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Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s 2016 Report Card

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


These special statistics cover Cardin’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

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 19 bills in the 114th Congress 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. 1605: Millennium Compacts for Regional Economic ...; S. 1882: Nepal Recovery 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.Res. 368: A resolution supporting efforts by ...; S.Res. 432: A resolution supporting respect for ...; S.Res. 503: A resolution recognizing June 20, ...; S.Res. 515: A resolution welcoming Prime Minister ...; S.Res. 537: A resolution expressing profound concern ...; S.J.Res. 20: A joint resolution relating to ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Ranked the 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 the 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Got the most cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Democrats

Cardin’s bills and resolutions had 711 cosponsors in the 114th 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 Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 2nd most bills compared to All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 36 of Cardin’s 80 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); All Senators (98th percentile).


 

Introduced the 2nd most bills compared to Senate Democrats

Cardin introduced 80 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (95th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 8th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

11 of Cardin’s bills and resolutions in the 114th 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. 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. 2588: GET THE LEAD OUT Act ...; S. 2821: True LEADership Act of 2016; S.Res. 245: A resolution designating the week ...; S.Res. 368: A resolution supporting efforts by ...; S.Con.Res. 56: A concurrent resolution clarifying any ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); All Senators (89th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 10th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 20 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. 5: Retirement Security Preservation Act of ...; 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. 2588: GET THE LEAD OUT Act ...; S.Res. 188: A resolution expressing appreciation of ...; S.Res. 211: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.Res. 386: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.Res. 473: A resolution expressing appreciation of ...; S.Res. 477: A resolution promoting minority health ...; S.Res. 537: A resolution expressing profound concern ...; S.J.Res. 15: A joint resolution removing the ...; S.J.Res. 20: A joint resolution relating to ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (84th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (77th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).

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


 

Wrote the 13th most laws compared to All Senators (tied with 8 others)

Cardin introduced 5 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th 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. 284: Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability ...; S. 599: Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric ...; S. 665: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu ...; S. 1349: NOTICE Act; S. 2308: Church Plan Clarification Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); All Senators (79th percentile).

The legislator must be the primary sponsor of the bill or joint resolution that was enacted or the primary sponsor of a bill or joint resolution for which at least about one third of its text was incorporated into another bill or joint resolution that was enacted as law, as determined by an automated analysis. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively. We also exclude bills where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill.


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 19th 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 301 bills that Cardin cosponsored, 38% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (64th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (81st percentile).

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


 

Ranked 25th 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 the 114th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (52nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (24th percentile).


 

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 (36th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Cardin cosponsored 301 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 Democrats (41st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); All Senators (69th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Cardin supported any of 22 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: DISCLOSE Act of 2015; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1538: Fair Elections Now Act

Compare to all Senate Democrats (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (66th percentile); All Senators (56th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Cardin missed 0.0% of votes (0 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Cardin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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 114th Congress) 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.