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Sen. Ben Nelson

Former Senator for Nebraska

Nelson was a senator from Nebraska and was a Democrat. He served from 2001 to 2012.

Photo of Sen. Ben Nelson [D-NE, 2001-2012]

Analysis

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Nelson is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2013 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 Nelson sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 4, 2007 to Jan 2, 2013. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Nelson was the primary sponsor of 4 bills that were enacted:

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Does 4 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).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Nelson sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Foreign Trade and International Finance (38%) Health (21%) Armed Forces and National Security (11%) Finance and Financial Sector (8%) Taxation (8%) Transportation and Public Works (5%) Housing and Community Development (5%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (5%)

Recent Bills

Some of Nelson’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Nelson voted Yea

Conference Report Agreed to 86/13 on Dec 15, 2011.

Nelson voted Nay

Motion Agreed to 74/26 on Aug 2, 2011.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L. 112–25, S. 365, 125 Stat. 240, enacted August 2, 2011) is a federal statute enacted by the 112th ...

Nelson voted Yea

Nelson voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known ...

Nelson voted Nay

Motion Agreed to 68/29 on Mar 17, 2010.

Nelson voted Nay

Motion Agreed to 70/28 on Feb 24, 2010.

Nelson voted Yea

Nelson voted Yea

Missed Votes

From Jan 2001 to Jan 2013, Nelson missed 40 of 3,792 roll call votes, which is 1.1%. This is better than the median of 2.0% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Jan 2013. 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.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: