04.22.21

Dearborn Press & Guide: Gary Peters ranks No. 1 over all as 'most effective' in U.S. Senate

He might have been in the minority, but his work was tops among the majority.

When the nonpartisan Center for Effective Lawmaking released its biannual ratings on effectiveness, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters ranked at the top of the list in the 116th Congress for 2019-2020.

The ratings, which were based on effectiveness in enacting and advancing legislation, showed that Peters outpaced every senator, regardless of party, in passing bills.

He passed 10 standalone bills into law and 14 bills through the Senate.

All bills passed and signed into law had bipartisan support.

It was noted that Peters was able to achieve this level of success not only while in his first term, but also with his party in the minority party.

“Michiganders expect us to get things done for them — and that’s always been my focus,” Peters said. “I’m proud to be recognized as the most effective senator and for passing legislation on issues impacting Michiganders: from protecting the Great Lakes and waterfront communities — to making our communities safer and expanding skills training and apprenticeship opportunities for veterans. “I will continue working to bring people together to solve challenges facing our state and nation.”

The center said the senator attained a high score through sponsoring 86 public bills, 24 of which made its way out of committee to the floor of the Senate.

“This alone is an accomplishment, as more than 93 percent of Democratic senators’ bills died in committee in the Congress,” a written statement from the CEL said. “But, Sen Peters’ successes continued with 14 of those bills passing the Senate, and 10 becoming law, which exceeds the previous record of seven laws by a minority-party senator in our data.”

Another point made by CEL was that the accomplishments by Peters were “all the more remarkable” due to the fact he was engaged in a tough reelection battle, which he won by less than 2 percent of the vote.

Sen. Peters had at least one Republican cosponsor on each of his successful bills; and it was often the case that more Republicans than Democrats signed onto his bills.

This pattern of co-sponsorship aligns with research showing that bipartisan lawmakers are much more effective than partisan lawmakers, even in the majority party.

Six different issue areas were singled out for his effectiveness.

Those areas are agriculture, government operations, labor, macroeconomics, public Lands and Technology.

The Center for Effective Lawmaking is a joint initiative between the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, which rates each member of Congress based on a number of factors including the bills they sponsor, how far those bills move through the lawmaking process and how important they are.

Peters has consistently been named among the most effective and bipartisan Senators in the chamber. Last year, the non-partisan Lugar Center ranked him as the third most bipartisan Democrat.

He also won the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship.

The following are the 10 bills Peters signed into law in the 116th Congress:

? The Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act of 2019, which will increase veterans’ access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) financial assistance that they can use toward a Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program.

? The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act, which will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund and help states establish revolving loan funds that could be used by local governments to carry out mitigation projects that reduce natural disaster risk.

The Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index Act, which will not only update ESI maps for the Great Lakes, but would additionally require periodic Great Lakes mapping updates. These new maps will provide more accurate assessments of coastal resources that are at risk of severe damage or a natural disaster, including endangered and threatened species, sensitive shoreline habitats, and widely used community resources such as beaches, parks and boat ramps.

? The Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019, which will help address the shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect the nation’s food supply and agricultural industries at the border. It will help ensure the safe and secure trade of agricultural goods across the nation’s borders by authorizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire additional inspectors, support staff and canine teams to fully staff America’s airports, seaports and land ports of entry.

The Transparency and Effective Accountability Measures for Veteran Caregivers Act, which will improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) caregiver program.

? The Charging Helps Agencies Realize General Efficiencies Act, which will save taxpayer dollars by updating policies to help federal agencies adopt electric vehicles, which are more energy efficient than traditional gas-powered vehicles.

? The Drone Advisory Committee for the 21st Century Act, which will ensure the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s chief drone policy committee includes representation for agriculture, forestry, and rural America.

? The Secure Federal LEASEs Act, which will determine if office space leased by the federal government is owned by foreign entities – including China.

? The Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act, which will strengthen the nation’s ability to predict severe space weather events and mitigate their harmful impacts on Earth.

? The One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act, which will permanently protect the Apollo landing sites on the moon. Specifically, the measure would enact first-of-its-kind legal protections for these historic sites from intentional and unintentional disturbances.


By:  Jackie Harrison-Martin
Source: Dearborn Press & Guide