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Sen. Bernard “Bernie” Sanders’s 2013 Report Card

Junior Senator from Vermont
Independent
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2019


These special year-end statistics cover Sanders’s record during the 2013 legislative year (Jan 3, 2013-Dec 26, 2013) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Dec 1, 2014. On Dec. 1, 2014, the statistics were updated to remove Sen. Schatz from the list of Senate sophomores. Schatz only served for several days in the preceding Congress.

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 Sanders’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.

 

Ranked 2nd most liberal compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

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 2013 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Sanders’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (2nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 2nd lowest % of bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Sanders tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 8% of Sanders’s 49 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2013.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (3rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); All Senators (5th percentile).

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


 

Got bicameral support on the 2nd most bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 14 of Sanders’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. 471: Fair Access to Credit Scores ...; S. 525: A bill proposing an amendment ...; S. 685: Too Big to Fail, Too ...; S. 851: Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act ...; S. 858: State Leadership in Health Care ...; S. 885: A bill to designate the ...; S. 1018: Federal Reserve Independence Act; S. 1170: Youth Jobs Act; S. 1252: Upper Missisquoi and Trout Wild ...; S. 1522: Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of ...; S. 1762: End Polluter Welfare Act of ...; S.Res. 233: A resolution authorizing expenditures by ...; S.Res. 243: An original resolution authorizing expenditures ...; S.J.Res. 11: A joint resolution proposing an ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).

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


 

Introduced the 6th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Sanders introduced 49 bills and resolutions in 2013. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (88th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 7th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Sanders introduced 8 bills in 2013 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 851: Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act ...; S. 885: A bill to designate the ...; S. 893: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act ...; S. 944: Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement ...; S. 1252: Upper Missisquoi and Trout Wild ...; S. 1562: Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act ...; S. 1581: Survivors of Military Sexual Assault ...; S. 1604: Veterans Health Care Eligibility Expansion ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (80th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (86th percentile); All Senators (90th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 9th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

6 of Sanders’s bills and resolutions in 2013 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. 332: Climate Protection Act of 2013; S. 825: Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of ...; S. 893: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act ...; S. 944: Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement ...; S. 1200: Residential Energy Savings Act of ...; S. 1562: Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (87th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Sanders 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 Sanders’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); All Senators (64th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Sanders missed 0.7% of votes (2 of 291 votes) in 2013. View Sanders’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (29th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (30th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Sanders supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Sanders 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Sanders cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (51st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (48th percentile); All Senators (47th percentile).


 

Leadership Score

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 2013 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Sanders’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (56th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (48th percentile); All Senators (61st percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Sanders’s bills and resolutions had 132 cosponsors in 2013. 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (46th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (55th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Sanders cosponsored 129 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); All Senators (41st percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Sanders introduced 1 bill that became law in 2013. 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. 893: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (73rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (75th percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).

We only count enacted bills (and joint resolutions) that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through companion bills or incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.


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 2013) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.