Boston Herald

Rep. Clark joins ineffectiv­e elite in Congress

- Peter Lucas

Controvers­ial U.S Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be ranked among the least effective members of the last Congress, but there is one Massachuse­tts Democrat member who was ranked even lower.

That would be Rep. Katherine Clark, 57, of Melrose, a former state senator who was first elected to Congress in 2013.

The ranking on legislativ­e effectiven­ess in the 116th session of Congress (Jan. 19, 2019, to Jan. 3, 2021) was done in a joint study by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia. It was released last week.

Among the 240 Democrats in the 435-member U.S. House, AOC was ranked 230th in effectiven­ess. Clark was ranked 233rd.

Clark was also ranked last among the state’s nine members, all Democrats, in the U.S. House.

Rep. Richard Neal of Springfiel­d, the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was ranked first among his Massachuse­tts colleagues. Most recently Neal has insured that Massachuse­tts fared well when it came to the distributi­on of funds from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

While the study was based on the number of bills filed, and what happened to them, it did not take other important factors into considerat­ion, such as AOC’s social media impact or her ability to push progressiv­e issues, like the Green New Deal.

Nor did the study deal with how legislator­s voted on various issues in committee or in the House, or how often they addressed the House during debate.

In Clark’s case there was no mention of her rising importance among the leaders in the Democrat-controlled House.

Clark, the former vice chairman of the Democrat House Caucus, was recently elected by her peers to be assistant speaker, making her fourth in line to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which is no small deal.

Once a moderate and forgettabl­e member of the Massachuse­tts state Senate, Clark in Congress quickly joined the radical left and is now a leader in the woke wing of the Democrat Party.

This means blaming past U.S. policy for the catastroph­ic surge of illegal immigrants at the Mexican border, rather than President Biden, who opened the borders.

“Our problems with immigratio­n did not appear suddenly and can’t be fixed with a stroke of the pen,” Clark said last week at a pro-immigratio­n forum.

“Hundreds of years of imperialis­m, interventi­onist foreign policy and climate change have driven migration patterns beyond our current immigratio­n system’s abilities. That is why House Democrats have prioritize­d immigratio­n reform in our work for the people.”

Perhaps to get a better fix on immigratio­n, instead of just talking about it, Clark and the rest of the state’s Congressio­nal delegation could visit the border and find out what is going on.

They won’t go because, like Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, they do not want to view the horror show that Biden created.

At any rate, Clark hopefully can file an immigratio­n bill to fix the problem. But based on the legislativ­e effectiven­ess study, she has her work cut out for her.

None of the 16 bills Clark filed in the 116th Congress saw daylight. Like the 21 bills filed by AOC, none passed or became law.

Despite her growing importance in the House, none of Clark’s bills even got a committee hearing, let alone were reported out of committee for debate. They just disappeare­d, like all the bills filed by AOC.

The same is true for the rest of the Massachuse­tts delegation, outside of Neal.

Rep. Lori Trahan of Westford ranked next to last in effectiven­ess among the Massachuse­tts delegation and 200th overall. None of her 21 bills became law, and only one passed the House.

Neal was ranked first among the state’s delegation and 11th overall, followed surprising­ly by former Rep. Joe Kennedy of Newton. While Kennedy was ranked second in Massachuse­tts, he was ranked 103rd overall. Kennedy filed 33 bills and one became law.

Kennedy was followed by Rep. James McGovern of Worcester, 16 bills filed, none became law; ranked 125 overall; Rep. Stephen Lynch of South Boston, 24 filed, none passed, ranked 131st; Rep. William Keating of Bourne, 10 bills filed, none passed, ranked 140th; Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Boston, 23 bills filed, none passed, ranked 175th; and Rep. Seth Moulton of Salem, 23 bills filed, none passed, ranked 182nd.

Other than that, they did fine.

 ?? Herald staFF File ?? BILLS GOING NOWHERE: U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, left, and Katherine Clark were among the least effective members of Congress in the last session, according to a study done by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.
Herald staFF File BILLS GOING NOWHERE: U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, left, and Katherine Clark were among the least effective members of Congress in the last session, according to a study done by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.
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