Trent Franks: The quintessential useless Congressman

Posted on October 30, 2014


Trent Franks wants to be re-elected to his sixth term in Congress. As a representative of Arizona, what has Trent Franks done to deserve re-election?

The short answer?  Jack. Squat.

Franks is a fifth-rate, self-serving charlatan with nothing more than a Colorado birth certificate, unbridled bigotry and the uncanny knack of appealing to the lowest common denominator of the Republican Party.

He’s best known nationally for calling President Obama “an enemy of humanity” and claiming that African-Americans were better off when they were slaves than they are today under Obama. Shortly thereafter, Franks said, in an open session of Congress, that “there aren’t that many pregnancies that result from rape” and declared discussion about the subject to be pointless. For the past several months, clearly in opposition to the rising tide of states approving gay marriage, Franks has repeatedly proposed to amend the United States Constitution to declare that “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.”

Also, he’s warning you all: “ISIS is in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico … or has been there in the last few weeks.

Historically, Franks’ pre-Congressional service is not exactly the kind of resume’ you want to show an employer. He was an activist for religious zealot James Dobson and his “Focus on the Family” hate-mongering club. Then he worked as a consultant on the presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan. He served two years, 1985-1987 in the Arizona House of Representatives and came in third when he tried to get re-elected. Then, backed by the Republican money machine and a raging anti-gay campaign, Arizona sent Trent Franks to Washington, D.C. to represent the state in Congress.

He’s obsessed with banning abortions. He wants to use tax dollars – a *LOT* of tax dollars – to pay for private schools. And he wants to replace the progressive income tax with one favoring the very rich. He’s had 9 unsuccessful operations to fix a cleft palate and lip (paid for by Arizona taxpayers, of course). So you can add vanity and narcissism to his long list of charms.

But don’t take my word for it. Just look at Franks’ voting record. It says far more about what a useless Congressman he is and has been than I ever could.

Franks has sponsored 81 bills while in Congress. Out of those 81 bills, nine have been passed into law, and not one of them benefited or directly affected Arizona in any way.

  • H.Amdt.77; an amendment requiring a report from Director of National Intelligence on the threat posed by man-made electromagnetic pulse weapons to United States interests through 2025, including threats from foreign countries and foreign non-State actors.
  • H.Amdt.1135; an amendment to prohibit FY 2013 NNSA nonproliferation activities with Russia until the Secretaries of Energy, State and Defense can certify that Russia is no longer providing support to the Assad regime’s efforts to suppress Syrian people and that Russia is not providing technology or equipment to Iran, North Korea, or Syria that contribute to the development of weapons of mass destruction.
  • H.R.2938; an amendment to prohibit class II or III gaming activities on Gila Bend Indian Reservation lands located north of latitude 33 degrees, 4 minutes north that the Tohono O’odham Nation was authorized to purchase in Arizona in exchange for granting the federal government all right, title, and interest to the Gila Bend Indian Reservation.
  • H.Res.515; a call for public condemnation of the murder of Army Private William Long and the wounding of Army Private Quinton Ezeagwula, who were shot outside the Army Navy Career Center in Little Rock, Arkansas on June 1, 2009.
  • H.Amdt.304; an amendment to strike verbiage from H.R. 2642 that would have prohibited funds from being used to conduct studies of missile defense.
  • H.Amdt.24; an amendment to add a congressional finding stating that the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan recently intercepted a shipment of Iranian-made weapons intended for the Taliban in Afghanistan, and establishes a reporting requirement on Iranian-made weapons being sold to or used by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • H.Con.Res.139; to draft a formal letter from Congress expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States should address the ongoing problem of “untouchability” in India.
  • H.Amdt.808; an amendment to draft a letter from Congress that expresses the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should continue to provide space-available travel on military aircraft for humanitarian reasons to Iraqi children who would otherwise have no means available to seek urgently needed medical care such as that provided by a humanitarian organization in Amman, Jordan.
  • H.J.Res.18; a proposal to recognize the historic commitment of the United States to the recovery of and full accounting for Americans who are prisoners of war or in a missing status.

Another nine of Franks’ bills failed to get enough votes to pass through his own House of Representatives.

  • H.Amdt.945; an amendment to insert one sentence into H.R.4681.
  • H.Amdt.1168; an amendment to prohibit the use of funds to be used to implement, administer, or enforce prevailing wage requirements.
  • H.R.3803; an amendment to the criminal code to prohibit any person from performing or attempting to perform an abortion within the District of Columbia.
  • H.R.3541; imposes criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly or knowingly attempts to: (1) perform an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent; (2) use force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion; (3) solicit or accept funds for the performance of such an abortion; or (4) transport a woman into the United States or across a state line for the purpose of obtaining such an abortion.
  • H.Amdt.266; an amendment sought to provide that it is U.S. policy to continue missile defense testing and sought to increase funding for the Missile Defense Agency by $1.2 billion with offsetting reductions coming from defense environmental cleanup.
  • H.Amdt.1050; an amendment sought to add $719 million to the Missile Defense Agency’s Budget.
  • H.Amdt.772; an amendment to redirect $97.2 million to ground-based mid-course missile defense.
  • H.Amdt.194; an amendment to increase funding for ballistic missile defense by $764 million.
  • H.Amdt.485; an amendment to strike from H.R. 2601 that would have required the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report describing the possibility of providing consular and visa services at the United States Office Prisitna, Kosovo to residents of Kosova.

See any patterns? Abortions and missiles. Sigmund Freud would have a field day with this guy.

One of Franks’ bills — H.Amdt.73; a request to add half a sentence to a bill about the Suez Canal — was bipartisanly deemed to be such a colossal waste of time that Franks himself withdrew it from consideration.

That leaves a total of 62 bills written by Trent Franks since 2003 that have never even made it out of any of his own party’s committees.

So, Trent Franks has been in the U.S. Congress for nearly 12 years, and has been paid $2,098,800 in salary and approximately $3,696,000 in benefits and perks … not counting whatever he’s received on the side. And in all that time, and for all that money, Trent Franks has written nine bills that actually became law, and not one of them actually *DID* anything for the people of Arizona.

That’s $590,211 for each bill Trent Franks has successfully enacted into law throughout his career.

Feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth?

On Tuesday, don’t vote for Trent Franks … unless you want to blow another few million dollars and get absolutely nothing for it.