In a February 12 article in The Politico on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) "peevish" comments "accus[ing] the media of ignoring his substantive record and falsely depicting him as a lightweight," senior political writer Ben Smith claimed that Obama "hasn't sponsored any legislation that would affect the way Americans live their daily lives." Yet, as Media Matters for America has noted, Obama was the primary sponsor of 152 bills and resolutions introduced in the last Congress. These included bills to create a federal standard for renewable diesel fuel (S.1426), to improve benefits and services for members of the armed forces and veterans (S.3988), and to direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to establish guidelines for tracking spent fuel rods (S.1194).
Obama has also introduced a number of bills in the 110th Congress, which convened on January 4. Among the bills Obama has recently introduced, one would "improve benefits and services for members of the Armed Forces, veterans of the Global War on Terrorism, and other veterans." Obama introduced another bill "[t]o promote the national security and stability of the economy of the United States by reducing the dependence of the United States on oil through the rise of alternative fuels and new technology." Further, on January 30, Obama introduced a bill (the official text of which is not yet available) that, according to Obama's January 30 Senate floor speech on the bill, would "cap the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at the number in Iraq on January 10, 2007 -- the day the President gave his 'surge speech' to the nation" and would require the process of troop withdrawal from Iraq to begin on May 1 with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008.
Smith did not note that between the time Obama took office and January 4, the Republican Party was the majority party in the Senate and thus controlled the legislative agenda. In such a situation, the oportunities for a bill sponsored by a member of the minority party to see legislative action are particularly limited.