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Sen. Bernard “Bernie” Sanders

Senator for Vermont

pronounced ber-NAHRD // SAN-derz

Sanders is the junior senator from Vermont and is an Independent caucusing with the Democrats. He has served since Jan 4, 2007. Sanders is next up for reelection in 2024 and serves until Jan 3, 2025.

He was previously the representative for Vermont’s at-large district as an Independent caucusing with the Democrats from 1991 to 2006.

Photo of Sen. Bernard “Bernie” Sanders [I-VT]


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2020 Report Card for Sanders.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Sanders is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Sanders has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2017 to Dec 1, 2022. See full analysis methodology.

Committee Membership

Bernard “Bernie” Sanders sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Sanders was the primary sponsor of 8 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 8 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Sanders sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Health (31%) Taxation (16%) International Affairs (12%) Environmental Protection (9%) Energy (8%) Labor and Employment (8%) Finance and Financial Sector (8%) Agriculture and Food (8%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Sanders recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Sanders voted Nay

Bill Passed 68/28 on Mar 28, 2022.

Sanders voted Not Voting

Bill Passed 72/26 on Sep 28, 2016.

The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations …

Sanders voted Nay

Joint Resolution Passed 78/22 on Sep 18, 2014.

Sanders voted Nay

Sanders voted Nay

Sanders voted Nay

Sanders voted Nay

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known …

Missed Votes

From Jan 2007 to Dec 2022, Sanders missed 728 of 5,216 roll call votes, which is 14.0%. This is much worse than the median of 2.4% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events. Legislators running for president or vice president typically miss votes while on the campaign trail — that’s normal. See our analysis of presidential candidates’ missed votes.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: