Skip to comments.Kerry's Stealth Senate Record
Posted on 10/18/2004 12:58:06 PM PDT by bluebeak
Some 20 Year Senate Record. What a joke!
Just How Many Bills Has Kerry Passed? Bush said Kerry passed five bills. Kerry said he's passed 56. Who's right? That depends on the definition of "passed" and "bills."
October 15, 2004 Modified:October 16, 2004 Summary
At the final presidential debate, Bush said Kerry had passed only five bills during his career, and Kerry said he had passed 56. Actually, we found eleven measures authored by Kerry have been signed into law, including a save-the-dolphins law, a law naming a federal building, a law giving a posthumous award to Jackie Robinson last year, and laws declaring "world population awareness weeks" in 1989 and 1991.
Bush counted only measures technically defined as "bills," leaving out four "joint resolutions" that also have the force of law, and he also omitted two laws whose House versions were adopted in a form nearly identical to Senate versions authored by Kerry.
When Kerry said "I've actually passed 56 individual bills that I've personally written" he was counting everything that had passed the Senate, whether or not it cleared the House. He also counts 24 resolutions that have no force of law.
During the Oct. 13 debate in Tempe, AZ, Bush and Kerry contradicted each other on the number of bills Kerry has passed. Both can't be right, so we asked each campaign for their list of specific bills, and we took a look. What we found is that both men were playing word games.
Passed How Many Bills?
Bush: He introduced some 300 bills and he's passed five.
Kerry: Once again, the president is misleading America. I've actually passed 56 individual bills that I've personally written and, in addition to that, and not always under my name, there is (sic) amendments on certain bills. Bush: "passed five"
When Bush said Kerry "passed five" bills, he was counting five bills Kerry authored that passed the Senate, the House, were signed by the president, and became law.
That's technically accurate but omits six other pieces of Kerry legislation that have become law.
The Bush campaign's backup lists five bills, which we verified:
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 Americas 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 Bush campaign left out two bills authored by Kerry which passed the Senate and later became law in a slightly different form approved by the House, under the same titles and mostly same substance. (This occurs when House and Senate versions differ so slightly that one house adopts the other's version rather than go to the trouble of a House-Senate conference to work out a compromise.) The citations were provided by the Kerry campaign, and we verified them:
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) In a related article in January we quoted an Associated Press article that turned up only eight laws that bear Kerry's name. The AP's count omits these two House measures which technically don't bear Kerry's name and a private law (S.423) granting a visa and permanent residency to Kil Joon Yu Callahan that we are including in our count of 11.
We've also included -- as did The AP -- four "joint resolutions" that are not technically "bills" but which have the same force when passed by both houses and are signed into law by the president. All four created national events:
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) Kerry: "passed 56"
Kerry counted all measures he wrote that were approved by the Senate. While Bush defined bills in the strictest sense, Kerry included bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions with no force of law, and even simple Senate resolutions that aren't even considered by the House. Kerry would have been more accurate to say he wrote 56 "measures" that passed the Senate, including 11 that became law. (Kerry's total of 56 does not include the private law.)
Padding the Numbers
Of Kerry's total, 24 were concurrent resolutions or simple Senate resolutions that had no chance of becoming law. Some examples.
S.Res.123: To change the name of the Committee on Small Business to the "Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship." (2001) S.Res.133: To make May 21, 1991 National Land Trust Appreciation Day. (1991) S.Res.144: To encourage the European Community to vote to ban driftnets for all European Community fishing fleets. (1991 ) S.Res.216: Honoring Milton D. Stewart for his leadership and service at the Small Business Administration. (2002) S.Con.Res.26: Calling for the United States to support a new agreement providing for a ban on commercial mining of minerals in Antarctica. (1991) Kerry's total also includes 10 Senate-passed bills that would have done nothing more than grant waivers to specific foreign-built vessels to transport cargo or people along the US coastline despite a 1920 law requiring that only US-built vessels be allowed to operate between US ports. Because there were 10 different vessels, Kerry introduced 10 separate bills. All died in the House.
"Civics 101: John Kerry's Thin Senate Record," press release, Bush-Cheney '04, 14 Oct 2004.
"56 Bills and Resolutions Kerry Passed," press release, John Kerry for President, 13 Oct 2004.
pretty thin gruel
Actually, we found eleven measures authored by Kerry have been signed into law, including a save-the-dolphins law, a law naming a federal building, a law giving a posthumous award to Jackie Robinson last year, and laws declaring "world population awareness weeks" in 1989 and 1991.<<<
WOW! What a great man! Kerry "saved the dolphins", named a building and gave an award to a dead sports figure!
And his "world population awareness weeks" are observed by thousands across the world.
I'd feel so much better with his intelligence at the helm of the whitehouse, angry dolphins will not attack us, buildings can feel like respected members of the community, and the dead will rise again! WHOO! HOO!
Sarcastic remarks not nearly good enough . . .
Who cares about his record or lack of one?
He has a PLAN.
i'm sorry ... you're right ;>)
i'm sorry ... you're right ;>)
Kerry has a *plan*...
John Kerry: Stealth soldier in Vietnam, stealth prosecutor in Massachusetts, stealth senator from Massachusetts. Do we want him to be the stealth president fighting the war on terrorism?
Woo Hooo! Save the dolphins.
He is so in love with Flipper!!!
This one has legs! Spread the word.
Interestingly this am, CBS early morning news had a good fifteen minutes straight of pump up Kerry/bash Bush stories, totally one-sided. I was trying to get the weather and didn't even know the Red Sox had won or even played...since CBS left out sports and weather in order to let us know how Kerrys Mo was churning along. Not a peep about the polls showing their boy tanking. Hilarious.
This one has legs! Spread the word
Kerry saved flipper so flipper and his neighbor flopper could speak for him on the campaign trail!
And I guess Edwards was right: The dead shall rise and the lame shall walk - is flipper considered lame, or is that just Kerry?
Let's all look on the bright side. Consider for a moment how much damage an active Senator can do to our nation by passing bad laws. We are blessed that this dirtbag was a lazy good for nothing idle rich boy. Now we just need to keep him away from the presidency.
None of these corrections, factchecks or adjustments cast doubt on the root of the matter that Bush was pointing at, which is that as a Senator, John Kerry was a lackluster lawmaker, ineffective, and uninvolved in the important operations of the Senate and our government.
I think that the enumeration and listing of each of Kerry's acts before Congress serves to shed light on now hollow his new ambitions are.
If Sen. Kerry truly wanted to be a force for ANYTHING in the world, he has had 20 years to start. His horse is stalled at the gate, and, at least for him, it seems too late to start now.
I've said it a thousand times. Bush has weaknesses on some issues, but John Kerry is twice as weak on each one of those. He simply was not the wise candidate for the Democratic nomination. Retired General Wesley Clark could have hammered Bush effectively on the progress of the war in Iraq from a position of having been consistently against the war. Howard Dean could have done this, too.
It shows the true reason why Senator Kerry wanted to talk about those four months in Vietnam. It's because everything after that has been completely lackluster, overly nuanced, and without conviction. If he ever wanted to change the world, he's given us no indication of this in the House, the Senate, or his "campaign".
The office of President of the United States should be less about party politics and more about the men in question. Kerry simply has not proven that he is the man for the job.
Now we know. John Kerry has been paid an average of $140,000 for twenty years to do this heavy lifting. That is roughly $2,800,000, or $255,556 per bill or resolution authored and actually passed into law or effect. Wow. I'm impressed. (NOT.)
The two lines remind one first of John Kerry, and then of John Edwards. It's a two-fer.
He's been better to marine life and hamsters than humans.
Stopping the funding for the Nicaraguan Contras after bring back a peace agreement with Daniel Ortega of the Sandanistas (which was worthless). Ortega turned around and solicited $200 million from the Soviets a few days later. Read: Kerry's Disloyal Nicaraguan Journey and Don't forget 'The John Kerry Committee'
Investigating (or creating) the Iran/Contra and BCCI scandals.
Blocking the vote on the Vietnam Human Rights Act in the Senate in 2001, which tied U.S. aid to Vietnam's human rights performance, and had passed by a 410-1 margin in the House of Representatives. Kerry, chairman of the Senate's East Asian and Pacific Affairs subcommittee, said in a statement at the time that he and fellow Vietnam War veteran Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) "are concerned that denying aid to Vietnam would actually slow human rights improvements." Many Vietnamese living abroad, along with human rights campaigners, say conditions in Vietnam have deteriorated in the three years since Kerry blocked the legislation.
Persuading the MIA/POW Senate committee to vote unanimously that no POWs existed in Vietnam in order to open up trade with Vietnam (his cousin C. Stewart Forbes, CEO of Colliers Intl, received a contract for a huge commercial deal worth at least $905 million to develop a deep-sea commercial port at Vung Tau). For more on the POW/MIA issue, here is a great article: When John Kerry's Courage Went M.I.A. - Senator covered up evidence of P.O.W.'s left behind
For more, check out the John F. Kerry Timeline. Email it to your friends, post on your blogs.