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Sen. Alan “Al” Franken’s 2014 Report Card

Junior Senator from Minnesota
Democrat
Served Jul 7, 2009 – Jan 2, 2018


These special statistics cover Franken’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 12, 2015. Although Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA1], Rep. Thomas Massie [R-KY4], Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10], and Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI] served in the 112th Congress, they took office within the last two months of the 112th Congress and here are grouped with other freshmen for the 113th Congress.

A higher or lower number below doesn’t necessarily make this legislator any better or worse, or more or less effective, than other Members of Congress. We present these statistics for you to understand the quantitative aspects of Franken’s legislative career and make your own judgements based on what activities you think are important.

Keep in mind that there are many important aspects of being a legislator besides what can be measured, such as constituent services and performing oversight of the executive branch, which aren’t reflected here.

 

Cosponsored the 6th most bills compared to All Senators

Franken cosponsored 358 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 9th least often compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Of the 358 bills that Franken cosponsored, 16% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (15th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).

Only Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who cosponsored more than 10 bills and resolutions are included in this statistic.


 

Supported government transparency the 8th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 8 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Franken supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Franken 3 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Franken cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act; S. 1467: FISA Court Reform Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (74th percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 9th least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 6 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Franken introduced 2 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 162: Justice and Mental Health Collaboration ...; S. 920: Fond du Lac Band of ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (15th percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).


 

Ranked 14th most liberal compared to All Senators

Our unique ideology analysis assigns a score to Members of Congress according to their legislative behavior by how similar the pattern of bills and resolutions they cosponsor are to other Members of Congress.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 113th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Franken’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (23rd percentile); All Senators (13th percentile).


 

Was 12th most present in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

Franken missed 0.5% of votes (3 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Franken’s Profile »

Compare to all All Senators (11th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 17th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

7 of Franken’s bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress had a cosponsor who was a chair or ranking member of a committee that the bill was referred to. Getting support from committee leaders on relevant committees is a crucial step in moving legislation forward.

Those bills were: S. 162: Justice and Mental Health Collaboration ...; S. 445: Courthouse Safety Act of 2013; S. 452: Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act of ...; S. 878: Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013; S. 1088: Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2013; S. 1156: Understanding the True Cost of ...; S. 1452: Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013

Compare to all Senate Democrats (72nd percentile); All Senators (79th percentile).


 

Got the 24th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Franken’s bills and resolutions had 319 cosponsors in the 113th Congress. Securing cosponsors is an important part of getting support for a bill, although having more cosponsors does not always mean a bill will get a vote. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); All Senators (76th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Franken held a leadership position on 0 committees and 2 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Franken’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (25th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Franken tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 33% of Franken’s 43 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (45th percentile); All Senators (54th percentile).

Only Members of Congress who sponsored more than 10 bills and resolutions are included in this statistic.


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 11 of Franken’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the House. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.

Those bills were: S. 162: Justice and Mental Health Collaboration ...; S. 195: Mental Health in Schools Act ...; S. 452: Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act of ...; S. 878: Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013; S. 920: Fond du Lac Band of ...; S. 1065: Infant and Toddler Care Improvement ...; S. 1206: A bill to encourage benchmarking ...; S. 1940: Recruiting Individuals to Drive Our ...; S. 2123: School District 318 Land Exchange ...; S. 2253: Health Care Fairness and Stability ...; S. 2434: Family Coverage Act

Compare to all Senate Democrats (53rd percentile); All Senators (62nd percentile).

Companion bills are those that are identified as “identical” by Congress’s Congressional Research Service.


 

Laws Enacted

Franken introduced 1 bill that became law in the 113th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: S. 920: Fond du Lac Band of ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).

A bill or joint resolution is considered enacted if it or an exactly identical bill to it is enacted as law. We only consider bills that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.


 

Bills Introduced

Franken introduced 43 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (47th percentile); All Senators (65th percentile).


 

Leadership Score

Our unique leadership analysis looks at who is cosponsoring whose bills. A higher score shows a greater ability to get cosponsors on bills.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Franken’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (64th percentile); All Senators (74th percentile).


Additional Notes

The Speaker’s Votes: Missed votes are not computed for the Speaker of the House. According to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings.” In practice this means the Speaker of the House rarely votes but is not considered absent.

Leadership/Ideology: The leadership and ideology scores are not displayed for Members of Congress who introduced fewer than 10 bills, or, for ideology, for Members of Congress that have a low leadership score, as there is usually not enough data in these cases to compute reliable leadership and ideology statistics.

Missing Bills: We exclude bills from some statistics where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill because the bill’s text was replaced in whole with unrelated provisions (i.e. it became a vehicle for passage of unrelated provisions).

Ranking Members (RkMembs): The chair of a committee is always selected from the political party that holds the most seats in the chamber, called the “majority party”. The “ranking member” (sometimes “RkMembs”) is the title given to the senior-most member of the committee not in the majority party.

Freshmen/Sophomores: Freshmen and sophomores are Members of Congress whose first term (in the same chamber at the end of the 113th Congress) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.