255
The Indian Arts and Crafts Amendments Act of 2007 Costs $0.00 per family S. 1304
The Arizona National Scenic Trail Act Costs $0.01 per family S. 1900
A bill to authorize appropriations for the United States Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution S. 2172
The Saffron Revolution Support Act of 2007 S. 2890
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a highway fuel tax holiday