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Obama and McCain - Legislative Accomplishments

October 14, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

For the first time ever, two sitting senators are running head to head as the major party candidates for President. This gives us a unique opportunity to look at the legislative records of the candidates – John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL) – to find solid clues about their governing styles and policy priorities beyond what gets said on the campaign trail. Here’s a bird-eye-view look at how the Obama and McCain’s legislative records stack up.

For this post, I’m considering Obama and McCain’s legislative records in the current session of Congress (110th) and the previous session (109th). These are the two sessions of Congress that both candidates were in the Senate, and it happens to give a nice balance to the comparison – in the 109th Congress, Republicans held the majority, giving McCain a legislative edge; in the 110th, Democrats held the majority, giving the edge to Obama. It should also be noted that the Republican-controlled 109th was Obama’s first session as a U.S. senator, so he had a lot of catching up to do. Also, both McCain and Obama were on the campaign trail for a large part of the Democrat-controlled 110th session, so both of their records are somewhat thinner in the 110th.

Grand Totals:

Stand-alone Bills Passed Into Law:

McCain – 3
Obama – 1

Bills Sponsored in the Senate:

McCain – 97
Obama – 137

Sponsored Amendments Passed Into Law:

McCain – 10
Obama – 15

Simple Resolutions Passed (these don’t have the force of law; they express the “sense of the Senate,” etc.):

McCain – 6
Obama – 6

McCain’s Stand-alone Bills Passed Into Law:

S.161 – Northern Arizona Land Exchange and Verde River Basin Partnership Act of 2005

A bill to provide for a land exchange in the State of Arizona between the Secretary of Agriculture and Yavapai Ranch Limited Partnership.

S.1481 – Indian Land Probate Reform Technical Corrections Act of 2005

A bill to amend the Indian Land Consolidation Act to provide for probate reform.

S.2464 – Fort McDowell Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Revision Act of 2006

A bill to revise a provision relating to a repayment obligation of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation under the Fort McDowell Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990, and for other purposes.

Obama’s Stand-alone Bills Passed Into Law:

S.2125 – Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2005

A bill to promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

McCain’s Amendments in the 109th that Became Law:

(Notes on amendment data: Some of these amendments were added onto bills that did not become law, but were eventually adopted into other bills that did. Also, there is no way for me to provide links to a primary source for amendments from the 109th Congress. THOMAS, the Library of Congress’s website that has all this information, recently created a new system for permalinking legislative info (thanks, LOC and OHP!), but they haven’t integrated it yet with info from previous sessions.)

S.AMDT.1151 to H.R.2360 – To specify how certain vehicles are to be deployed to enhance border security.

S.AMDT.1438 to S.1042 – To redesignate the Naval Reserve as the Navy Reserve.

S.AMDT.1555 to S.1042 – To regulate management contracts, require an Analysis of Alternatives for major acquisition of the Department of Defense and impose additional limitations on certain leases and charters.

S.AMDT.1707 to H.R.2862 – To express the sense of the Senate regarding funding directives contained in H.R. 2862 or its accompanying report.

S.AMDT.1785 to H.R.2744 – To express the sense of the Senate regarding funding directives contained in H.R. 2744 or its accompanying report.

S.AMDT.1977 to H.R.2863 – Relating to persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.

S.AMDT.1978 to H.R.2863 – To prohibit the use of funds to pay salaries and expenses and other costs associated with reimbursing the Government of Uzbekistan for services rendered to the United States at Karshi-Khanabad airbase in Uzbekistan.

McCain’s Amendments in the 110th that Became law:

S.AMDT.19 to S.1 – To include a reporting requirement.

S.AMDT.3090 to H.R.1585 – To enhance the computation of years of service for purposes of retired pay for non-regular service.

S.AMDT.3103 to H.R.1585 – To require a pilot program on commercial fee-for-service air refueling support for the Air Force.

Obama’s Amendments in the 109th that Became Law:

S.AMDT.390 to H.R.1268 – To provide meal and telephone benefits for members of the Armed Forces who are recuperating from injuries incurred on active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

S.AMDT.670 to H.R.3 – To provide for Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) refueling capability at new and existing refueling station facilities to promote energy security and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

S.AMDT.808 to H.R.6 – To establish a program to develop Fischer-Tropsch transportation fuels from Illinois basin coal.

S.AMDT.851 to H.R.6 – To require the Secretary to establish a Joint Flexible Fuel/Hybrid Vehicle Commercialization Initiative, and for other purposes.

S.AMDT.1061 to H.R.2361 – To provide that none of the funds made available in this Act may be used in contravention of 15 U.S.C. section 2682©(3) or to delay the implementation of that section.

S.AMDT.1264 to H.R.3057 – To support a United States contribution to the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

S.AMDT.1362 to S.1042 – To require a report on the Department of Defense Composite Health Care System II.

S.AMDT.1453 to S.1042 – To ensure the protection of military and civilian personnel in the Department of Defense from an influenza pandemic, including an avian influenza pandemic.

S.AMDT.2301 to H.R.3010 – To increase funds to the Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity Program and to the Office of Special Education Programs of the Department of Education for the purposes of expanding positive behavioral interventions and supports.

Obama’s Amendments in the 110th that Became Law:

S.AMDT.41 to S.1 – To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged.

S.AMDT.905 to S.761 – To require the Director of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education to establish a program to recruit and provide mentors for women and underrepresented minorities who are interested in careers in mathematics, science, and engineering.

S.AMDT.923 to S.761 – To expand the pipeline of individuals entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to support United States innovation and competitiveness.

S.AMDT.924 to S.761 – To establish summer term education programs.

S.AMDT.3073 to H.R.1585 – To provide for transparency and accountability in military and security contracting.

S.AMDT.3078 to H.R.1585 – Relating to administrative separations of members of the Armed Forces for personality disorder.

For sure, both Obama and McCain have more legislative accomplishments in the 109th and 110th Congress than what I have listed here. Both have been leading co-sponsors of major pieces of legislation (the Lugar-Obama Non-Proliferation Act comes to mind), and I will be dealing with those in future posts. For this post I wanted to stick with objectively verifiable measurements (bills and amendments can only have one primary sponsor) rather than get into speculating on how much work they put into bills that they have co-sponsored. Subscribe to our RSS feed to make sure you get all our future posts regarding the Obama and McCain’s records in the Senate.

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Comments

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vishalchohan 04/14/2012 5:29am
in reply to CondoforRentBangkok Feb 11, 2012 10:13am

his same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades . Floppy to usb DOUGLASFIELD, my eyes are hurting with your long comment.WHERE ARE AMERICA’S RELIGIOUS LEADERS ???

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gainpips 01/02/2012 3:06pm
in reply to DOUGLASFIELD Oct 18, 2008 3:39pm

DOUGLASFIELD, my eyes are hurting with your long comment…. forex broker reviews

donnyshaw 11/02/2008 6:00pm
in reply to Anonymous Oct 23, 2008 3:52pm

Funny you should ask. That information is available with our new vote comparison tool:

http://www.opencongress.org/person/compare?person1=300071&person2=400629&commit=Compare

Anonymous 10/23/2008 3:52pm

Very helpful information. However, something I’ve never seen published: On total votes in the 109th and 110th where BOTH senators voted, what is the percentage they agreed/disagreed?

DOUGLASFIELD 10/18/2008 3:39pm

JUDICIAL INJUSTICES BEING INFLICTED ON POORER AMERICANS NEEDS….C*H*A*N*G*E…..

SENATOR OBAMA, PLEASE LET THE AMERICAN VOTERS AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY KNOW YOUR FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT A NEEDED FUTURE REPAIR AND RENOVATION OF A BROKEN US JUDICIAL SYSTEM THAT CONTINUES TO ALLOW THE EXECUTION’S OF EVEN POSSIBLE INNOCENT AMERICAN’S LIKE TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA ?

BEING THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SENATOR OBAMA, DON’T WE NEED AS THE LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD TO BEGIN ONCE AGAIN TO RE-INVEST THE PROPER MONIE$ IN OUR OWN US JUDICIAL SYSTEM, ASSURING ALL OF OUR CITIZENS THEIR RIGHTS TO FAIR TRIALS WITH PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ???

DOES GOD NEED TO LOBBY OUR US CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD ON BEHALF OF OUR poorer american’s SENATOR OBAMA,OR ARE YOU WATCHING OUT FOR THEM ?? ***OUR US CONGRESS CONTINUES TO DENY MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION EVEN THOUGH WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS & FALSE INCARCERATIONS CONTINUE ALL ACROSS AMERICA ???

  • 700 BILLION $$$ AVAILABLE FOR US BAILOUT, & NO $$$ FOR ALL POORER AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ?
    SENATOR OBAMA, THIS JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM, AND NO LONGER CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN OR SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EVEN IF CERTAIN (501c3) U$ RELIGIOU$ LEADER$ HAVE BEEN $ILENCED ??

LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA’S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????

WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL INJUSTICE CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK & LATINO AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??

  • WHEN GOD’S FACE BECAME VERY RED * THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????
  • INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS ! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY **** The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.

WHERE ARE AMERICA’S RELIGIOUS LEADERS ???
Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

Sadly, the true US legal Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus with our US FEDERAL COURTS and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World! ***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY !

A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
1) YAHOO 2) GOOGLE MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.

  • A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

Someone please tell our US Congress that the GED degree that Manny Gonzales acquired in prison is not a LAW DEGREE !!!!!!

lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com (424-247-2013)

eostrom 10/14/2008 10:00pm

… Well, if this was HTML, those links would be pretty handy!

eostrom 10/14/2008 9:59pm

Over on Obsidian Wings, hilzoy performed a similar exercise: sponsored bills and amendments, co-sponsored (110th Congress), co-sponsored (109th Congress). The author is a pro-Obama partisan, but the lists are offered largely without comment (except, of course, in the comment threads).

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.