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Sen. Bill Nelson’s 2018 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Nelson’s record during the 115th Congress (Jan 3, 2017-Jan 3, 2019) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 20, 2019.

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.

 

Got bicameral support on the 3rd most bills compared to All Senators

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 29 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. 2117: Fair Access to Insurance for ...; S. 2246: A bill to designate the ...; S. 2292: Florida Coastal Protection Act; S. 2843: Opioid Workforce Act of 2018; S. 2880: Disaster Housing Assistance Act; S. 2934: Increasing Access to Mental Health ...; S. 3304: 3D Printed Gun Safety Act ...; S. 3510: Agricultural Trade Improvement Act of ...; S.Res. 190: A resolution honoring the memory ...; S.Res. 545: A resolution honoring the memory ...; S.Res. 585: A resolution commemorating the 50th ...; S.Res. 618: A resolution commemorating the 50th ...; S.Res. 641: A resolution marking 1 year ...; S.Res. 651: A resolution marking 1 year ...; S.Res. 660: A resolution expressing support for ...; S.Con.Res. 38: A concurrent resolution recognizing and ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); Senate Democrats (96th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).

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


 

Was 5th most absent in votes compared to All Senators

Nelson missed 6.3% of votes (38 of 599 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Nelson’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 4th most bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 2 others)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 42 of Nelson’s 74 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Nelson caucused with in the 115th Congress.

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


 

Supported government transparency the 4th least oftenn compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 3 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Nelson supported any of 14 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Nelson 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Nelson cosponsored S. 210: Global Health, Empowerment and Rights ...; S. 1989: Honest Ads Act

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); Senate Democrats (6th percentile); All Senators (42nd percentile).


 

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 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Nelson’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (85th percentile); All Senators (41st percentile).


 

Wrote the 5th most laws compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 5 others)

Nelson introduced 5 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 115th 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. 396: A bill to make technical ...; S. 2246: A bill to designate the ...; S. 3207: Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment ...; S. 3456: A bill to redesignate Hobe ...; S. 3525: A bill to designate the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (59th percentile); Senate Democrats (79th percentile); All Senators (66th 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.


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 8th 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 381 bills that Nelson cosponsored, 48% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); Senate Democrats (87th percentile); All Senators (92nd 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 7th most often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 2 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Nelson introduced 16 bills in the 115th Congress 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. 2246: A bill to designate the ...; S. 3207: Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment ...; S. 3456: A bill to redesignate Hobe ...; S. 3525: A bill to designate the ...; S.Res. 85: A resolution calling on the ...; 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 ...; S.Res. 545: A resolution honoring the memory ...; S.Res. 618: A resolution commemorating the 50th ...; S.Res. 620: A resolution congratulating the National ...; S.Res. 651: A resolution marking 1 year ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); Senate Democrats (81st percentile); All Senators (71st percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 11th most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Nelson cosponsored 381 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 (76th percentile); Senate Democrats (51st percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Introduced the 14th most bills compared to All Senators

Nelson introduced 74 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); Senate Democrats (79th percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

6 of Nelson’s bills and resolutions in the 115th 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. 339: Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act ...; S. 533: Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act of ...; S. 1834: Protecting Seniors During Disasters Act; S. 3304: 3D Printed Gun Safety Act ...; S.Res. 363: A resolution expressing profound concern ...; S.Res. 660: A resolution expressing support for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); Senate Democrats (47th percentile); All Senators (53rd percentile).


 

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 (37th percentile); Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Nelson’s bills and resolutions had 384 cosponsors in the 115th 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 Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); Senate Democrats (55th percentile); All Senators (71st 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 115th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Nelson’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); Senate Democrats (68th percentile); All Senators (65th 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 115th Congress) 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.