Sheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade

Sheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeDemocratic attorneys criticize House Judiciary Democrats' questioning of Barr Steyer endorses reparations bill, commits to working with Jackson Lee Democrats set to hold out for big police reform MORE (D-Texas) spoke on the House floor more days than any other lawmaker this past decade, according to C-SPAN data released Monday.

Jackson Lee, who has served in Congress since 1995, routinely speaks on the House floor about national issues of the day, including those related to the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees on which she serves.

C-SPAN data found that Jackson Lee delivered House floor speeches on 1,013 days over the past decade. She was followed by Rep. Glenn ThompsonGlenn (G.T.) W. ThompsonSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Dreamers-for-wall trade going nowhere in House MORE (R-Pa.) at 959 days, former Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Texas New Members 2019 MORE (R-Texas) at 877 and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Overnight Health Care: Ohio governor tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Trump's visit | US shows signs of coronavirus peak, but difficult days lie ahead | Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire MORE (D-Md.) at 639.

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Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump order aims to curb US agencies' use of foreign workers after TVA outrage | EPA transition back to the office alarms employees | Hundreds of green groups oppose BLM nominee Interior stresses 'showing up for work' after Grijalva tests positive for coronavirus Trump's junk medicine puts his own supporters at deadly risk MORE (R-Texas), who is known for delivering lengthy floor speeches at the end of most congressional workweeks, came in sixth at 612 days.

In one memorable appearance in 2017, Jackson Lee kneeled on the House floor to show solidarity with NFL players who faced attacks from President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE for kneeling during the national anthem at games to draw attention to police brutality against African Americans.

"I kneel in honor of them. I kneel in front of the flag and on this floor," Jackson Lee said at the time.

Even though Jackson Lee topped her colleagues for speaking days in the decade, she did not log the most days on the floor this year.

Thompson spoke 121 days to Jackson Lee's 95 days, which added up to at least eight hours of speaking time, according to C-SPAN.

In the previous Congress, from 2017 to 2018, Jackson Lee logged a total of roughly 24 hours in House floor speeches.

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C-SPAN data found that some of the House Democrats who have drawn the most national attention this year did not necessarily speak the most on the House floor.

The four progressive first-term lawmakers known as "the squad" — Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants Harris, Ocasio-Cortez push climate equity bill with Green New Deal roots Young minority voters show overwhelming support for Biden: poll MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMinneapolis Star Tribune endorses Ilhan Omar's primary challenger Tlaib wins Michigan Democratic primary The Memo: Biden faces balancing act MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyMinneapolis Star Tribune endorses Ilhan Omar's primary challenger Tlaib wins Michigan Democratic primary Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHuffPost reporter discusses progressives' successful showing on Tuesday Minneapolis Star Tribune endorses Ilhan Omar's primary challenger The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal MORE (Mich.) — spoke about as often as their fellow freshmen.

C-SPAN calculated that the average House freshman spoke on the floor 18.4 days this year.

Of the four "squad" members, Tlaib spoke the most, with 34 days on the floor. Floor speeches by Ocasio-Cortez were relatively rare; she delivered remarks on 10 days.
 
Omar spoke on 16 days, while Pressley spoke on 18 days.

C-SPAN also found that the number of pro forma days in session has increased in the past decade in both chambers of Congress.

In 2011, when House Republicans were in the majority, the House had 20 pro forma days. That number jumped to 59 days this year under the Democratic majority.

The Senate had 20 pro forma days in 2011, when Democrats led the Senate, compared to 39 this year under a GOP majority.

The number of days in session has remained about the same for both chambers over the decade, with the House and Senate clocking in around 170 days each year.