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Bipartisan Eric Swalwell? – Don’t Believe the Hype

Rep. Eric Swalwell promises a return to his bipartisan roots – as shallow as they are, that shouldn’t be hard.

by | Feb 18, 2021 | Articles, Good Reads, Politics

Eric Swalwell (D-CA), the highly partisan Democrat, has made a name for himself over the last four years as one of the most rabid anti-Trumpers out there. From bombarding the former president and his supporters on social media to contributing to not one but two impeachments, there isn’t likely a fan of The Donald from sea to shining sea who hasn’t cursed the name Eric Swalwell at least a time or two.

But that’s all in the past, the California Democrat assures us. During a San Francisco Chronicle interview, Swalwell promised to return to his bipartisan roots now that the Trump travesty is in the rearview. A look at the representative’s legislative record suggests that won’t be hard – those bipartisan roots he touts don’t run very deep. If you’re thinking you must have slept through his bipartisan phase, don’t worry; you didn’t miss much.

A Lackluster Legislative Legacy

Swalwell talks about reaching across the aisle to get things done. But has he? Have a look at his actual legislative legacy to date, from the 113th Congress to the 117th.

First Term

  • Co-sponsored 98 of the 2,925 bills sponsored by Republicans, or 3.4%
  • Introduced eight bills, of which half got at least one Republican co-sponsor.
  • Averaged 6.75 GOP co-sponsors, or about 3% bipartisan support.

Second Term

  • Co-sponsored 142 of the 3,486 bills sponsored by Republicans, or 4.1%.
  • Introduced nine bills, of which two got a single GOP co-sponsor and one managed to net two.
  • Averaged one GOP co-sponsor over a mere three bills – well less than 1% bipartisan support.

Third Term

  • Co-sponsored 131 of 3,884 bills sponsored by Republicans, or 3.4%.
  • Introduced 13 bills, of which four got at least one Republican co-sponsor.
  • Averaged 3.75 GOP co-sponsors, or about 1.6% bipartisan support.

Fourth Term

  • Co-sponsored 45 of the 2,884 bills sponsored by Republicans, or 1.6%
  • Introduced 19 bills, of which seven got at least one Republican co-sponsor.
  • Averaged 1.43 GOP co-sponsors, or about 0.7% bipartisan support.

The 117th Congress is just getting started, but so far Swalwell has co-sponsored 29 of the 592 bills introduced by his fellow Democrats, but none of the 475 Republican bills. He hasn’t introduced any actual bills of his own, so no bipartisan support there. Evidently, he has been too busy with impeachment. So far in his fifth term, Swalwell has demonstrated exactly zero bipartisanship.

A Tough Sell

Can a career average of 1.4%-1.8% opposing party support for about a third of his bills – especially when only one bill out of 49 managed to barely break 6% – and going four full terms without ever supporting even 5% of bills sponsored by the opposing party be called “bipartisan”?  Even if it could, his behavior can’t. He’s still blasting Republicans like Texas Governor Greg Abbot and Sen. Mitch McConnell on Twitter. And he told the Chronicle’s Tal Kopan he isn’t sure he can work with GOP lawmakers who voted against Biden’s electoral confirmation, saying they “were part of propagating the big lie.”

Eric Swalwell, Bipartisan Boy Wonder? That’s a tough sell, no matter how you try to present it.


Read more from James Fite.

Read More From James Fite

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