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Michele Bachmann's congressional record

Michele Bachmann: Representation without legislation.
Michele Bachmann: Representation without legislation.
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With so much written about the wild things Michele Bachmann says, City Pages thought we'd take a look at what she has actually accomplished in Congress.

Despite Bachmann's early success in the presidential polls, her congressional record is composed almost entirely of confusion and failure. She's authored bills that not a single other lawmaker will cosponsor; she's sponsored the exact same failing bills over and over again; she's entered bills on obscure or trivial topics.

Some are probably well-meaning, such as those relating to foster children or adoption services. Others seem downright awful, like the Emergency Energy Cut the Red Tape Now Act of 2008, which would allow pretty much anyone to start blowing up national parks to look for oil or natural gas.

Of the 46 sponsored bills to her name -- only two of which have actually passed the U.S. House -- here are a few of the highlights:

Positive Alternatives Act

Bachmann's generally opposed to spending, and seems freaked out by the federal government reaching into any straight person's life. But with this bill, introduced December 19, 2007, she tried to add a pro-life section to the Social Security Act to pay for a variety of things that would discourage women from having abortions.

It's interesting just how far-reaching Bachmann imagined this bill to be. It proposes to fund "any other service designed to assist a qualified individual who is a woman" -- that "woman" part is probably important -- "to carry her unborn child to term...including the provision of...baby food, maternity or baby clothing, baby furniture, or information or education (including classes), regarding prenatal care, childbirth, adoption, parenting, chastity, or abstinence."

Michele Bachmann will risk her career to save your old lightbulbs.
Michele Bachmann will risk her career to save your old lightbulbs.

Essentially, this bill is offering chunks of money -- under the broad label of "any other service" -- just to stop a woman from having an abortion. Normally Bachmann doesn't support welfare handouts, but in this case she's willing to use unlimited piles of taxpayer money to pay for diapers, Gerbers, and chastity classes.

With 42 cosponsors, this bill was sent to a committee the day after its conception, but wasn't carried to term.

Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act

The Energy Independence and Security Act, passed in 2007, has a clause that will lead to the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs by 2012. Those bulbs, the classic hot wire in a glass model, haven't changed much in 50 years and use more energy than newer models.

In this bill, Bachmann tried to save America's light bulbs by removing the clause, unless the comptroller general produces a report that shows that switching bulbs will save money and "reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent."

In other words, Bachmann is giving the comptroller general -- who's actually kind of busy -- a homework assignment about light bulbs. Bachmann's not ashamed of this one, either: She re-entered the same bill again this year, this time to even less interest from her fellow lawmakers.

Bachmann has made light bulbs a central point of her presidential campaign, saying, "With President Bachmann Americans can buy any light bulb they want."

Bachmann's bill, entered originally March 13, 2008, had only 24 cosponsors, and was referred to a committee the next day, where it mercifully burned out.


Recognizing the State of Minnesota's 150th anniversary

With all this failure, it's worth pointing out one of the congresswoman's two successful pieces of legislation.

Bachmann's only success in congress was recognizing Minnesota's anniversary.
Bachmann's only success in congress was recognizing Minnesota's anniversary.

In the text of the bill, Bachmann lists all of the state's great accomplishments. One line reads, "Whereas Minnesota is the Nation's number one producer of sugarbeets and turkeys."

Other lines promote the Mall of America and the "timeless reputation of compassion, strength, and determination" of its people.

She got this piffle passed, but even that wasn't easy. Bachmann originally entered the bill December 19, 2007, but only six lawmakers cared to look up from their desks and cosponsor it. She put it back in January 16, 2008, and finally got it passed... five months later, on June 3, or three weeks after the actual anniversary. Sorry, Minnesota, America got really tied up at work, and forgot our anniversary. He'll make it up to us next time.

The bill passed the U.S. House at 7:05 p.m., June 3, a moment that all Minnesotans will never forget.

School Choice for Foster Kids Act

Bachmann isn't above introducing bills that seem tailored just for her.

On April 23, 2009, the congresswoman pushed for a law that would authorize state money to send foster kids to private schools. On top of tuition, the state dollars would also cover transportation costs.

This probably seemed like a fantastic idea to a woman with 23 foster kids and a distaste for the public school system.

Unfortunately, few others felt the same way. The bill was referred to a committee the same day it was introduced. With only 23 cosponsors, it never moved forward.

Census Improvement Act

Remember when Bachmann was totally convinced that ACORN planned to use census data for some diabolical scheme?

In 2009, Bachmann told reporters she refused to fill in census information because she believed the liberal community organizers would be going door to door collecting personal data from the American people.

As it turned out, Bachmann's statements were flat out wrong. ACORN was just one of 30,000 groups that were partnering with the Census, and were not actually hiring employees to infiltrate American households.

But being called out on this factual inaccuracy didn't cease Bachmann's paranoia and conspiracy theories. In September 2009, she introduced a bill that would limit the amount of questions that census workers could ask.

The bill was sent to a subcommittee a month later and never moved forward.

To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2168 7th Avenue in Anoka, Minnesota, as the "Richard K. Sorenson Post Office Building"

In her third year as a congresswoman and still striking out on passing actual legislation, it seems Bachmann decided to go for something simple.

In March 2010, Bachmann introduced a bill that would rename an Anoka post office after Richard K. Sorenson. According to the Anoka County Historical Society, Sorenson was a Marine in World War II. In 1944, during the Marine landing of Kwajalein Atoll, Sorenson found himself in a tight spot when a live grenade landed next to him and five other Marines.

Sorenson jumped on the grenade and miraculously lived to tell the tale, which earned him the Medal of Honor.

"There were Japs all around us," he recalled, according to the Anoka County Historical Society, "but we were holding our position."

Unfortunately, Bachmann's fellow lawmakers didn't see renaming the Anoka post office as being such a high priority. Only two people joined the push as cosponsors. The bill was sent to committee the day it was introduced, and never moved again.

The entirety of Bachmann's legislative career, courtesy of the official THOMAS record, can be found on the next page.

 

110th Congress, 2007-2008

1. [110th] H.R.636 : Health Care Freedom of Choice Act

Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 1/23/2007) Cosponsors (64)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 1/23/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

2. [110th] H.R.3869 : Minnesota Bridge Repair Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 10/17/2007) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: House Appropriations
Latest Major Action: 10/17/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.

3. Truth in Accounting Act of 2007
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 10/24/2007) Cosponsors (53)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Budget
Latest Major Action: 11/14/2007 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement.

4. [110th] H.R.4119 : Make It Count Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 11/8/2007) Cosponsors (21)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Major Action: 11/14/2007 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement.

5. [110th] H.R.4311 : To authorize States to use funds provided for the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to provide vouchers to cover tuition costs at private schools, and transportation costs to and from public schools, of foster children of all ages.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 12/6/2007) Cosponsors (28)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 12/6/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

6. [110th] H.R.4852 : Positive Alternatives Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 12/19/2007) Cosponsors (42)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 12/20/2007 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support.

7. [110th] H.R.5616 : Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/13/2008) Cosponsors (24)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 3/14/2008 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality.

8. [110th] H.R.6463 : Emergency Energy Cut the Red Tape Now Act of 2008
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 7/10/2008) Cosponsors (15)
Committees: House Natural Resources; House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 7/14/2008 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

9. [110th] H.R.6539 : Tracking Registered And Convicted Known (TRACK) Sex Offenders Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 7/17/2008) Cosponsors (4)
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 7/17/2008 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

10. [110th] H.R.6715 : Fast Track Shale Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 7/31/2008) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 8/5/2008 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

11. [110th] H.R.6716 : Promoting New American Energy Act of 2008
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 7/31/2008) Cosponsors (7)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 7/31/2008 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

12. [110th] H.R.6717 : Emergency Energy Cut the Red Tape Now Act of 2008
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 7/31/2008) Cosponsors (15)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Natural Resources; House Agriculture
Latest Major Action: 10/3/2008 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry.

13. [110th] H.R.6953 : Getting Resources Efficiently and Effectively Now Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 9/18/2008) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 9/22/2008 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

14. [110th] H.RES.789 : Honoring public child welfare agencies, nonprofit organizations and private entities providing services for foster children.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 11/1/2007) Cosponsors (63)
Committees: House Education and Labor
Latest Major Action: 5/14/2008 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On motion to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, as amended Agreed to by recorded vote (2/3 required): 414 - 0 (Roll no. 322).
Latest Action: 5/14/2008 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

15. [110th] H.RES.898 : Recognizing the State of Minnesota's 150th anniversary.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 12/19/2007) Cosponsors (7)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Major Action: 12/19/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

16. [110th] H.RES.923 : Recognizing the State of Minnesota's 150th anniversary.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 1/16/2008) Cosponsors (120)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Major Action: 6/3/2008 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On motion to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 363 - 0 (Roll no. 368).
Latest Action: 6/3/2008 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

17. [110th] H.AMDT.599 to H.R.3074 Amendment sought to reduce funding for Amtrak by $106 million.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 7/23/2007) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 7/24/2007 House amendment not agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Bachmann amendment (A003) Failed by recorded vote: 110 - 308 (Roll no. 692).

111th Congress, 2009-2010

1. [111th] H.R.502 : Health Care Freedom of Choice Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 1/14/2009) Cosponsors (29)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 1/14/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

2. [111th] H.R.636 : Positive Alternatives Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 1/22/2009) Cosponsors (34)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 1/22/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

3. [111th] H.R.943 : Truth in Accounting Act of 2009
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 2/10/2009) Cosponsors (22)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Budget
Latest Major Action: 5/4/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement.

4. [111th] H.R.1750 : Tracking Registered And Convicted Known (TRACK) Sex Offenders Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/26/2009) Cosponsors (8)
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

5. [111th] H.R.1810 : Fast Track Shale Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/31/2009) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 4/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

6. [111th] H.R.1811 : Getting Resources Efficiently and Effectively Now Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/31/2009) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 4/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

7. [111th] H.R.1812 : Promoting New American Energy Act of 2009
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/31/2009) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 3/31/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

8. [111th] H.R.1813 : Emergency Energy Cut the Red Tape Now Act of 2009
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/31/2009) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: House Natural Resources; House Energy and Commerce; House Agriculture
Latest Major Action: 4/28/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry.

9. [111th] H.R.2072 : School Choice for Foster Kids Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 4/23/2009) Cosponsors (23)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 4/23/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

10. [111th] H.R.2715 : Taxpayer Protection and Anti-Fraud Act of 2009
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 6/4/2009) Cosponsors (50)
Committees: House Financial Services
Latest Major Action: 6/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

11. [111th] H.R.3582 : Census Improvement Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 9/16/2009) Cosponsors (21)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Rules
Latest Major Action: 10/23/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives.

12. [111th] H.R.4696 : To expand the availability of health savings accounts, to eliminate restrictions on the deduction for medical expenses, and to provide for cooperative governing of individual health insurance coverage offered in interstate commerce.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 2/25/2010) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 2/25/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

13. [111th] H.R.4903 : To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/22/2010) Cosponsors (59)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means; House Education and Labor; House Judiciary; House Natural Resources; House Administration; House Appropriations; House Rules
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.

14. [111th] H.R.4909 : To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2168 7th Avenue in Anoka, Minnesota, as the "Richard K. Sorenson Post Office Building".
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/22/2010) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Major Action: 3/22/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

15. [111th] H.R.4924 : To allow the Secretary of the Interior to clear a proposed project in the Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/24/2010) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

16. [111th] H.R.5382 : To provide for a temporary freeze on the pay of civilian employees of the Federal Government.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 5/25/2010) Cosponsors (13)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Major Action: 5/25/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

17. [111th] H.R.6089 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate any time limitation for granting equitable innocent spouse relief.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 8/10/2010) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 8/10/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

18. [111th] H.R.6522 : End Tax Uncertainty Act of 2010
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 12/15/2010) Cosponsors (9)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 12/15/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

19. [111th] H.J.RES.41 : Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to prohibit the President from entering into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/25/2009) Cosponsors (38)
Committees: House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

20. [111th] H.RES.373 : Expressing support for designation of the month of September as "National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month".
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 4/28/2009) Cosponsors (89)
Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Major Action: 7/29/2009 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On motion to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution Agreed to by voice vote.
Latest Action: 7/29/2009 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

21. [111th] H.AMDT.6 to H.R.384 Amendment sought to eliminate changes and additional funding for the HOPE for Homeowners program.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 1/15/2009) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/15/2009 House amendment not agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Bachmann amendment (A005) Failed by recorded vote: 142 - 282 (Roll no. 21).

22. [111th] H.AMDT.634 to H.R.5019 Amendment requires the Department of Energy's Inspector General to submit a report to Congress identifying incidents of waste, fraud and abuse associated with the programs created by the bill. The amendment requires the report to include recommendations to prevent additional waste, fraud and abuse.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 5/6/2010) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 5/6/2010 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Bachmann amendment (A008) Agreed to by voice vote.

112th Congress, 2011-present

1. H.R.86 : End Tax Uncertainty Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 1/5/2011) Cosponsors (6)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 1/5/2011 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

2. H.R.87 : To repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 1/5/2011) Cosponsors (7)
Committees: House Financial Services; House Agriculture; House Energy and Commerce; House Judiciary; House Budget; House Oversight and Government Reform; House Ways and Means; House Small Business
Latest Major Action: 2/1/2011 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.

3. H.R.849 : Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/1/2011) Cosponsors (11)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 3/8/2011 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

4. H.R.850 : To facilitate a proposed project in the Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/1/2011) Cosponsors (3)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 5/4/2011 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

5. H.R.1285 : Military Health Care Affordability Act
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/31/2011) Cosponsors (4)
Committees: House Armed Services
Latest Major Action: 5/18/2011 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel.

6. H.R.1286 : Healthcare Fiscal Accountability Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 3/31/2011) Cosponsors (95)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means; House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2011 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.

7. H.R.1450 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate any time limitation for granting equitable innocent spouse relief.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 4/8/2011) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 4/8/2011 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.


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