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Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s 2014 Report Card

Senior Senator from Maryland
Democrat
Served Jan 6, 1987 – Jan 3, 2017


These special statistics cover Mikulski’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare her 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 Mikulski’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.

 

Introduced the 8th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

Mikulski introduced 21 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (20th percentile); Senate Democrats (13th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); All Senators (24th percentile).


 

Ranked 10th most liberal compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

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 Mikulski’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (22nd percentile); Senate Democrats (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 9th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 4 others)

2 of Mikulski’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. 84: Paycheck Fairness Act; S. 1086: Child Care and Development Block ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (20th percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (15th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Got the 13th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Mikulski’s bills and resolutions had 144 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (24th percentile); Senate Democrats (25th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 23rd least often compared to All Senators

Of the 226 bills that Mikulski cosponsored, 18% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (25th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (25th percentile); Senate Democrats (42nd percentile); All Senators (22nd percentile).

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


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Mikulski introduced 8 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 388: American Family Economic Protection Act ...; S. 1086: Child Care and Development Block ...; S. 1329: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related ...; S. 2199: Paycheck Fairness Act; S. 2437: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related ...; S. 2648: Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2014; S.Res. 513: A resolution honoring the 70th ...; S.Con.Res. 38: A concurrent resolution expressing the ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (54th percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); All Senators (72nd percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Mikulski held a leadership position on 1 committee and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Mikulski’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (35th percentile); All Senators (64th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Mikulski tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 29% of Mikulski’s 21 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (43rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); Senate Democrats (31st percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).

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


 

Bills Cosponsored

Mikulski cosponsored 226 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (41st percentile); Senate Democrats (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (44th percentile); All Senators (46th percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 10 of Mikulski’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. 84: Paycheck Fairness Act; S. 223: Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security ...; S. 997: Dorothy I. Height and Whitney ...; S. 1091: A bill to provide for ...; S. 1221: Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013; S. 1345: Dr. R. Adams Cowley Congressional ...; S. 2199: Paycheck Fairness Act; S.Res. 135: A resolution designating the week ...; S.Res. 221: A resolution designating the week ...; S.Res. 513: A resolution honoring the 70th ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (44th percentile); Senate Democrats (47th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (48th percentile); All Senators (57th percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Mikulski introduced 2 bills 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. 1086: Child Care and Development Block ...; S. 1221: Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (46th percentile); Senate Democrats (58th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (56th percentile); All Senators (64th 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.


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Mikulski supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Mikulski 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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 Mikulski’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (37th percentile); Senate Democrats (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (42nd percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Mikulski missed 4.3% of votes (28 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Mikulski’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (67th percentile); All Senators (71st 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.