I have spent a considerable amount of time researching my congressman’s record. If you think your congressperson is useless, I bet you I can one up you with my congressman! I was stunned to find out that Congressman Israel is nothing but an empty suit that talks a good name but for all practical purposes, gets nothing done in Congress. Let’s look at the stats on Congressman Israel.
Since he took office Jan 2001, Steve Israel has sponsored 144 bills of which 142 haven’t made it out of committee and only 2 were successfully enacted (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/person.xpd?id=400195). To use a football metaphor his percent of completed passes is only 1.3%. I don’t think he’d qualify for any MVP awards for that performance. Here are his stats for the 2011-2012 legislative session (http://www.opencongress.org/people/show/400195_Steve_Israel):
- 29 Sponsored Bills (Ranks 33 of 440) 0 Made Into Law (Ranks 141 of 440)
- 216 Co-Sponsored Bills (Ranks 62 of 440) 6 Made Into Law (Ranks 2 of 440)
Talk about an abysmal record! I said to myself “are you kidding me, you have the 2nd WORST co-sponsorship record for bills made into law and you only ranked 33rd in sponsoring bills, none of which have been enacted”. What the hell is this guy doing all day down in Washington and what kind of bills does he sign on to that no one wants to enact? Anyone wanting to answer this question can go to his website and click on the link providing this information. One thing is clear to me; I see nothing that would improve the economic conditions of constituents or businesses in the 2nd congressional district.
To get back to the answering the question of what the hell does he do all day, I found this chart which depicts Congressman Israel’s missed votes. Steve Israel missed 217 (3%) of 7,982 roll call votes since Jan 3, 2001. The graph below shows the percent of roll call votes Steve Israel was absent for during the Member’s time in Congress.
Congressman Israel’s absentee rate is in red. The two thin black lines provide a context for understanding the significance of the absentee rate. The lower dotted line shows the median value for all Members of Congress in that time period. The upper dotted line shows the 90th percentile. A Member who approaches the upper dotted line is in the worst 10 percent of Congress.
It is clear from the graph that Congressman Israel exceeds the median for all members of Congress and during many periods he approaches the upper dotted line giving him the dubious distinction of ranking in the worst 10% of Congress. In a sign of things to come, look at the slope of line staring in 2011. It appears that we have “lift off” with all systems go for a possibly record breaking performance! I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that he is head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and doesn’t have time to do the congressional duties for which he was elected. Speaking of his chairmanship at the DCCC, how does a Congressman with such pathetic record get such a prestigious post? Was this payola for not running against Andrew Cuomo for Governor of NY? Inquiring minds want to know.
For those of you who don’t know, when Congressman Israel is home in the district he likes to portray himself as a moderate. Well my research found that nothing could be further from the truth as illustrated in the following chart:
The graph to the left shows Israel as a large dot among his peers, with the left-right axis indicating ideology and the up-down axis representing legislative leadership.
These labels come from the Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership statistical analysis that we have carried out. The statistical analysis is blind to party affiliation and the content of bills. From there, we have divided the Members of Congress into far-left/right, rank-and-file, and centrist; and leader, rank-and-file, or lonely (i.e. follower) by 20th and 80th percentiles.
It’s pretty clear that he is way to the left of most member of Congress. To further illustrate this just take a look at a head to head comparison of Steve Israel and Nancy Pelosi:
Steve Israel and Nancy Pelosi have voted together 1454 times on roll call votes since January, 2007 in votes where neither abstained, representing a voting similarity of 94%. The list below highlights how their voting records compare on passage of bills
So what are we, the constituents of Steve Israel, to make of this little trip down memory lane? Well one thing is clear to me; he doesn’t get much done in Congress. If he were in private industry he would have been canned a long time ago. To be honest, I was pretty stunned to see just how ineffective Steve Israel is as a Congressman. The way he talks you’d think he was a real mover and shaker in Congress, but what I found is that he’s a DUD! It’s time the people of the 2nd Congressional send Congressman Israel a big fat pink slip.