Retiring Lawmaker's Record: 0 for 646

NJ's Rob Andrews didn't get a law passed in 23 years, though not for lack of trying
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2014 3:44 PM CST
Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., left, accompanied by Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., in a file photo.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – New Jersey Democrat Rob Andrews made a surprise announcement today that he'll be giving up his House seat as of Feb. 18 to join a Philadelphia law firm, reports Philly.com. And while it's big news in Jersey, Andrews isn't exactly a household name nationally. Still, the Washington Post observes that he's got a legislative track record remarkable in its own way: Over 23 years, not one of the 646 pieces of legislation Andrews authored has become law. All the more impressive is that no representative has introduced more bills than him in that span.

Sure, most bills fail in Congress, but "by those numbers, Andrews would be America’s least successful lawmaker of the past two decades," writes David Fahrenthold. Andrews, described as a "semi-liberal back-bencher," defends himself by saying that modern lawmaking these days is done through massive pieces of legislation, not through individual bills. By his own reckoning, Andrews estimates that 110 of his ideas have become law in that fashion. If he wants to eliminate the goose egg, however, maybe he can rename a post office in his final two weeks? (Read more Robert Andrews stories.)

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