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Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s 2015 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Mikulski’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare her to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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.

 

Got bicameral support on the 4th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 2 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 2 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. 1507: Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security ...; S. 1889: REBUILD Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (3rd percentile); Senate Democrats (7th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); All Senators (5th percentile).

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


 

Introduced the 6th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

Mikulski introduced 15 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (11th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (15th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Was 8th most absent in votes compared to Serving 10+ Years

Mikulski missed 4.4% of votes (15 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Mikulski’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (85th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (85th percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 10th least often compared to Senate Democrats

Of the 189 bills that Mikulski cosponsored, 27% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (54th percentile); Senate Democrats (20th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (49th percentile); All Senators (53rd percentile).

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


 

Got the 11th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Mikulski’s bills and resolutions had 125 cosponsors in 2015. 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 (25th percentile); Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (31st percentile); All Senators (40th percentile).


 

Ranked the 11th bottom/follower compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

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 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Mikulski’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (25th percentile); Senate Democrats (45th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (40th percentile).


 

Ranked 17th 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 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Mikulski’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (18th percentile); Senate Democrats (34th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (19th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Mikulski introduced 0 bills that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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 Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Mikulski introduced 2 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 2093: A bill to provide that ...; S.Res. 35: A resolution commemorating the 70th ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (30th percentile); Senate Democrats (64th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

4 of Mikulski’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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. 862: Paycheck Fairness Act; S. 1975: Sewall-Belmont House Act of 2015; S.Res. 35: A resolution commemorating the 70th ...; S.Res. 242: A resolution celebrating the 25th ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (48th percentile); Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (56th percentile); All Senators (61st percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Mikulski tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 33% of Mikulski’s 15 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (57th percentile); Senate Democrats (66th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (60th percentile); All Senators (60th percentile).

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


 

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 (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Mikulski cosponsored 189 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 (70th percentile); Senate Democrats (41st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); All Senators (69th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Mikulski supported any of 19 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Mikulski 3 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Mikulski cosponsored S. 229: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 579: Inspector General Empowerment Act of ...; S. 1538: Fair Elections Now Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (68th percentile); Senate Democrats (41st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); All Senators (64th 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 2015) 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.