Casey: The Worst Senator, Ever

“[Bob Casey] is to Pennsylvania politics what Punxsutawney Phil is to weather forecasting: Rare, shadowy and forceless. Punxsutawney Bob is shaping up as the Senate’s most ineffective legislator, maybe ever.” –J.D. Mullane, Bucks County Courier Times

HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Executive Director Mike Barley released the following statement highlighting an editorial published in the Bucks County Courier Times on Sunday regarding Senator Bob Casey’s failed record in the U.S. Senate:

“The fact that none of Bob Casey’s 324 bills have become law is the latest proof that he is indeed Senator Zero. Clearly he doesn’t have the clout to get things done in Washington, D.C., or his colleagues in the majority don’t place his ideas in the highest regard. Either way, Bob Casey’s 0-324 record shows that he’s been a complete failure in the U.S. Senate and Pennsylvanians’ deserve representation that will do more than sit idly by rubberstamping an unpopular President’s policies 95% of the time.

“An 0-324 record might be an acceptable score for Bob Casey and D.C. Democrats, but it certainly won’t be for Tom Smith. We need Tom Smith in the U.S. Senate, a small businessman and community leader who knows how to get things done and isn’t willing to fight for Pennsylvania values inside the beltway.”

Bob Casey Jr., The Senate’s Strike Out King
We hardly see Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. in Bucks County. He is to Pennsylvania politics what Punxsutawney Phil is to weather forecasting: Rare, shadowy and forceless.

Punxsutawney Bob is shaping up as the Senate’s most ineffective legislator, maybe ever. He sponsored 199 bills in the 112th Congress, and none became law. A bad year of partisan gridlock, you say? Casey’s party controls the Senate and he still can’t get anything passed…

Since April 2007, Casey has sponsored 324 bills and none became law. He managed to get one passed in the Senate, the “Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act.” It died in the House.

He’s better at symbolic resolutions. Casey has gotten 11 of those passed in the Senate, including Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, National Hunger Awareness Day, well wishes to Penn State for holding a charity dance marathon, and a proclamation recognizing the importance of exercise for maintaining good health.

As for legislation, he’s 0-324. If he were on the Phillies, he’d be traded.

“It is unclear whether Casey holds, or is approaching, the individual record for most consecutive failed bills sponsored by a senator,” writes Patrick Howley of the Washington Free Beacon, who first reported the Casey story on Aug. 2.

The Free Beacon, a conservative online journal, reports that Casey’s office didn’t respond to its request for comment. The Casey campaign did respond to me when I asked about the senator’s astonishing lack of legislative achievement.

Here’s Larry Smar, Casey’s campaign manager: “The charges in that partisan publication are misleading and don’t come close to telling the real story. The fact is that a number of Senator Casey’s proposals have passed Congress and become law. In the past year alone, Bob Casey has passed major legislation to give a tax cut to middle-class families and to help workers who lost their jobs due to unfair foreign trade.

“Due to compromise and negotiation, bills and amendments are added to other bills or a different version of the bill is the one that is signed into law. Bob Casey has a record of working with Republicans and Democrats to find commonsense solutions to problems.”

Since I am unfamiliar with the dark arts of Senate sausage-making, I called Pat Howley at the Free Beacon and asked if Casey’s guy has a point. Howley seemed bemused.

“Casey can’t even get his own caucus behind any of his legislation. In six years, he just hasn’t developed the clout a senator needs to get things done,” he said.

Howley, using congressional records, breaks down Casey’s record: In the 111th Congress, the senator sponsored 98 bills. None passed. He did get resolutions passed to honor the artist Andrew Wyeth, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins.

In the 110th Congress, Casey sponsored 27 bills that fizzled. However, among the symbolic resolutions he had passed was a recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.

It doesn’t make sense that no one joins Bob Casey Jr. to get his legislation passed. Casey’s voting record is as dutiful as they come. The Washington Post reports that Casey voted 93 percent of the time with his party in the 112th Congress; 97 percent in the 111th, and 94 percent in the 110th.

He hasn’t given up, though. Casey has seven bills pending in the Senate, but if past is prologue, they too, his colleagues will pass.

In fact, you can count on it with Casey’s proposed “Servicemembers Access to Justice Act of 2012” which would “improve the enforcement of employment and re-employment of members of the uniformed services.”, which tracks federal legislation, says Casey’s bill has a “0% chance of being enacted” because “this bill was a re-introduction of a (Senate bill) 263 … from the previous session of Congress.” Oops. Doesn’t his staff check this stuff?

Maybe this is a good thing. I mean, don’t we have too many needless laws in this country? Most of us want to be left alone to live our lives as we wish.

Yet Congress ceaselessly meddles, regulates, taxes and spends at will, and now controls our healthcare. What if Congress was comprised of elected ornaments like Bob Casey Jr., legislators so inept they can’t get anything passed into law even when their own party runs the show.

Fewer laws, more liberty. Wow. Bob Casey for Senate. It’s a start.

(Mullane, JD. Bob Casey Jr., The Senate’s Strike Out King. Philly Burbs blog (Bucks County Courier Times)
August 12, 2012)

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