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Sen. Barbara Boxer’s 2016 Report Card

Junior Senator from California
Democrat
Served Jan 5, 1993 – Jan 3, 2017


These special statistics cover Boxer’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare her to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

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 Boxer’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.

 

Held the 2nd most committee positions compared to All Senators

Boxer held a leadership position on 2 committees and 2 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Boxer’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); All Senators (98th percentile).


 

Ranked 3rd most liberal compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 114th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Boxer’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (14th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); All Senators (7th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 4th least often compared to Senate Democrats

Of the 381 bills that Boxer cosponsored, 25% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (7th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (41st percentile); All Senators (41st percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 5th most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Boxer cosponsored 381 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 (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Was 6th most absent in votes compared to All Senators

Boxer missed 13.3% of votes (67 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Boxer’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Ranked the 7th bottom follower compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Boxer’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (27th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); All Senators (27th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 8th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 2 others)

Boxer tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 7 of Boxer’s 51 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (16th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 10th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 20 of Boxer’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. 175: Economic Development Through Tribal Land ...; S. 176: Water in the 21st Century ...; S. 204: Stop Punishing Innocent Americans Act; S. 222: National Prostate Cancer Plan Act; S. 223: A bill to require the ...; S. 430: Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette ...; S. 486: Head Start on Vaccinations Act; S. 511: Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act; S. 1130: Legal Justice for Servicemembers Act ...; S. 1191: Point Reyes Coast Guard Housing ...; S. 1423: Central Coast Heritage Protection Act; S. 1476: PRIDE Act; S. 1822: A bill to take certain ...; S. 1977: Gun Violence Intervention Act of ...; S. 2037: Pell Grant Restoration Act of ...; S. 2155: West Coast Ocean Protection Act ...; S. 2157: SAFE DRONE Act of 2015; S. 2654: Crab Emergency Disaster Assistance Act ...; S.Res. 37: A resolution supporting women’s reproductive ...; S.J.Res. 41: A joint resolution proposing an ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (84th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (77th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).

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


 

Powerful Cosponsors

5 of Boxer’s bills and resolutions in the 114th 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. 430: Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette ...; S. 677: Global Democracy Promotion Act; S. 2155: West Coast Ocean Protection Act ...; S. 2487: Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act; S.Res. 37: A resolution supporting women’s reproductive ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (50th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (45th percentile); All Senators (51st percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Boxer introduced 3 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th 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. 308: After School for America’s Children ...; S. 1983: Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission ...; S. 2487: Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act

Compare to all Senate Democrats (66th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (45th percentile); All Senators (58th percentile).

The legislator must be the primary sponsor of the bill or joint resolution that was enacted or the primary sponsor of a bill or joint resolution for which at least about one third of its text was incorporated into another bill or joint resolution that was enacted as law, as determined by an automated analysis. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively. We also exclude bills where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill.


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Boxer introduced 4 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1761: A bill to take certain ...; S. 1822: A bill to take certain ...; S. 1983: Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission ...; S. 2412: Tule Lake National Historic Site ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (64th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); All Senators (45th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Boxer’s bills and resolutions had 245 cosponsors in the 114th 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 (48th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (47th percentile); All Senators (56th percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Boxer introduced 51 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (61st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (62nd percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Boxer supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Boxer 3 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Boxer cosponsored S. 229: DISCLOSE Act of 2015; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1538: Fair Elections Now Act

Compare to all Senate Democrats (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (66th percentile); All Senators (56th 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 114th Congress) was the 114th Congress (freshmen) or 113th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.