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Sen. Bill Nelson’s 2017 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Nelson’s record during the 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 6, 2018.

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 3rd 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 2017 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Nelson’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (49th percentile); Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); All Senators (46th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 5th most often compared to All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 196 bills that Nelson cosponsored, 53% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (95th percentile); Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); All Senators (95th 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 10th most often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Nelson introduced 7 bills in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 134: Spoofing Prevention Act of 2017; S. 396: A bill to make technical ...; S. 1057: Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia ...; S.Res. 160: A resolution honoring the service ...; S.Res. 190: A resolution honoring the memory ...; S.Res. 324: A resolution designating November 9, ...; S.Res. 344: A resolution honoring the life ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (46th percentile); Senate Democrats (76th percentile); All Senators (62nd percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 11th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 14 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. 73: Housing Accountability Act of 2017; S. 153: Ensuring the Reliability of Our ...; S. 258: Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act of ...; S. 259: No Stolen Trademarks Honored in ...; S. 294: Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small ...; S. 359: Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act ...; S. 396: A bill to make technical ...; S. 1234: Everglades for the Next Generation ...; S. 1291: Advancing Medical Resident Training in ...; S. 1521: Student Loan Relief Act of ...; S. 1834: Protecting Seniors During Disasters Act; S. 1853: Small Business Disaster Relief Act ...; S. 2061: Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of ...; S. 2246: A bill to designate the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (85th percentile); All Senators (87th percentile).

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


 

Introduced the 12th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Nelson introduced 45 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); Senate Democrats (85th percentile); All Senators (85th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 10th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 8 others)

2 of Nelson’s bills and resolutions in 2017 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. 533: Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act of ...; S. 1834: Protecting Seniors During Disasters Act

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 17th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 14 of Nelson’s 45 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (66th percentile); Senate Democrats (74th percentile); All Senators (78th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Nelson introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2017. 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); Senate Democrats (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.


 

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 Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); Senate Democrats (61st percentile); All Senators (67th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Nelson cosponsored 196 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 (68th percentile); Senate Democrats (39th percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Nelson’s bills and resolutions had 207 cosponsors in 2017. 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 (54th percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); All Senators (70th 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 2017 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Nelson’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (54th percentile); Senate Democrats (67th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Nelson missed 2.5% of votes (8 of 325 votes) in 2017. View Nelson’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (68th percentile); All Senators (73rd 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 Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (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 2017) was the 115th Congress (freshmen) or 114th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.