Tim Johnson Watch

Representative Tim Johnson was elected to represent the residents of Illinois' 15th Congressional District in Central Illinois. His constituents should know what he's doing.

Location: 15th Congressional District, Illinois, United States

A concerned citizen of Central Illinois.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Footprints in the Sand

As the House readies to reconvene in two weeks, this might be a good time to review Tim Johnson's legislative "accomplishments" for 2005:

Bills sponsored: Five. Well, one really. On September 22, Johnson introduced five companion bills (HR 3877-81) to "suspend temporarily the duty on certain parts of machinery for molding and forming certain articles". Each bill lists particular parts (e.g., barrel screws) that would be exempt from tariff for a period of time. Presumably, the bills would benefit some American manufacturers who use such parts (and, one hopes, some of those manufacturers are in our District), though they may harm American manufacturers who make such parts, since the bills encourage foreign sourcing. Whatever the merits of these bills, Johnson hardly acted like someone who believed in them. He never issued a press release explaining why these bills had merit or would benefit the nation or the Fifteenth District. Nor, apparently, did he make much effort to persuade his colleagues of the bills' merit, as they found no co-sponsors and were immediately referred to Committee, and no further action was taken.

Sponsored bills enacted: Zero. None even debated. See above.

Appearances in Congressional Record: Thirteen, according to Thomas (Library of Congress) search, although the actual number is twelve (as one instance actually refers to Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT)). Of those, seven relate to tributes and similar non-substantive matters (e.g., a tribute to postal employees), two are instances where Johnson asked to change his vote, two are instances where he was too late to vote and asked to make a statement as to how he would have voted, and one was a list of all Representatives and their committee appointments. In other words, Johnson did not make a single floor statement in support of or opposition to any bill before the House.

By any standard, this is an uninspiring legislative record. Especially for a member of the majority party. Especially for someone who is reneging on a term limit pledge because of the purported benefits of seniority for what he can accomplish.


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