Freshman Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen managed to pass his second standalone bill through the House of Representatives today: the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act.
An ironically confusing title, but essentially the bill releases some banks from a legal obligation to annually inform customers of their privacy policies -- providing they meet certain criteria. His office says it will "eliminate red tape and bureaucracy, while also protecting consumers from confusion over their privacy policies when nothing has changed.”
But more importantly, the legislation is emblematic of Paulsen's emerging persona in Congress thus far. After a year in Washington, the former Target executive has kept a very low profile and focused primarily on detailed financial legislation.
Almost all of Paulsen's legislation and successful amendments have centered on financial issues, from changing the tax code to studying certain aspects of the TARP program (his first standalone bill to pass the House). And as a freshman in the minority, these fairly non-partisan, narrowly drawn items might be his best chance at getting substantive bills through Congress.
A notable departure from the financial script was his bipartisan appeal for more nuclear power with Democrat Rep. Tim Walz.
Perhaps Paulsen's greatest risk is having too low of a profile, considering he is up for re-election this November in a district that narrowly supported Obama in 2008. But he is also spending a lot on constituent communication, so that may not be a major hurdle.