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Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s 2019 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Cardin’s record during the 2019 legislative year (Jan 3, 2019-Dec 31, 2019) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 18, 2020.

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 influential cosponsors the most often compared to All Senators

14 of Cardin’s bills and resolutions in 2019 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. 310: Migratory Birds of the Americas ...; S. 701: Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act; S. 823: ESIA; S. 1139: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ...; S. 1188: Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act; S. 1259: Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails ...; S. 1834: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation ...; S. 1969: Fallen Journalists Memorial Act of ...; S. 2355: End Racial and Religious Profiling ...; S. 2773: Private Prison Information Act of ...; S. 3146: A bill to ensure a ...; S.Res. 120: A resolution opposing efforts to ...; S.Res. 404: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.J.Res. 6: A joint resolution removing the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); All Senators (99th percentile).


 

Held the 2nd most committee positions compared to All Senators

Cardin held a leadership position on 2 committees 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 Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); All Senators (98th percentile).


 

Got the 6th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Cardin’s bills and resolutions had 551 cosponsors in 2019. 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 Serving 10+ Years (90th percentile); Senate Democrats (89th percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Ranked the 8th 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 2019 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (86th percentile); Senate Democrats (89th percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 8th most often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Cardin introduced 10 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 24: Government Employee Fair Treatment Act ...; S. 310: Migratory Birds of the Americas ...; S. 464: Protecting Employees’ Security Clearances Act ...; S. 1309: Combating Global Corruption Act of ...; S. 1310: Organization of American States Legislative ...; S.Res. 190: A resolution promoting minority health ...; S.Res. 249: A resolution commemorating the victory ...; S.Res. 312: A resolution designating the week ...; S.Res. 460: A resolution congratulating the American ...; S.J.Res. 53: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (55th percentile); Senate Democrats (76th percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 12th most bills compared to All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 34 of Cardin’s 62 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Cardin caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (87th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).

Cosponsors who caucused with neither the Democratic nor Republican party do not count toward this statistic.


 

Introduced the 11th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Cardin introduced 62 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); Senate Democrats (73rd percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 20th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Cardin cosponsored 375 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 Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); Senate Democrats (53rd percentile); All Senators (79th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Cardin introduced 1 bill that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2019. 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. 24: Government Employee Fair Treatment Act ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); Senate Democrats (20th percentile); All Senators (20th 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.


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 14 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. 22: Medicare Dental Benefit Act of ...; S. 359: Dental Loan Repayment Assistance Act; S. 416: FAFSA Fairness Act of 2019; S. 532: Preserving Teacher Loan Forgiveness for ...; S. 686: Strengthening American Communities Act of ...; S. 1139: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ...; S. 1361: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1861: Streamlining Part D Appeals Process ...; S. 1899: Refuge System Protection Act; S. 2531: Witness Security and Protection Grant ...; S. 2687: Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs ...; S. 2773: Private Prison Information Act of ...; S.Res. 141: A resolution celebrating the heritage ...; S.J.Res. 6: A joint resolution removing the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (64th percentile); Senate Democrats (49th percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).

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


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 375 bills that Cardin cosponsored, 28% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (59th percentile); Senate Democrats (64th percentile); All Senators (55th percentile).

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


 

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 2019 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (31st percentile); Senate Democrats (58th percentile); All Senators (27th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Cardin missed 0.7% of votes (3 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Cardin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); All Senators (30th 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 2019) was the 116th Congress (freshmen) or 115th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.