How Effective Is the Freshman Class on Congress?

In the 2010 election, there were 93 new members of Congress elected. Of the 93, 82 were Republicans, giving the GOP control of the House. This freshman group promised their constituents that they would make sweeping changes and help turn the country around.

So how effective have they been so far?

To date, they have sponsored more than 400 pieces of legislation but only a few have been passed and become law. Statistically, nearly two-thirds of bills that do become law are those that were sponsored by seasoned members of Congress who hold chair positions on committees or subcommittees.

Among the bills sponsored by the freshman group, nearly a dozen were aimed at trying to eliminate parts of Obamacare. A few others were aimed at undoing some of the Wall Street financial regulations imposed by the Obama clan. The mortgage industry, redirecting foreign aide to domestic aide and environmental regulations hindering job creation have also been their targets.

For the most part, the bills sponsored by the newbies in Washington have been right in line with the campaign promises they made. But a handful out of over 400 hardly seems to show any evidence of the groups over all effectiveness.

Yet, there is one thing that has demonstrated that they hold more power and effect on Congress than anyone may realize. It was this group of conservative Republican freshmen that vowed to stay their vote on the debt ceiling issue earlier this summer that forced the President and Democrats into the compromise that was reached. They pulled their collective weight together and made it known that they would not budge unless certain aspects were incorporated into the debt plan.

Whether you realize it or not, that was a huge power move on this group. Generally the old seasoned veterans pay little attention to the wet-behind-the-ears new comers until they have been there awhile and built a reputation and earned some respect. But in this one instance, as a group, they built a reputation and earned more respect than most freshmen congressmen in years past.

As long as these freshmen Republicans stick together, it’s going to be very interesting to see what else they can accomplish. I would definitely recommend you keep a watch out for them.