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Rep. Bruce Westerman’s 2017 Report Card

Representative from Arkansas's 4th District
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 2015 – Jan 3, 2019


These special year-end statistics cover Westerman’s record during the 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017) and compare him to other representatives 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 Westerman’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.

 

Introduced the 3rd fewest bills compared to House Sophomores

Westerman introduced 4 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all House Sophomores (3rd percentile); House Republicans (9th percentile); All Representatives (9th percentile).


 

Got the 42nd fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 3 others)

Westerman’s bills and resolutions had 25 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 House Sophomores (10th percentile); House Republicans (10th percentile); All Representatives (9th percentile).


 

Was 31st most present in votes compared to All Representatives (tied with 30 others)

Westerman missed 0.3% of votes (2 of 710 votes) in 2017. View Westerman’s Profile »

Compare to all House Sophomores (8th percentile); All Representatives (7th 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.


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 42nd fewest bills compared to House Republicans (tied with 40 others)

Westerman tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 2 of Westerman’s 4 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

Compare to all House Sophomores (13th percentile); House Republicans (17th percentile); All Representatives (18th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 102nd least often compared to All Representatives (tied with 1 other)

Of the 144 bills that Westerman cosponsored, 10% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all House Sophomores (27th percentile); House Republicans (42nd percentile); All Representatives (23rd percentile).

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


 

Working with the Senate

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 1 of Westerman’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. 4395: Geospatial Data Act of 2017

Compare to all House Sophomores (34th percentile); House Republicans (27th percentile); All Representatives (28th percentile).

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


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Westerman introduced 1 bill in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.R. 2936: Resilient Federal Forests Act of ...

Compare to all House Sophomores (27th percentile); House Republicans (13th percentile); All Representatives (29th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Westerman 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 Westerman’s Profile »

Compare to all House Sophomores (45th percentile); House Republicans (37th percentile); All Representatives (39th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Westerman cosponsored 144 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 House Sophomores (35th percentile); House Republicans (56th percentile); All Representatives (34th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

1 of Westerman’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: H.R. 2936: Resilient Federal Forests Act of ...

Compare to all House Sophomores (23rd percentile); House Republicans (20th percentile); All Representatives (19th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Westerman 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 House Sophomores (0th percentile); House Republicans (0th percentile); All Representatives (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.


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Westerman supported any of 21 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Westerman 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Westerman cosponsored H.Res. 630: Requiring each Member, officer, and ...

Compare to all House Sophomores (23rd percentile); House Republicans (36th percentile); All Representatives (28th 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.