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Eye On Boise

Minnick’s legislative batting record exceeds other Idaho frosh reps

Freshman Rep. Walt Minnick has sponsored more legislation, and seen more of it pass, than any other first-term U.S. House member from Idaho in the past two decades. A Spokesman-Review analysis shows that Minnick has sponsored 27 bills or amendments in his two years in Congress, and 10 passed. Three more bills are lined up for possible passage when Congress reconvenes in November. Minnick’s measures range from successful tweaks to major Democratic legislation, like financial reform, to his own smaller version of a stimulus bill. He’s championed expanding job-training programs, banning earmarks, increasing veterans’ benefits and reforming the commercial credit market. A dozen of the bills Minnick sponsored were co-sponsored by Idaho GOP congressman Mike Simpson.

By comparison, in his freshman term in Congress in 1999-2000, Simpson sponsored nine bills and one amendment; one bill passed. Minnick’s predecessor in the Idaho 1st Congressional District, Republican Bill Sali, sponsored 16 bills and four amendments in his two years in office; one bill and two amendments passed. Minnick’s tally, both for sponsoring and passing legislation, also exceeds the first-term numbers for former Idaho 1st District Reps. Butch Otter, Helen Chenoweth and Larry LaRocco, the last Democrat to hold the seat.

Minnick’s GOP challenger, Raul Labrador, said, “I think the real question is how many jobs did these bills bring to Idaho? … Congress with Minnick’s assistance continues to spend too much money, over-regulate and tax us more.” You can read my full story here, and see the results of the bills-sponsored analysis in a bar chart here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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