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Sen. Carl Levin’s 2014 Report Card

Senior Senator from Michigan
Democrat
Served Jan 15, 1979 – Jan 3, 2015


These special statistics cover Levin’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 Levin’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 6th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 3 of Levin’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. 23: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore ...; S. 2221: MotorCities National Heritage Area Extension ...; S.Res. 565: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (17th percentile); Senate Democrats (9th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); All Senators (15th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 9th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

Levin cosponsored 174 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 (15th percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); All Senators (24th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 12th lowest % of bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

Levin tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 24% of Levin’s 37 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (29th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (27th percentile); Senate Democrats (22nd percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).

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


 

Wrote the 11th fewest laws compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (tied with 8 others)

Levin introduced 1 bill 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. 23: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (24th percentile); Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (32nd 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.


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Levin introduced 3 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 23: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore ...; S. 1197: National Defense Authorization Act for ...; S. 2410: Carl Levin National Defense Authorization ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (37th percentile); Senate Democrats (28th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Ideology Score

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 Levin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (34th percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

4 of Levin’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. 218: Harbor Maintenance Act of 2013; S. 1034: National Defense Authorization Act for ...; S. 1465: Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement ...; S. 2289: National Defense Authorization Act for ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (39th percentile); Senate Democrats (34th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Levin 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 Levin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (35th percentile); All Senators (64th percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 174 bills that Levin cosponsored, 18% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); Senate Democrats (51st percentile); All Senators (28th percentile).

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


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Levin supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Levin 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Levin cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (39th percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (35th percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Levin introduced 37 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (54th percentile); Senate Democrats (38th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (50th percentile); All Senators (57th 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 Levin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (44th percentile); Senate Democrats (38th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (50th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Levin’s bills and resolutions had 181 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 (32nd percentile); Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); All Senators (41st percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Levin missed 2.1% of votes (14 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Levin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (46th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (46th percentile); All Senators (47th 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.