skip to main content

Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s 2020 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Cardin’s record during the 116th Congress (Jan 3, 2019-Jan 3, 2021) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 30, 2021.

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


 

Ranked the 2nd 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 116th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (96th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 4th most often compared to All Senators

18 of Cardin’s bills and resolutions in the 116th 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. 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. 3583: Protecting Collective Bargaining and Official ...; S. 4208: Minority Business Resiliency Act of ...; S. 4818: Heroes Small Business Lifeline Act; S.Res. 120: A resolution opposing efforts to ...; S.Res. 404: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.Res. 527: A resolution recognizing the longstanding ...; S.J.Res. 6: A joint resolution removing the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Got the 4th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Cardin’s bills and resolutions had 935 cosponsors in the 116th 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 (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 8th most often compared to Senate Democrats

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Cardin introduced 16 bills in the 116th Congress 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. 1139: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ...; S. 1309: Combating Global Corruption Act of ...; S. 1310: Organization of American States Legislative ...; S. 4116: A bill to extend the ...; S.Res. 148: A resolution supporting efforts by ...; 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.Res. 591: A resolution promoting minority health ...; S.Res. 776: A resolution designating the week ...; S.Res. 797: A resolution honoring the life ...; S.J.Res. 53: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); All Senators (73rd percentile).


 

Introduced the 14th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Cardin introduced 92 bills and resolutions in the 116th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (85th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 16th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 44 of Cardin’s 92 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Cardin caucused with in the 116th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (80th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); All Senators (83rd percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 20th most bills compared to All Senators

Cardin cosponsored 606 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 (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Cardin introduced 4 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 116th 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. 24: Government Employee Fair Treatment Act ...; S. 1139: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ...; S. 1310: Organization of American States Legislative ...; S. 4116: A bill to extend the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (46th percentile); All Senators (57th 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. 23 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. 2634: Small Business Tax Fairness and ...; S. 2687: Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs ...; S. 2773: Private Prison Information Act of ...; S. 3863: A bill to direct the ...; S. 4014: P4 Ac; S. 4116: A bill to extend the ...; S. 4382: A bill to direct the ...; S. 4548: Global Learning Loss Assessment Act ...; S. 4816: Southern Maryland National Heritage Area ...; S.Res. 141: A resolution celebrating the heritage ...; S.Res. 701: A resolution urging the Government ...; S.Res. 745: A resolution honoring the life, ...; S.J.Res. 6: A joint resolution removing the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (52nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (67th percentile); All Senators (73rd percentile).

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


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 606 bills that Cardin cosponsored, 30% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (70th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (55th percentile); All Senators (59th 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 the 116th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); All Senators (28th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Cardin missed 2.2% of votes (16 of 720 votes) in the 116th Congress. View Cardin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (52nd percentile); All Senators (49th percentile).


Additional Notes

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 116th Congress) 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.