How Many Bills Have Actually Become Law This Year?

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 12 2013 3:51 PM

Here Are the 15 Bills That Have Actually Become Law So Far This Year

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President Obama signs the Congressional Gold Medal Bill, which honors four young girls who were killed in a racially motivated 1963 bombing of a church in Birmingham, Ala., on May 24, 2013.

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The headline says it all: Just 15 bills have crested the veritable Aggro Crag that is the 113th Congress to reach President Obama's desk this year. For comparison's sake, George W. Bush signed 13 bills into law on today's date alone in 2005—with a Republican majority in both houses, mind you—but seven of those bills were sponsored by Democrats!

The bills that have been enacted so far this year (nine await Obama's signature) fall into four general categories:

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1. Fixing a screwed-up bill

HR 258: Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (A new version of the law against claiming, falsely, to be a veteran. The last version was struck down by SCOTUS.)
HR 325: No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013 (The punt that delayed the debt limit.)
HR 1765: Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 (The sequestration "fix" that put air traffic controllers back to work.)

2. Reauthorizations

3. Disaster relief and other appropriations

4. Commemorative bills

And one bonus non sequitur: The Freedom to Fish Act, which opens boating access around dams in Kentucky and bill sponsor Sen. Lamar Alexander's native Tennessee.

Meanwhile, more than 4,000 bills have been referred to committee this year, where most will die of starvation.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.

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