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It has really been bothering me - the charges that Obama is all talk and no action.  Those of us who support him and have reviewed his record know there is no basis to this charge, but just to make sure, I went to the Congressional Record ( and did a search for bills sponsored or co-sponsored by Senator Obama in his three short years in the US Senate.  I searched the 109th and 110th Congresses which cover the years 2005-2007.

In a nut shell I found:

Senator Obama has sponsored or co-sponsored 570 bills in the 109th and 110th Congress.

Senator Obama has sponsored or co-sponsored 15 bills that have become LAW since he joined the Senate in 2005.

Senator Obama has also introduced amendments to 50 bills, of which 16 were adopted by the Senate.

His record is in fact quite impressive for a junior Senator from Illinois.  

Details below the fold.

Below I summarize Senator Obama's legislative record in the US Senate.  

First I list the bills he sponsored that have become law.  

Next I summarize the bills that he has sponsored or cosponsored since he became a US Senator in 2005.

I have only included major pieces of legislation and have not summarized continuing resolutions or naming post offices, for example.

His record suggests several priorities and the bills he supports address many of our most pressing problems.

Most of his legislative effort has been in the area of Energy Efficiency and Climate Change (25 bills), health care (21 bills) and public health (20 bills), consumer protection/labor (14 bills), the needs of Veterans and the Armed Forces (13 bills), Congressional Ethics and Accountability (12 bills), Foreign Policy (10 bills) Voting and Elections (9 bills), Education (7 bills), Hurricane Katrina Relief (6), the Environment (5 bills), Homeland Security (4 bills), and discrimination (4 bills).  

Of the 15 bills Senator Obama sponsored or co-sponsored in 2005-7 that became law:

Two addressed foreign policy:
Promote relief, security and democracy in the Congo (2125)
Develop democratic institutions in areas under Palestinian control (2370).

Three addressed public health:
Improve mine safety (2803)
Increased breast cancer funding (597)
Reduce preterm delivery and complications, reduce infant mortality (707).

Two addressed openness and accountability in government:
Strengthening the Freedom of Information Act (2488)
Full disclosure of all entities receiving federal funds (2590)

Two addressed national security
Extend Terrorist Risk Insurance (467)
Amend the Patriot Act (2167)

One addressed the needs of the Armed Forces
Wave passport fees to visit graves, attend memorials/funerals of veterans abroad (1184).

Of the 570 bills Senator Obama introduced into the Senate during the 109th and 110th Congress  (Senate Bill numbers are in parentheses), they can be summarized as follows:

25 addressed Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
Suspend royalty relief for oil and gas (115)
Reduce dependence on oil; use of alternative energy sources (133)
Increase fuel economy standards for cars (767, 768)
Auto industry incentives for fuel efficient vehicles (1151)
Reduce green house gas emissions (1324)
Establish at NSF a climate change education program (1389)
Increase renewable content of gasoline (2202)
Energy emergency relief for small businesses and farms (269)
Strategic gasoline and fuel reserves (1794)
Alternative diesel standards (3554)
Coal to liquid fuel promotion (3623)
Renewable diesel standards (1920)
Reducing global warming pollution from vehicles (2555)
Fuel security and consumer choice (1994, 2025)
Alternative energy refueling system (2614)
Climate change education (1389)
Low income energy assistance (2405)
Oil savings targets (339)
Fuel economy reform (3694)
Plug-in electric drive vehicles (1617)
Nuclear release notice (2348)
Passenger rail investment (294)
Energy relief for low income families (2405)

21 addressed Health Care
Drug re-importation (334)
Health information technology (1262, 1418)
Discount drug prices (2347)
Health care associated infections (2278)
Hospital quality report cards (692, 1824)
Medical error disclosure and compensation (1784)
Emergency medical care and response (1873)
Stem cell research (5)
Medical Malpractice insurance (1525)
Health centers renewal (901, 3771)
Children’s health insurance (401)
Home health care (2061)
Medicare independent living (2103)
Microbicides for HIV/AIDS (823)
Ovarian cancer biomarker research (2569)
Gynological cancers (1172)
Access to personalized medicine through use of human genome (976)
Paralysis research and care (1183)

20 addressed Public Health:
Violence against women (1197)
Biodefense and pandemic preparedness and response (1821, 1880)
Viral influenza control (969)
End homelessness (1518)
Reduce STDs/unintended pregnancy (1790)
Smoking prevention and tobacco control (625)
Minority health improvement and disparity elimination (4024)
Nutrition and physical education in schools (2066)
Health impact assessments (1067, 2506)
Healthy communities (1068)
Combat methamphetamines (2071)
Paid sick leave (910)
Prohibit mercury sales (833, 1818)
Prohibit sale of lead products (1306, 2132)
Lead exposure in children (1811, 2132)

14 address Consumer Protection/Labor
Stop unfair labor practices (842)
Fair minimum wage (2, 1062, 2725, 3829)
Internet freedom (2917)
Credit card safety (2411)
Media ownership (2332)
Protecting taxpayer privacy (2484)
Working family child assistance (218)
Habeus Corpus Restoration (185)
Bankruptcy protection for employees and retirees (2092)
FAA fair labor management dispute resolution (2201)
Working families flexibility (2419).

13 addressed the Needs of Veterans and the Armed Forces:
Improve Benefits (117)
Suicide prevention (479)
Needs of homeless veterans (1180)
Homes for veterans (1084)
GI Bill enhancement (43)
Military job protection
Dignity in care for wounded vets (713)
Housing assistance for low income veterans (1084)
Military children in public schools (2151)
Military eye injury research and care (1999)
Research physical/mental health needs from Iraq War (1271)
Proper administration of discharge for personality disorder (1817, 1885)
Security of personal data of veterans (3592)

12 addressed Congressional Ethics and Accountability
Lobbying and ethics reform (230)
Stop fraud (2280)
Legislative transparency and accountability (525)
Open government (2180, 2488)
Restoring fiscal discipline (10)
Transparency and integrity in earmarks (2261)
Accountability of conference committee deliberations and reports (2179)
Federal funding accountability and transparency (2590)
Accountability and oversight for private security functions under Federal
contract (674)
Accountability for contractors and personnel under federal contracts
(2147) Resctrictions awarding government contracts (2519)

10 addressed Foreign Policy:
Iraq war de-escalation (313)
US policy for Iraq (433),
Divestiture from Iran (1430)
Sudan divestment authorization (831)
Millennium Development Goals (2433)
Multilateral debt relief (1320)
Development bank reform (1129)
Nuclear nonproliferation (3131,977,2224).

9 address Voting/Elections
Prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections (453)
Voter access to polls and services in Federal elections (737)
Voter intimidation and deceptive practices (1975)
Senate campaign disclosure parity (185)
Require reporting for bundled campaign contributions (2030)
Election jamming prevention (4102)
Campaign disclosure parity (223)
Presidential funding (2412)
Integrity of electronic voting systems (1487)

11 addressed Education
Increase access of low income African Americans to higher education (1513)
Establish teaching residency programs (1574)
Increase early intervention services (2111)
Middle school curriculum improvements (2227)
Public database of scholarships, fellowships and financial aid (2428)
Summer learning programs (116)
TANF financial education promotion (924)
Higher education (1642)
Build capacity at community colleges (379)
Campus law enforcement in emergencies (1228)
Support for teachers (2060).

6 addressed Hurrican Katrina
Hurricane Katrina recovery (2319)
Emergency relief (1637)
Bankruptcy relief and community protection (1647)
Working family tax relief (2257)
Fair wages for recovery workers (1749)
Gulf coast infrastructure redevelopment (1836)

5 addressed the Environment
Drinking water security (218, 1426)
Water resources development (728)
Waste water treatment (1995)
Combat illegal logging (1930)
Spent nuclear fuel tracking and Acountability (1194)
Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (Introduced in Senate)[S.726.IS ]

4 addressed Discrimination
Claims for  civil class action based on discrimination (1989)
Domestic partnership benefits (2521)
Unresolved civil rights crimes (535)
Equality or two parent families (2286)

4 addressed Homeland Security
Judicial review of FISA orders (2369)
National emergency family locator (1630)
Amend US Patriot Act (2167)
Chemical security and safety (2486)

Next time someone asks you "where's the beef" in Senator Obama's Senate record, please feel free to send the link to this diary.

Originally posted to Helenann on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 02:19 PM PST.

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