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Sen. Alan “Al” Franken

Former Senator for Minnesota

pronounced AL-un // FRANK-un

Franken was a senator from Minnesota and was a Democrat. He served from 2009 to 2017.

Alleged misconduct & resolution

On December 7, 2017, Senator Franken announced his resignation which was effective January 2, 2018 due to allegations of sexual harassment. Select Committee on Ethics began investigating Senator Franken on November 30, 2017.

Nov. 30, 2017 Senate Select Committee on Ethics began investigating Senator Franken
Dec. 7, 2017 Franken announced his resignation, which was effective January 2, 2018.
Photo of Sen. Alan “Al” Franken [D-MN, 2009-2017]

Analysis

Legislative Metrics

Read our 2017 Report Card for Franken.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Franken is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2019 positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Franken sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2013 to Jan 2, 2019. See full analysis methodology.

Ratings from Advocacy Organizations

NIAC Action: A American Civil Liberties Union: 82% The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws: C FreedomWorks: 0%

Enacted Legislation

Franken was the primary sponsor of 4 bills that were enacted:

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Does 4 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Franken sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Education (27%) Health (26%) Armed Forces and National Security (12%) Energy (12%) Taxation (7%) Labor and Employment (7%) Crime and Law Enforcement (4%) Law (4%)

Recent Bills

Some of Franken’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Franken voted Nay

Bill Passed 72/26 on Sep 28, 2016.

The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations ...

Franken voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 63/30 on Jul 7, 2016.

This bill was the vehicle for passage of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which is the form it was enacted it. Prior to ...

Franken voted Yea

Conference Report Agreed to 83/16 on Dec 3, 2015.

H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the ...

Franken voted Yea

Joint Resolution Passed 78/22 on Sep 18, 2014.

Franken voted Nay

Bill Passed 64/35 on Mar 31, 2014.

Section 212 of this bill pushed back the deadline to implement the ICD-10 code set to October 1, 2015. The Cutting Costly Codes Act of ...

Franken voted Nay

Conference Report Agreed to 81/14 on Dec 21, 2012.

Franken voted Nay

Conference Report Agreed to 86/13 on Dec 15, 2011.

Franken voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known ...

Missed Votes

From Jul 2009 to Dec 2017, Franken missed 32 of 2,449 roll call votes, which is 1.3%. This is on par with the median of 1.5% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Dec 2017. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: