GOP easily pass bills for Johnson, Shays, Simmons
The national GOP is doing everything they can to protect the three Connecticut Congresional seats up for grabs.
The House's first major order of business last week was not Iraq or military tribunals, but Rep. Nancy L. Johnson's Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Study Act.Who going to fall for this stunt? Voters know that Johnson and Shays are rubber stamp Republicans for the President and I doubt the passage of these small local bills will have an impact on anyone's minds come election day.
By week's end, the House had quietly and quickly passed it and dozens of other noncontroversial bills, often only of local interest - bills that could help GOP members like Johnson whose Election Day prospects are considered shaky.
Connecticut's other two Republicans, Rep. Rob Simmons and Rep. Christopher Shays, who also face tough re-election races, were among those who had long-sought bills fly through the House last week.
Simmons won passage of the Long Island Stewardship Act, a measure that had been bottled up in a committee for some time. The Senate also passed the bill and it now awaits President Bush's signature.
The House passed Shays' HOPE VI bill, a major national housing initiative that will help Shays with lower-income urban residents back in his district.
Democrats said the passage of the noncontroversial bills is a brazen attempt to paper over a lack of Republican accomplishments.
"The Republican Congress' last-minute scramble is too little, too late," said Courtney spokesman Brian Farber.
It seems like someone else echo's my statement.
Experts say, though, that the bills are not the boost they may appear to be. Years ago, Ratchford said, such bills would have been the subject of small news stories and perhaps a mention on television news back home.
But now, he said, "there's diminished coverage of Washington, and to get the message out you have to buy time to talk about those bills."
Even if a lawmaker does that, "these things probably only help at the margin," said Howard Reiter, chairman of the politics and government department at UConn. The three Republicans have all been in office for years, and are well-known, so "I'm not sure these bills will make a difference."