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Rep. Brenda Lawrence’s 2015 Report Card

Representative from Michigan's 14th District
Democrat
Serving Jan 6, 2015 – Jan 3, 2019


These special year-end statistics cover Lawrence’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare her to other representatives serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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 Lawrence’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 bipartisan cosponsors on the lowest % of bills compared to House Freshmen

Lawrence tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 8% of Lawrence’s 12 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all House Freshmen (0th percentile); House Democrats (9th percentile); Safe House Seats (6th percentile); All Representatives (6th percentile).

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


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 2nd most often compared to Michigan Delegation

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 292 bills that Lawrence cosponsored, 24% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (86th percentile); House Freshmen (72nd percentile); House Democrats (26th percentile); Safe House Seats (65th percentile); All Representatives (64th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 3rd most bills compared to House Freshmen

Lawrence cosponsored 292 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 Michigan Delegation (86th percentile); House Freshmen (95th percentile); House Democrats (76th percentile); Safe House Seats (88th percentile); All Representatives (89th percentile).


 

Ranked the 3rd bottom follower compared to Michigan Delegation

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 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Lawrence’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (14th percentile); House Freshmen (38th percentile); House Democrats (20th percentile); Safe House Seats (16th percentile); All Representatives (17th percentile).


 

Ranked 4th most liberal compared to House Freshmen

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 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Lawrence’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (7th percentile); House Freshmen (5th percentile); House Democrats (22nd percentile); Safe House Seats (11th percentile); All Representatives (10th percentile).


 

Introduced the 4th most bills compared to House Freshmen (tied with 2 others)

Lawrence introduced 12 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (71st percentile); House Freshmen (91st percentile); House Democrats (58th percentile); Safe House Seats (58th percentile); All Representatives (60th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 5th most often compared to House Freshmen (tied with 3 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Lawrence supported any of 28 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Lawrence 3 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Lawrence cosponsored H.R. 20: Government By the People Act ...; H.R. 653: FOIA Act; H.R. 2173: Redistricting Reform Act of 2015

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (79th percentile); House Freshmen (88th percentile); House Democrats (66th percentile); Safe House Seats (81st percentile); All Representatives (82nd percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 41st least often compared to House Democrats (tied with 31 others)

1 of Lawrence’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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: H.Res. 520: Expressing the sense of the ...

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (21st percentile); House Freshmen (31st percentile); House Democrats (21st percentile); Safe House Seats (20th percentile); All Representatives (21st percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Lawrence introduced 0 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (0th percentile); House Freshmen (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); Safe House Seats (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Lawrence held a leadership position on 0 committees and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Lawrence’s Profile »

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (29th percentile); House Freshmen (56th percentile); House Democrats (38th percentile); Safe House Seats (36th percentile); All Representatives (38th percentile).


 

Working with the Senate

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 2 of Lawrence’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate. 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: H.R. 1899: Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act ...; H.R. 1900: National Sea Grant College Program ...

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (50th percentile); House Freshmen (83rd percentile); House Democrats (54th percentile); Safe House Seats (53rd percentile); All Representatives (55th percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Lawrence introduced 0 bills that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (0th percentile); House Freshmen (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); Safe House Seats (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th 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.


 

Cosponsors

Lawrence’s bills and resolutions had 74 cosponsors in 2015. 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 Michigan Delegation (29th percentile); House Freshmen (66th percentile); House Democrats (29th percentile); Safe House Seats (30th percentile); All Representatives (31st percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Lawrence missed 1.6% of votes (11 of 704 votes) in 2015. View Lawrence’s Profile »

Compare to all Michigan Delegation (57th percentile); House Freshmen (68th percentile); Safe House Seats (44th percentile); All Representatives (45th percentile).

The Speaker of the House is not included in this statistic because according to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, and the delegates from the five island territories and the District of Columbia are also not included because they were not elligible to vote in any roll call votes.


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 2015) was the 114th Congress (freshmen) or 113th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.