skip to main content

Sen. Bernard “Bernie” Sanders’s 2019 Report Card

Junior Senator from Vermont
Independent
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2025


These year-end statistics cover Sanders’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 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 most liberal compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 Sanders’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (1st percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Sanders introduced 1 bill in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S.J.Res. 7: A joint resolution to direct ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 1 of Sanders’s 23 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Sanders caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).

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


 

Was 2nd most absent in votes compared to All Senators

Sanders missed 63.3% of votes (271 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Sanders’s Profile »

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


 

Ranked the 3rd bottom/follower compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 Sanders’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (5th percentile); All Senators (14th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 4th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 2 others)

1 of Sanders’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. 150: Raise the Wage Act

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); All Senators (9th percentile).


 

Introduced the 10th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 2 others)

Sanders introduced 23 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (21st percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Got the 11th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Sanders’s bills and resolutions had 169 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 (24th percentile); All Senators (36th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Sanders introduced 0 bills 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.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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. 13 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. 97: Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug ...; S. 99: Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act; S. 102: Prescription Drug Price Relief Act ...; S. 150: Raise the Wage Act; S. 309: For the 99.8 Percent Act; S. 1389: Loan Shark Prevention Act; S. 1584: Opioid Crisis Accountability Act of ...; S. 1587: Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2019; S. 1661: United States Employee Ownership Bank ...; S. 1666: WORK Act; S. 2849: Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act ...; S. 2876: Green New Deal for Public ...; S.Con.Res. 22: A concurrent resolution expressing the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (55th percentile); All Senators (63rd percentile).

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


 

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 (40th percentile); All Senators (67th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Sanders cosponsored 312 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 (69th percentile); All Senators (71st 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.