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In the first book of Robert Caro's series on Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power, he observes that in his time as a member of the House of Representatives, LBJ had introduced only 5 bills of national consequence (only one of which he actively pursued and none of which became law), that he made only 10 speeches in the House until 1948 when tactical considerations for his Senate bid required otherwise, that he barely participated in asking questions and making points of order, and that he was careful also to avoid supporting one side or the other even in private conversation. Caro concludes that:

During the eleven years that Lyndon Johnson served in the law-making body that is the House of Representatives, few of its 435 members had less to do with the making of its laws than he.

Restricting this to those who served for at least 6 years between 1937 and 1947 (excluding 1948 because Caro attributes LBJ's increased activity then as being necessary to support his Senate bid), which of LBJ's fellow Representatives were less active than him in terms of legislation proposed per year and House participation? Was this inactivity consistent throughout their careers?

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The real work of both the House and the Senate occurs in the committee rooms and hallways; the speeches made on the floor are mere public posturing, primarily meant to influence public opinion of the legislation, not members' opinions.

Lyndon Johnson was a master of what came to be called The Full Lyndon; a subtle combination of threats, promises, tears and bluster that when exercised behind the scenes was instrumental in garnering the critical extra vote or two that would result in legislation passing instead of not. One of the perks that Johnson was able to disperse was the right to move or second a motion, or speak to it. As the Representative for first a safe Congressional District, and then a safe Democrat state, Johnson had no need to posture publicly, which provided him with additional perks he could dispense as part of the Full Lyndon.

I counter that the Representative's and Senators who feel compelled to posture publicly on legislation are the least effective at influencing the back-room machinations that really weld legislative compromise (at least prior to about 1990), because they are consuming the publicly visible goodies rather than dispensing them.

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