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Sen. Bill Nelson’s 2014 Report Card

Senior Senator from Florida
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2001 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Nelson’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 12, 2015. Although Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA1], Rep. Thomas Massie [R-KY4], Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10], and Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI] served in the 112th Congress, they took office within the last two months of the 112th Congress and here are grouped with other freshmen for the 113th 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 Nelson’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 7th most conservative compared to Senate Democrats

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 113th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Nelson’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (49th percentile); Senate Democrats (87th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (48th percentile); All Senators (47th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 10th fewest bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Nelson cosponsored 192 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 (22nd percentile); Senate Democrats (26th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 13th most often compared to Senate Democrats

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 192 bills that Nelson cosponsored, 26% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (43rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (42nd percentile); Senate Democrats (75th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 17th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Nelson introduced 10 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 429: Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, ...; S. 839: Coral Reef Conservation Amendments Act ...; S. 1104: Assessing Progress in Haiti Act ...; S. 1254: Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia ...; S. 1262: Veterans Conservation Corps Act of ...; S. 1317: National Aeronautics and Space Administration ...; S. 1774: Undetectable Firearms Reauthorization Act of ...; S. 2581: Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act ...; S.Res. 12: A resolution recognizing the third ...; S.Res. 312: A resolution urging the Government ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (66th percentile); Senate Democrats (70th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Nelson introduced 2 bills that became law in the 113th 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. 1104: Assessing Progress in Haiti Act ...; S. 1254: Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (46th percentile); Senate Democrats (58th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (56th percentile); All Senators (64th percentile).

A bill or joint resolution is considered enacted if it or an exactly identical bill to it is enacted as law. We only consider bills that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.


 

Committee Positions

Nelson 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 Nelson’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (35th percentile); All Senators (64th 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 the 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Nelson’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (63rd percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (59th percentile); All Senators (69th percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 12 of Nelson’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. 220: Citrus Disease Research and Development ...; S. 397: Lena Horne Recognition Act; S. 414: Everglades for the Next Generation ...; S. 647: No Stolen Trademarks Honored in ...; S. 772: Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small ...; S. 855: CDBG Public Services Flexibility Act ...; S. 1365: Part D Beneficiary Appeals Fairness ...; S. 1672: Special Needs Trust Fairness Act ...; S. 2361: Stop Schemes and Crimes Against ...; S. 2581: Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act ...; S. 2861: A bill to authorize the ...; S.Res. 312: A resolution urging the Government ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (66th percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (65th percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).

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


 

Missed Votes

Nelson missed 2.9% of votes (19 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Nelson’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (56th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (62nd percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Nelson introduced 44 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (59th percentile); Senate Democrats (49th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (56th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Nelson tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 36% of Nelson’s 44 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); All Senators (62nd percentile).

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


 

Cosponsors

Nelson’s bills and resolutions had 254 cosponsors in the 113th 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (59th percentile); Senate Democrats (53rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (54th percentile); All Senators (62nd percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

5 of Nelson’s bills and resolutions in the 113th 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. 839: Coral Reef Conservation Amendments Act ...; S. 1254: Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia ...; S. 1317: National Aeronautics and Space Administration ...; S. 1753: A bill to extend Government ...; S. 2581: Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (51st percentile); Senate Democrats (47th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (52nd percentile); All Senators (58th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Nelson supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Nelson 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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 the 113th Congress) 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.