Under most circumstances, I'm not the kind of man or congressman that likes to brag about myself or my accomplishments -- I usually like to simply work as hard as I can and let my actions speak for itself.
But I must admit I took a little bit of pride when I recently found out that, according to a new study by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia (UVA), I was ranked as the 18th most effective Democrat in the House during the 112th Congress (2011-12), and the most effective Democrat from Georgia.
I was also ranked higher than any of my Republican colleagues from Georgia. The No. 18 ranking is out of 204 Democrats.
The study judged effectiveness by looking at a lawmaker's "proven ability to advance a member's agenda items through the legislative process and into law."
And after all, this is the crux of what we are hired by voters to do as legislators -- and what makes us separate but co-equal with the executive and judicial branches of government.
The scorecard looked at the number of bills a member introduced or sponsored; the significance of the bills; and how far each made it in the legislative process. The website adjusts a lawmaker's grade based upon seniority, committee leadership positions and whether their party holds the majority.
Many people know me for my dry sense of humor, but I'm also a serious legislator who gets results. I work hard to offer meaningful and impactful legislation that helps level the playing field for consumers, working people, the middle class and civil rights for the disenfranchised.
I take great pride in our legislative shop and will continue offering bills of substance and work to get them passed into law. This ranking is also a testament to my hard-working legislative staff, and I couldn't operate effectively in Washington without their dedication and commitment. So kudos goes to my staff as well.
The study was conducted by Craig Volden, a professor of public policy and politics at UVA and Alan E. Wiseman, associate professor of Political Science and Law at Vanderbilt University.
For more, visit the study online: http://www.thelawmakers.org.