WASHINGTON — By standard measures, Ron Paul's legislative career in Washington has been unusually unproductive. In 23 years in office, just one of the 613 bills the maverick Texan introduced in Congress was signed into law, a proposal to sell the customs house in Galveston to a local historical association. [Note: this ignores his bill such as the only real audit the Federal Reserve has ever had, passing in the form of an amendment to a larger bill, rather than the original bill.]
That's a futility rate of 99.8 percent.
Just four measures he authored passed the House of Representatives. Only seven ever emerged from House committees.
“Conventional wisdom says I didn't get much done,” the 77-year-old congressman said in an interview. “I didn't get much legislation passed.”
But Ron Paul has never been a conventional politician, and his political career defies conventional analysis. The quirky libertarian from Lake Jackson might not have been a legislative titan. But the former Air Force medic who entered politics four decades ago to protect Americans' individual liberties against government encroachment has managed to become the best-known national figure in Texas politics today.
Paul, who retired from his 14th Congressional District seat this year to focus on his third longshot presidential campaign, has greater name recognition across the country than the state's two influential Republican senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn.
Paul received millions more votes in his 2012 Republican presidential campaign than his home state's powerful governor, Rick Perry. He has attracted more campaign contributors than any Texan not named Bush. And he has more Twitter followers than the rest of the Texas congressional delegation.
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