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Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s 2015 Report Card

Senior Senator from Maryland
Democrat
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2025


These year-end statistics cover Cardin’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare him 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 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.

 

Got their bills out of committee the most often compared to Senate Democrats

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Cardin introduced 12 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 284: Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability ...; S. 521: President Street Station Study Act; S. 599: Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric ...; S. 610: Thurgood Marshall’s Elementary School Study ...; S. 653: Water Resources Research Amendments Act ...; S. 665: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu ...; S. 756: Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act ...; S. 1349: NOTICE Act; S. 2035: Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act ...; S.Res. 204: A resolution recognizing June 20, ...; S.Res. 211: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.J.Res. 20: A joint resolution relating to ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (85th percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 4th most often compared to Senate Democrats

7 of Cardin’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. 375: Small BREW Act; S. 554: Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness ...; S. 665: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu ...; S. 741: Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability ...; S. 772: Democracy Restoration Act of 2015; S. 1056: End Racial Profiling Act of ...; S.Res. 245: A resolution designating the week ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Ranked the 4th top leader compared to Senate Democrats

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 Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (80th percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (81st percentile); All Senators (89th percentile).


 

Got the 5th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Cardin’s bills and resolutions had 419 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 (90th percentile); Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 5th highest % of bills compared to Senate Democrats

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 46% of Cardin’s 50 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (84th percentile); Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (86th percentile); All Senators (85th percentile).

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


 

Introduced the 8th most bills compared to All Senators

Cardin introduced 50 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (80th percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (85th percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 13th most often compared to All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 194 bills that Cardin cosponsored, 40% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (85th percentile); Senate Democrats (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (85th percentile); All Senators (87th percentile).

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


 

Got bicameral support on the 14th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 13 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. 375: Small BREW Act; S. 665: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu ...; S. 772: Democracy Restoration Act of 2015; S. 1002: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1079: SCREEN Act of 2015; S. 1652: A bill to designate an ...; S. 1746: RECOVER Act; S. 2308: Church Plan Clarification Act of ...; S. 2333: Taxpayer Rights Act of 2015; S. 2376: Witness Security and Protection Grant ...; S.Res. 211: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.J.Res. 15: A joint resolution removing the ...; S.J.Res. 20: A joint resolution relating to ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (75th percentile); Senate Democrats (77th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); All Senators (82nd percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Cardin introduced 2 bills that became law in 2015. 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. 599: Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric ...; S. 665: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (73rd percentile); Senate Democrats (82nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (83rd 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.


 

Committee Positions

Cardin 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 Cardin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Cardin cosponsored 194 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 (73rd percentile); Senate Democrats (43rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).


 

Ideology Score

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 Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (30th percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (26th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Cardin missed 0.0% of votes (0 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Cardin’s Profile »

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


 

Government Transparency

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

Cardin cosponsored S. 229: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; 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.