No longer just a bill: Joe Neguse, who represents most of Eagle County, wrote the most laws in US House in 2022 |

No longer just a bill: Joe Neguse, who represents most of Eagle County, wrote the most laws in US House in 2022

Representative reflects on successes of 117th Congress while 'rolling up sleeves' in current session

Rep. Joe Neguse, representing Colorado's 2nd Congressional District, wrote the most laws in 2022 in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily Archive

During the 117th Congress, Rep. Joe Neguse wrote the most laws of any member of the United States House of Representatives, introducing 13 bills that ultimately became law.

This is according to his 2022 report card from, an online resource that tracks the activities of the U.S. Congress.

These 13 laws included everything from code improvements, increasing antitrust enforcement resources, and securing more resources for rural schools to establishing Amache as a National Historic Site, improving wildfire mitigation, and more.

Local focus

Neguse represents Colorado’s 2nd District, which is comprised of 10 counties: Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer, Summit and Park. He has served this district since 2019. As with most bills introduced on Capitol Hill, they start with an idea from a local community or constituent.

“Our focus has always been leading locally, which to me means rolling up our sleeves, listening to our constituents, and then working to try to enact legislation at the federal level that ultimately will make people’s lives better in Colorado,” Neguse said.

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He added that during his tenure in Congress, he’s learned the most “not in Washington, D.C. but at home in Colorado,” learning from the various experts in the 2nd.

From bill to law

For the bills that made it across the “finish line” in 2022, Neguse said that he’s most proud “of the quality of those bills, the pieces of legislation that ultimately are going to have a real impact on folks in Vail and Edwards and Breck and Frisco and across our district.”

Two laws of which he’s most proud include the Secure Rural Schools Reauthorization Act of 2021 and the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership Act of 2021.

The rural schools act “provides funding to mountain communities across Colorado” to “ensure that that funding is reauthorized and increased,” for not only school districts but also for emergency response, road maintenance and other organizations, Neguse said.

And the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership Act act, he added, came out of his role as co-chair of the Wildfire Caucus. This act helped codify a United States Department of Agriculture program that aims to improve the health and resilience of forest landscapes, including wildfire mitigation, Neguse said. Specifically, the program will help restore “critical watersheds and landscapes” damaged by the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires.

It’s a long process for a bill to become law, and most bills introduced never become law. The bills travel from ideation to paper to committees to the two Congress chambers and ultimately, if they make it, to the president’s desk. In 2022, Neguse introduced 99 total bills to the U.S. House, the third most out of all representatives.

For those that were successful, Neguse pointed to several factors: many had bipartisan and bicameral support and many originated from strong ideas that represented solutions to widespread problems.

On the former, also reported that Neguse had bicameral support — meaning there was a companion bill in the U.S. Senate — on the highest number of bills compared to the other representatives. (In total, 30 of Neguse’s bills had a Senate companion.)

“That also provided us with an enhanced ability to be able to ultimately get a bill to the president’s desk by virtue of having done the work to build a coalition with our partners in the Senate so that the bills, the House bill and a companion measure could both move together in parallel and make it through what can be a very arduous process in terms of enacting a bill into a law,” Neguse said.

This bicameral and bipartisan support can lead to success in other areas.

“Particularly around funding,” Neguse said. “Having the partnership with both of our senators in Colorado has been critical. We’ve been able to secure tens of millions of dollars, for example, in needed forest mitigation and resiliency projects in the bipartisan infrastructure law.”

The other factor of his bills’ success, however, was “a reflection of the ingenuity and the skill and the talent and the ideas of our district,” Neguse said.

“I think you’ll find that each of the bills that we ultimately were successful in enacting were common sense measures, which certainly helps in an era of kind of heightened partisanship and sort of a toxic, vitriolic political atmosphere, focusing on real solutions to real everyday problems that we face,” Neguse said.

He added that this included “common sense solutions” to problems such as supply chain, cybersecurity and more.

“We’ve kept our focus on trying to solve those problems,” Neguse said. “That has enabled us to put together a portfolio of bills that ultimately were far more likely to get across the finish line.”

Rep. Joe Neguse speaks at Camp Hale in October 2022. The designation of the former military training site as a national monument by President Biden was lauded as a success for the year. However, looking ahead to 2023, Neguse hopes to find similar protections for other Colorado public lands as he plans to reintroduce the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy Act.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily Archive

Of the 86 bills that stalled somewhere in the process, Neguse said that numerous were in the public lands space, and most prominently, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy Act, which he said he “cares deeply about.”

The CORE Act aims to protect around 400,000 acres of Colorado public land. First introduced in 2019, the act has passed in the House but failed to make it out of the Senate in the last few sessions of Congress. The bill did see one success in 2022, however.

“We were grateful for all of the efforts that successfully convinced the administration and the president to declare Camp Hale a National Monument. And we were very excited to welcome President Biden to my district in Eagle County last year to herald that particular announcement,” Neguse said.

However, “the work continues in terms of ensuring that the rest of the Core Act is enacted into law,” he added.

Looking ahead

The CORE Act will be just one of many bills Neguse intends to bring to the 118th Congress, which got underway on Jan. 3, 2023.

“There are a number of other bills that are very important to me and to my constituents and to the people of Eagle County. We’re going to roll up our sleeves and get back to it,” Neguse said.

In addition to the CORE Act, Neguse pointed to the Biking On Long-Distance Trails Act as well as the Continental Divide Trail Completion Act — both of which passed the House but were stymied in the Senate — as bills he’s hopeful and “cautiously optimistic” will be enacted into law in 2023.

“We’re hopeful that those bills — as we now do the work of building a larger coalition with our partners in the Senate — could potentially get through the upper chamber this time around and finally get to the president’s desk,” Neguse said.

Ultimately, with the successes of the past congressional session in the rearview, Neguse is primarily focused on what’s ahead.

“Our work is just beginning,” Neguse said. “We’re now starting the new 118th Congress and we want to make sure that we’re just as productive.”

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