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Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s 2014 Report Card

Senior Senator from Maryland
Democrat
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Cardin’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him 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 Cardin’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 4th most committee positions compared to Senate Democrats

Cardin held a leadership position on 1 committee 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 Cardin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (85th percentile); All Senators (91st percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 5th most bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Cardin cosponsored 300 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 (88th percentile); Senate Democrats (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (85th percentile); All Senators (83rd percentile).


 

Ranked 7th 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 Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (15th percentile); Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (19th percentile); All Senators (18th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 8th highest % of bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 47% of Cardin’s 59 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (84th percentile); Senate Democrats (80th percentile); All Senators (83rd percentile).

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the 11th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

8 of Cardin’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. 357: National Blue Alert Act of ...; S. 917: Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding ...; S. 1038: End Racial Profiling Act of ...; S. 1508: Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability ...; S. 1567: Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness ...; S. 2209: Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act ...; S. 2235: Democracy Restoration Act of 2014; S.Res. 361: A resolution recognizing the threats ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (78th percentile); Senate Democrats (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Ranked the 14th top leader compared to All Senators

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 Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (74th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Was 12th most present in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

Cardin missed 0.5% of votes (3 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Cardin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (12th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (11th percentile); All Senators (11th percentile).


 

Wrote the 11th fewest laws compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (tied with 8 others)

Cardin introduced 1 bill 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. 476: A bill to amend the ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (24th percentile); Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (32nd 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.


 

Got the 16th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Cardin’s bills and resolutions had 392 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 (80th percentile); Senate Democrats (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (78th percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 17th least often compared to All Senators

Of the 300 bills that Cardin cosponsored, 17% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (18th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); Senate Democrats (30th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 17th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Cardin introduced 10 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 247: Harriet Tubman National Historical Parks ...; S. 357: National Blue Alert Act of ...; S. 476: A bill to amend the ...; S. 969: A bill to amend the ...; S. 970: Water Resources Research Amendments Act ...; S. 1077: Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails ...; S. 1933: Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability ...; S. 2080: National Fish Habitat Conservation Act; S.Res. 361: A resolution recognizing the threats ...; S.Res. 540: A resolution recognizing September 15, ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (66th percentile); Senate Democrats (70th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Introduced the 18th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Cardin introduced 59 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (73rd percentile); Senate Democrats (68th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); All Senators (81st percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 11 of Cardin’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. 247: Harriet Tubman National Historical Parks ...; S. 357: National Blue Alert Act of ...; S. 367: Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services ...; S. 623: Diagnostic Imaging Services Access Protection ...; S. 1077: Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails ...; S. 1418: Witness Security and Protection Grant ...; S. 1422: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1478: PACES Act; S. 1567: Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness ...; S. 2502: Global Development Lab Act of ...; S.J.Res. 15: A joint resolution removing the ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (51st percentile); Senate Democrats (53rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (54th percentile); All Senators (62nd percentile).

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


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Cardin supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Cardin 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Cardin cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (39th percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (35th 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.