Bilirakis Named Most Effective Legislator in Florida
Washington, DC- The Center for Effective Lawmaking recently issued Legislative Effectiveness Scores for the 115th Congress (2017-2018) based upon its independent analysis of legislative performance. During this time period the organization ranked Congressman Gus Bilirakis as Florida’s most effective legislator, and the 39th overall most effective Republican lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Center notes that Bilirakis’s performance exceeded expectations when considering factors such as level of seniority and leadership posts.
“I am humbled by this recognition,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “I consider myself a workhorse, not a show horse—always seeking to work in a bi-partisan manner to find areas of common ground on matters that will make a positive difference in the lives of the people I serve. I know my constituents expect me to get things done, which is why I stay focused and just work hard each and every day on their behalf. It is one of the most important lessons my father taught me, and it is how I will continue to approach my job --because it works,” he added.
Highlights of Bilirakis’s legislative success during last Congress include the following legislative initiatives he authored which became law:
- The Lower Drug Costs through Competition Act which created an expedited process within the FDA for generic Rx drugs for which there is no competition on the market.
- The Community CARE Act which reauthorized and provided funding for community health centers, through which 25 million Americans obtain primary care, dental and mental health services
- The CHIP Buy-In Program which allows families who earn too much to qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) the opportunity to purchase the same plan directly from the state at discounted rates.
- The Civil and Criminal Penalties Update Act, which increases civil and criminal penalties for Medicare and Medicaid fraud, something which hadn’t been done in more than 20 years.
- Increased Security Measures at Visa Security Posts, which provided $5 million to increase the number of visa security posts in the most dangerous parts of the world.
- The SHUT Act which prevents fraud in the child tax credit program by requiring proof of legal identification prior to distribution of funds.
- Removal of the cap on therapy in Medicare which eliminated the $2,000 annual cap on the amount of therapy (physical, speech or occupational) that a senior could use.
- Extension of the SPACE A program, which allows Veterans who are 100% disabled to use a travel benefit currently extended to active duty and retired military members and their families to travel on military aircraft when there is extra space onboard.
- The Mandatory Medicare Lock-In Act, which improves medication management and prevents abuse by requiring high risk seniors on Medicare to select one pharmacy or pharmacy chain at which to receive all medication.
- The Access to Quality Sober Living Act which protects those seeking treatment for substance abuse issues by establishing standards for the operation of sober living homes.
- The SAFE TECH Act, which improves the safety of international air travel by standardizing safety procedures and operations among international partners
- The Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act which offers hope to millions suffering with congenital heart disease by ensuring the continuation of vital NIH research on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease.
- The SIT-REP Act which ensures Veterans are not penalized when there is a delay in processing their GI education benefits.
Spearheaded out of Vanderbilt University, the Center for Effective Lawmaking seeks to advance the generation, communication and use of new knowledge about the effectiveness of individual lawmakers and legislative institutions in Congress. According to its mission, the organization “envisions a Congress comprised of effective lawmakers, strong institutional capacity and the incentive structure needed to address America’s greatest public policy challenges.” Click here to learn more.