Specter was a senator from Pennsylvania and was most recently a Democrat (2009-2010) and previously a Republican (1981-2009). He served from 1981 to 2010.
Specter is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2010 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 Specter sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 24, 2005 to Dec 22, 2010. See full analysis methodology.
Specter was the primary sponsor of 47 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:
- S. 3493 (111th): A bill to reauthorize and enhance Johanna’s Law to increase public awareness and knowledge with respect to gynecologic cancers.
- S. 299 (111th): A bill to establish a pilot program in certain United States district courts to encourage enhancement of expertise in patent cases among district judges.
- S. 3693 (109th): A bill to make technical corrections to the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005.
- S. 2703 (109th): Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Cesar E. Chavez Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006
- S. 2560 (109th): Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006
- S. 652 (109th): Benjamin Franklin National Memorial Commemoration Act of 2005
- S. 1368 (109th): United States Parole Commission Extension and Sentencing Commission Authority Act of 2005
Does 47 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).
Specter sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:
Foreign Trade and International Finance (26%) Law (18%) Government Operations and Politics (13%) Crime and Law Enforcement (11%) International Affairs (9%) Health (9%) Taxation (7%) Armed Forces and National Security (7%)
Some of Specter’s most recently sponsored bills include...
- S. 4054 (111th): Notice Pleading Restoration Act of 2010
- S. 4045 (111th): Armed Career Criminal Sentencing Act of 2010
- S. 4032 (111th): Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2010
- S. 4033 (111th): Restoration of Legal Rights for Claimants under Holocaust-Era Insurance Policies Act of ...
- S. 3940 (111th): A bill to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located ...
- S. 3821 (111th): A bill to amend title VI of the Civil Rights Act of ...
- S. 3766 (111th): Stem Cell Research Advancement Act of 2010
From Jan 1981 to Dec 2010, Specter missed 318 of 10,588 roll call votes, which is 3.0%. This is worse than the median of 2.0% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Dec 2010. 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.
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
- unitedstates/congress-legislators, a community project gathering congressional information
- The House and Senate websites, for committee membership and voting records
- United States Congressional Roll Call Voting Records, 1789-1990 by Howard L. Rosenthal and Keith T. Poole.
- Martis’s “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress”, via Keith Poole’s roll call votes data set, for political party affiliation for Members of Congress from 1789 through about year 2000
- Congressional Pictorial Directory for the photo
- GovInfo.gov, for sponsored bills