Washington Power Rankings
Posted on Oct 31, 2006
A lobbying research firm has compiled a list of the most (and least) powerful legislators. Although given the prevalence of scandals and the likelihood of a Democratic takeover of Congress, the list could be outdated very quickly.
Lawmakers who don’t do much lawmaking tend to make up the bottom of the pile. But it’s not only the number of bills a member backs but their importance, and the role a member took in the debate, that count.
Nicely for this lackluster session, the formula discounts lame amendments and bills “of a ceremonial or commemorative nature such as naming of post offices or other public buildings,” 14 of which were introduced on a single day last month. That’s unfortunate for Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), whose move to establish September as Campus Fire Safety Month probably didn’t help her move beyond her No. 388 place on the list.
The rankings also recognize what their creators call the “Sizzle/Fizzle” factor. On the Senate side, rock star Barack Obama (D-Ill.), detainee-law broker John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) sizzle like burgers on a backyard grill. Messenger-messager Mark Foley fizzled like a firecracker in a monsoon after his steamy notes to congressional pages appeared on TV. The Florida Republican left Congress, and the list, for a stint in rehab.
Check out the rankings