Fact Check

Bills Passed by Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan has sponsored two Congressional bills that have been passed into law?

Published Aug 16, 2012

Claim:   Paul Ryan has sponsored two Congressional bills that have been passed into law.


Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2012]

Is it true or false that Paul Ryan managed to get only 2 bills passed during his 13 years in the House of Representatives? If true, what were they? Rumor is one of them was to name a post office after himself.

In his 13 years in Congress, Paul Ryan got only two bills passed. One was to change the name of the post office in his home town.


Origins:   In August 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tapped as his vice presidential running mate Congressman Paul Ryan, who has represented Wisconsin's 1st district in Congress since 1999. That selection focused attention on the legislative record of Ryan, including the number of bills he sponsored that had been passed into law.

According to the Library of Congress' THOMAS legislative

information source, Rep. Ryan in his Congressional career has been the primary sponsor of two bills that have been passed and enacted as law: a 2000 bill to name a United States Postal Service facility in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, and a 2004 bill to modify the excise taxes on arrows used as archery equipment. (In the former case, the bill did not name a USPS building after Ryan himself, as mentioned in one of the examples reproduced above, but after Les Aspin, a Democratic Congressman who for twenty-two years represented the same Wisconsin district that Ryan currently does.) During his tenure in Congress Rep. Ryan has also sponsored 73 bills that were not passed and signed on as co-sponsor of another 975 bills.

In general, several thousand bills are introduced in every Congress, but only about 5% of them — roughly an average of one per Congressmember per term — are eventually passed into law.

Last updated:   16 August 2012

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags