Chuck Schumer Is Most Active Member of Congress

Senators typically sponsor 43 bills per session. Sen. Chuck Schumer has sponsored 137.

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Members of Congress may already be planning for their August vacations , but some will be taking a break from more activity than others. According to data from the Library of Congress legislation tracking site, THOMAS.gov, there is a broad range of activity among members in terms of the amount of legislation they introduce. Not surprisingly, with a Democratic majority in both houses and a Democratic president, the most active in terms of legislation sponsorship in the 111th Congress tend to be Democrats. Among the top senators and representatives, there is only one Republican--Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer is the most active member by this measure, with 137 bills sponsored thus far in the 111th Congress. This puts him well over the average for current senators, which is 43 bills. Schumer's legislation includes the DISCLOSE Act, which seeks to make corporations more vocally claim responsibility for the campaign advertisements they sponsor. Schumer's legislation this session also ranges to arguably more trivial matters, as in his January 2009 resolution congratulating the New York Yankees on winning baseball's 2009 World Series. [See where Schumer's campaign cash comes from.]

New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney and Ros-Lehtinen--the only Republican among the top senators and representatives--have each sponsored 70 bills this session. Maloney was responsible for introducing the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which limits the ways in which credit card companies can impose fees on their customers. Ros-Lehtinen, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced many bills seeking to affirm positions on international affairs issues, such as recognizing Colombia as an ally in fighting drug trafficking. She also introduced a controversial bill that would make it a federal crime for an adult to transport a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion without consent from that minor's parents.

Here are the top 5 most active senators:

Senator Party State Bills Sponsored This Session
Chuck Schumer D NY 137
Dianne Feinstein D CA 132
Arlen Specter D PA 125
Sherrod Brown D OH 110
Robert Menendez D NJ 106

Here are the top 6 most active representatives:

Senator Party State Bills Sponsored This Session
Carolyn Maloney D NY 70
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen R FL 70
Bob Filner D CA 67
Joe Sestak D PA 65
Alcee Hastings D FL 64
Sheila Jackson Lee D TX 64

There are also three current members of Congress who have yet to sponsor any legislation this session, all of them members of the House: Florida Democrat Ted Deutch, Georgia Republican Tom Graves, and Georgia Republican Lynn Westmoreland. But time appears to be the limiting factor for two of these men. Deutch, for example, only took office on April 15, 2010, and Graves was sworn in on June 14.

Westmoreland, for his part, has a history of sponsoring very little legislation, having sponsored only five bills since he came to the House in January 2005. However, Westmoreland asserts that he is simply opposed to Congress wasting time on legislation that has no chance of becoming law. "Congress wastes enough time on silly matters like renaming post offices and celebrating sports teams' victories," says Justin Stokes, press secretary for Westmoreland .