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Why Not Resign? Roland Burris Can't Even Pen an Original Senate Bill

Why, the plaintive tone in to-be-Senator Roland Burris‘ voice comes right off the page when you read of his November 2008 phone call to Governor Rod Blagojevich’s brother: “Tell Rod to keep me in mind for that seat, would ya?…. I know I could give him a check myself.”

How embarrassing. But I have to wonder why he was so eager to capture a U.S. Senate seat in the first place. He had to have a plan, right? There had to be some kind of Burris agenda he wanted to advance, right?

Wrong. Here are the three bills Roland Burris has introduced to the 111th Congress since he was appointed to Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat:

S. Res. 159: a symbolic declaration of the value of the Juneteenth celebration.

S. 549: a private bill to exclusively benefit Simeon Simeonov, Stela Simeonova, Stoyan Simeonov, and Vania Simeonova

S. 550: a private bill to exclusively benefit Francisca Lino

But none of these bills actually originated with Roland Burris. Right down to the very last word, the Juneteenth bill was introduced as S. Res. 584 last year by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. Right down to the very last word, the private bill to give benefit to Simeon Simeonov and his relatives was introduced last year by Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois. And yes, you guessed it: right down to the very last word, the private bill to give benefit to Francisca Lino was introduced last year by Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.

It looks like Senator Roland Burris has no legislative agenda of his own. It looks like a pair of Illinois politicians tossed Burris some sloppy seconds onto which he could slap his name and give the appearance of some activity.

If you’re just going to sit there in the Senate, if you’re not going to be active, if you don’t have an agenda, why are you there in the first place? Is it the excellent cafeteria food? Why not resign?

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