Nelson is the senior senator from Florida and is a Democrat. He has served since Jan 3, 2001. Nelson is next up for reelection in 2018.
He was previously the representative for Florida’s 11th congressional district as a Democrat from 1983 to 1990; and the representative for Florida’s 9th congressional district as a Democrat from 1979 to 1982.
Read our 2017 Report Card for Nelson.
Nelson is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Nelson has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.
Ratings from Advocacy Organizations
Bill Nelson sits on the following committees:
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
- Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet
- Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security
- Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
- Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness
- Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security
- Senate Committee on Armed Services
Senate Committee on Finance
- Member, Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
- Member, Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
- Senate Special Committee on Aging
Nelson was the primary sponsor of 24 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:
- S. 2246: A bill to designate the health care center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Tallahassee, Florida, as the Sergeant Ernest I. “Boots” Thomas VA Clinic, and for ...
- S. 396: A bill to make technical amendments to certain marine fish conservation statutes, and for other purposes.
- S. 2957 (114th): Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
- S. 142 (114th): Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015
- S. 1104 (113th): Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2014
- S. 1254 (113th): Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2014
- S. 2239 (112th): Veteran Skills to Jobs Act
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).
Nelson sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Health (28%) Armed Forces and National Security (12%) Science, Technology, Communications (12%) Crime and Law Enforcement (12%) International Affairs (11%) Taxation (9%) Environmental Protection (8%) Commerce (6%)
Some of Nelson’s most recently sponsored bills include...
- S. 3334: A bill to amend section 987 of title 10, United States Code, to ...
- S. 3316: Helping Seniors Afford Medicare Act of 2018
- S. 3304: 3D Printed Gun Safety Act of 2018
- S. 3306: Combat Online Predators Act
- S.Res. 585: A resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS John ...
- S. 3204: Canadian Snowbirds Act
- S. 3206: Toxic Algae Tax Relief Act
|Nelson’s Vote||Vote Description|
On the Nomination PN118: Scott Gottlieb, of Connecticut, to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Department of Health and Human Services
May 9, 2017. Nomination Confirmed 57/42.
On the Nomination PN36: James Richard Perry, of Texas, to be Secretary of Energy
Mar 2, 2017. Nomination Confirmed 62/37.
H.R. 5325: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017
Sep 28, 2016. Bill Passed 72/26.
H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act
Dec 3, 2015. Conference Report Agreed to 83/16.
H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a major bipartisan transportation bill that would authorize funding ...
H.R. 1735: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016
Jun 18, 2015. Bill Passed 71/25.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 is a comprehensive defense spending bill. At almost 1,000 pages long it will direct funding for procurement, research, and operation of defense technology, establish military policy, and address other matters pertaining to national defense. It has ...
H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015
Sep 18, 2014. Joint Resolution Passed 78/22.
On the Nomination PN1289: Sharon Y. Bowen, of New York, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for a term expiring April 13, 2018
Jun 3, 2014. Nomination Confirmed 48/46.
H.R. 4853 (111th): Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
Dec 15, 2010. Motion Agreed to 81/19.
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 as the 2010 Tax Relief Act, was passed by the United States Congress on December 16, 2010, and signed into ...
H.R. 3121 (110th): Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007
May 13, 2008. Bill Passed 92/6.
From Jan 2001 to Aug 2018, Nelson missed 123 of 5,461 roll call votes, which is 2.3%. This is worse than the median of 1.4% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
- @unitedstates/congress-legislators, a community project gathering congressional information
- The House and Senate websites, for committee membership and voting records
- United States Congressional Roll Call Voting Records, 1789-1990 by Howard L. Rosenthal and Keith T. Poole.
- Martis’s “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress”, via Keith Poole’s roll call votes data set, for political party affiliation for Members of Congress from 1789 through about year 2000
- GPO Member Guide for the photo
- GPO.gov/FDSys, for sponsored bills