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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.

 
 

Leadership Score

the best score among 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.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Senate Democrats the best score out of 44
View All
Serving 10+ Years 6th best score out of 47
View All
All Senators 6th best score out of 100
View All
 

Cosponsors

the most cosponsors among 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 »

compared to... rank fewest cosponsors ⇢ most cosponsors
Senate Democrats the most cosponsors out of 44 73
711 cosponsors View All
Serving 10+ Years 3rd most cosponsors out of 47 11
989 cosponsors View All
All Senators 3rd most cosponsors out of 100 11
989 cosponsors View All
 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

2nd most bills among 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.

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats the most bills out of 44 3
36 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 2nd most bills out of 47 0
49 bills View All
All Senators 2nd most bills out of 100 0
49 bills View All
 

Bills Introduced

2nd most bills among Senate Democrats

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

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 2nd most bills out of 44 18
87 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 6th most bills out of 47 8
140 bills View All
All Senators 6th most bills out of 100 8
140 bills View All
 

Powerful Cosponsors

8th most bills among 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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 3rd most bills (tied w/ 2) out of 44 0
15 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 7th most bills (tied w/ 3) out of 47 0
19 bills View All
All Senators 8th most bills (tied w/ 3) out of 100 0
19 bills View All
 

Working with the House

10th most bills among 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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 5th most bills (tied w/ 2) out of 44 1
26 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 9th most bills (tied w/ 2) out of 47 1
40 bills View All
All Senators 10th most bills (tied w/ 2) out of 100 1
40 bills View All

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

 

Bills Cosponsored

12th most bills among Serving 10+ Years

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 »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 19th fewest bills out of 44 152
479 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 12th most bills out of 47 74
426 bills View All
All Senators 31st most bills out of 100 74
479 bills View All
 

Laws Enacted

13th most bills among 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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 2nd most bills (tied w/ 3) out of 44 0
9 View All
Serving 10+ Years 9th most bills (tied w/ 5) out of 47 0
15 View All
All Senators 13th most bills (tied w/ 8) out of 100 0
15 View All

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.

 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

19th most bipartisan among 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 »

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Senate Democrats 16th most bipartisan out of 44 20
66% of bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 9th most bipartisan out of 46 11
54% of bills View All
All Senators 19th most bipartisan out of 98 11
66% of bills View All

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

 

Government Transparency

14th least supportive among Senate Democrats; tied with 10 others

GovTrack looked at whether Cardin supported any of 22 government transparency 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.

Cosponsored: S. 229: DISCLOSE Act of 2015; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1538: Fair Elections Now Act

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Senate Democrats 14th least supportive (tied w/ 10) out of 44 1
11 points View All
Serving 10+ Years 11th most supportive (tied w/ 5) out of 47 0
11 points View All
All Senators 29th most supportive (tied w/ 15) out of 100 0
11 points View All
 

Ideology Score

25th most liberal among 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.

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Senate Democrats 21st most conservative out of 44
View All
Serving 10+ Years 15th most liberal out of 47
View All
All Senators 25th most liberal out of 100
View All
 

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. 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 »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Senate Democrats 4th highest score (tied w/ 14) out of 44 0
12 points View All
Serving 10+ Years 8th highest score (tied w/ 22) out of 47 0
12 points View All
All Senators 10th highest score (tied w/ 24) out of 100 0
16 points View All
 

Missed Votes

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

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
Serving 10+ Years the most voting (tied w/ 5) out of 47 0
28% missed votes View All
All Senators the most voting (tied w/ 11) out of 100 0
32% missed votes View All

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.

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.