The headline says it all: Just 15 bills have crested the veritable Aggro Crag that is the 113th Congress to reach President Obama’s desk this year. For comparison’s sake, George W. Bush signed 13 bills into law on today’s date alone in 2005—with a Republican majority in both houses, mind you—but seven of those bills were sponsored by Democrats!
The bills that have been enacted so far this year (nine await Obama’s signature) fall into four general categories:
HR 258: Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (A new version of the law against claiming, falsely, to be a veteran. The last version was struck down by SCOTUS.)
HR 325: No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013 (The punt that delayed the debt limit.)
HR 475: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include vaccines against seasonal influenza within the definition of taxable vaccines.
HR 1246: District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Vacancy Act
HR 1765: Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 (The sequestration “fix” that put air traffic controllers back to work.)
S 716: A bill to modify the requirements under the STOCK Act regarding online access to certain financial disclosure statements and related forms. (A disemboweling of the ban on insider trading by Hill staffers.)
S 47: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
HR 307: Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013
S 622: Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Act of 2013
3. Disaster relief and other appropriations
HR 41: Hurricane Sandy relief bill
HR 152: Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013
HR 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013
4. Commemorative bills
HR 360: To award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley to commemorate the lives they lost 50 years ago in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
HR 1071: To specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.
And one bonus non sequitur: The Freedom to Fish Act, which opens boating access around dams in Kentucky and bill sponsor Sen. Lamar Alexander’s native Tennessee.
Meanwhile, more than 4,000 bills have been referred to committee this year, where most will die of starvation.