See what LA County’s congressional delegation got done last term

California

Quantifying what sort of job lawmakers do is tough.

There are aspects of the job that can be quantified, including the number of bills lawmakers get passed and how much money they bring home to their districts in the form of earmarks. But not all bills are created equal — a bill to rename a post office is not the same as one that dramatically reshapes the nation’s economy, defense or culture. And some aspects, such as how much a legislator does on behalf of their constituents, are difficult or even impossible to quantify at all.

So this report card is an imperfect one, presenting what information can be quantified, including scores assigned by the Center of Effective Lawmaking — a joint project of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University — based on the quality of legislation members of the 117th Congress introduced and how close those bills made it to becoming a law.

According to the center, House Republicans, who were in the minority in the previous session, had an average legislative effectiveness score of 0.58, while House Democrats had an average LES of 1.40. Senate Republicans, also in the minority, had an average score of 0.77 and Democrats had an average score of 1.23.

Here’s how members of the Los Angeles County delegation fared:

Rep. Nanette Barragán, D-San Pedro

Rep. Nanette Barragan (center) File photo, Daily Breeze
Rep. Nanette Barragan (center) File photo, Daily Breeze

Bills introduced: 25 bills, 3 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 5

Earmarks requested: $7.5 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 1.038

The bills passed included H.R. 189, which authorized the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to fund research into health disparities; H.R. 1095, which renamed a Compton post office the PFC James Anderson, Jr., Post Office Building; and H.R. 1870, which requires the Department of Homeland Security to assign personnel to monitoring and sharing information on terrorism and other threats related to surface transportation hubs.

Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Thousand Oaks

Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village.
Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village.

Bills introduced: 54 bills, 5 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 3

Earmarks requested: $26.9 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 3.35

Among the bills signed into law were H.R. 912, which enhanced the mental health and suicide prevention services the Department of Veterans Affairs provides to minority veterans; H.R. 4794, which improved the mammography services provided by the VA; and H.R. 7698, which renamed the outpatient clinic at the Ventura office of the VA the “Captain Rosemary Bryant Mariner Outpatient Clinic.”

Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Panorama City

U.S. Congressman Tony Cardenas speaks during the San Fernando Police Department's Annual National Night Out event in San Fernando Tuesday, October 4, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
U.S. Congressman Tony Cardenas speaks during the San Fernando Police Department’s Annual National Night Out event in San Fernando Tuesday, October 4, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Bills introduced: 32 bills, 1 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 9

Earmarks requested: $12.5 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 1.939

The bill signed into law was H.R. 3182, which banned the sale of crib bumpers. The bumpers are blamed for the deaths of 48 children between 1985 and 2012.

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, as seen in an Aug. 17, 2022 file photo. (File photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, as seen in an Aug. 17, 2022 file photo. (File photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Bills introduced: 29, 1 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 13

Earmarks requested: $17.6 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 2.133

The bill that became law was H.R. 8878, which enhanced outpatient mental health services under the Medicare program. Chu also introduced H.R. 693, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act, which would have declared 49,387 acres of Federal land the San Gabriel National Recreation Area. She also introduced H.R. 3572, the Increasing Access to Mental Health in Schools Act, which would have provided federal grants for school-based mental health care for low-income school districts.

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Palmdale

Congressman Mike Garcia (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)
Congressman Mike Garcia (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Bills introduced: 10 bills, none of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 1

Earmarks requested: $9.9 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 0.18

Among the bills he introduced were H.R. 5010, which would have directed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create a wildfire prediction and detection service; H.R. 8008, which would have allowed states and school districts to use leftover COVID-19 emergency relief funds for school security measures; and H.R. 9131, which would have diverted funds from the Internal Revenue Service to the Department of Defense to be used for pay raises.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles

Congressman Jimmy Gomez announces that he has obtained one million dollars at the Bridewell Armory Monday, September 12, 2022. The funds will be used to help convert the armory into a new Highland Park Youth Arts Center. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Congressman Jimmy Gomez announces that he has obtained one million dollars at the Bridewell Armory Monday, September 12, 2022. The funds will be used to help convert the armory into a new Highland Park Youth Arts Center. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Bills introduced: 21 bills, 2 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 3

Earmarks requested: $9 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 0.943

The bills signed into law included H.R. 5187, which expanded and extended an existing energy-saving home improvements tax credit; and H.R. 5900, which renamed a Los Angeles post office the Marine Corps Reserve PVT Jacob Cruz Post Office.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Los Angeles

Congressman, Ted Lieu speaks during the Los Angeles County Democratic Election night party at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)
Congressman, Ted Lieu speaks during the Los Angeles County Democratic Election night party at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Bills introduced: 52 bills, 3 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 5

Earmarks requested: $10.8 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 1.874

Lieu’s bills signed into law included H.R. 404, which updated existing driftnet legislation; H.R. 711, which adjusted the terms under which the VA could rent its West Los Angeles Campus; and H.R. 1354, which directed the Department of the Interior to study whether parts of Santa Monica Bay should be made part of the National Park system.

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano is honored by University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman before La Verne Mayor Tim Hepburn delivers his State of the City address at University of La Verne in La Verne on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Congresswoman Grace Napolitano is honored by University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman before La Verne Mayor Tim Hepburn delivers his State of the City address at University of La Verne in La Verne on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Bills introduced: 10 bills, none of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 4

Earmarks requested: $17 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 0.745

Among the bills Napolitano introduced were H.R. 1015, which would have created a grant program for water recycling and reuse projects; H.R. 6501, which would have extended honorary citizenship to noncitizens who enlisted in the U.S. military in the Philippines and died while on active duty during World War II; and H.R. 7832, which would have renamed a West Covina post office the Esteban E. Torres Post Office Building, after the late congressman.

Rep. Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia

Rep. Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia, speaks Friday morning, March 3, during a news conference at the San Bernardino County Government Center. (Via YouTube)
Rep. Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia, speaks Friday morning, March 3, during a news conference at the San Bernardino County Government Center. (Via YouTube)

Bills introduced: 14 bills, 1 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 2

Earmarks requested: $11.1 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 1.298

Obernolte’s bill, H.R. 6434, the Japanese American World War II History Network Act, directs the Secretary of the Interior to create and distribute educational materials related to Japanese American experiences during World War II, including relocation centers and “confinement sites,” and create a branded network of sites relating to this history, including, with the consent of the property owners, private property. The bill was ultimately consolidated into H.R. 2617, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, and signed into law on Dec 29, 2022.

Rep. Linda Sánchez, D-Whittier

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez speaks during the graduation ceremony at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera on Wednesday June 8, 2022. (Photo by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer)
Congresswoman Linda Sanchez speaks during the graduation ceremony at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera on Wednesday June 8, 2022. (Photo by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer)

Bills introduced: 25 bills, none of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 7

Earmarks requested: $9.6 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 0.555

Among the bills she introduced were H.R. 7173, which would have renamed a Norwalk post office after the late Rep. Esteban E. Torres; H.R. 8891, which would have required private insurance to cover forensic medical exams; and H.R. 9396, which would have created a tax credit for the use of renewable natural gas — gas created from biofuels.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank

Adam Schiff, United States representative, waves during the 41st annual Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival parade as it made its way down Fair Oaks avenue on Feb. 19, 2023 in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)
Adam Schiff, United States representative, waves during the 41st annual Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival parade as it made its way down Fair Oaks avenue on Feb. 19, 2023 in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

Bills introduced: 26 bills, 1 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 6

Earmarks requested: $7.7 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 1.578

The bill signed into law was H.R. 3356, which authorized the federal government to pay CIA and Department of State employees who had suffered certain types of brain injuries.

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks

Congressman Brad Sherman delivers the keynote address at the Pierce College Commencement Ceremony, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was the first in-person commencement since June 2019. The college also welcomed graduating students from 2021 along with approximately 650 graduates in the class of 2022 who were able to take part in the ceremony. The college's Interim President Aracely Aguiar congratulated the students as they walked on stage. Congressman Brad Sherman, 30th Congressional District of California (D-Sherman Oaks), was the keynote speaker. The student speaker was graduating business major Yanise Daaku. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)
Congressman Brad Sherman delivers the keynote address at the Pierce College Commencement Ceremony, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was the first in-person commencement since June 2019. The college also welcomed graduating students from 2021 along with approximately 650 graduates in the class of 2022 who were able to take part in the ceremony. The college’s Interim President Aracely Aguiar congratulated the students as they walked on stage. Congressman Brad Sherman, 30th Congressional District of California (D-Sherman Oaks), was the keynote speaker. The student speaker was graduating business major Yanise Daaku. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Bills introduced: 24 bills, 1 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 2

Earmarks requested: $9.6 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 1.65

Sherman’s bill signed into law was H.R. 4616, which created a process to replace the federal government’s use of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) when it’s discontinued, which is scheduled to happen this year.

Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona

Rep. Norma J. Torres, D-Pomona (Courtesy of Norma Torres)
Rep. Norma J. Torres, D-Pomona (Courtesy of Norma Torres)

Bills introduced: 25, 2 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 12

Earmarks requested: $14.3 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 0.519

The two bills passed were H.R. 2492, the GIVE Act, which requires Veterans Administration to inform veterans whether colleges listed on the agency’s College Navigator website are affiliated with a religion or are a minority-serving institution; and H.R. 6118, the National MEP Supply Chain Database Act of 2021, which establishes a National Manufacturing Extension Partnership Supply Chain Database, to help prevent future supply chain disruptions.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles

Committee Chairman Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., speaks during a House Committee on Financial Services hearing, Wednesday, April 6, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Committee Chairman Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., speaks during a House Committee on Financial Services hearing, Wednesday, April 6, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Bills introduced: 35 bills, 4 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 3

Earmarks requested: $13.1 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 3.739

Waters’ bills that were signed included H.R. 1724 and H.R. 1725, which created emergency housing vouchers and emergency rental assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively; and H.R. 6340, which opposed the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank offering any financial aid to any governments controlled by the Burmese military.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California

FEBRUARY 15: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) arrives for a Senate briefing on China at the U.S Capitol on February 15, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
FEBRUARY 15: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) arrives for a Senate briefing on China at the U.S Capitol on February 15, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Bills introduced: 62, 11 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 20

Earmarks requested: $209.8 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 1.179

Feinstein’s enacted bills included S. 144, the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center Access Improvement Act, which directed the federal government to purchase private land to build a paved road connecting to the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center in Hemet; S. 854, the Methamphetamine Response Act of 2021, which designated methamphetamine as an emerging threat and directed the Office of National Drug Control Policy to come up with a methamphetamine-specific response within 90 days of the bill’s signing on Jan. 3, 2022; and S. 3623, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022; which was signed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act in March 2022.

Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California

Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., seen in a March 22, 2022 file photo. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., seen in a March 22, 2022 file photo. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Bills introduced: 59, 13 of which became law

Resolutions introduced: 5

Earmarks requested: $42 million in the 2021 omnibus spending bill

Legislative effectiveness score: 1.559

His enacted bills included S. 2607, the Iran Hostages Congressional Gold Medal Act, which awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the former hostages of the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981; S. 3092, the FIRE Act, which directed government agencies to analyze wildfire risk, preparedness and response; and S. 5168, the Energy Security and Lightering Independence Act of 2022, which allowed non-citizen workers on liquid cargo vessels to work in the United States for a limited period of time.

Sources: Bipartisan Policy Center, Center of Effective Lawmaking

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