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Sen. Chris Van Hollen Jr.’s 2016 Report Card

Representative from Maryland's 8th District
Democrat
Served Jan 7, 2003 – Jan 3, 2017


These special statistics cover Van Hollen’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other representatives also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

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 Van Hollen’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.

 

Held the 2nd most committee positions compared to Maryland Delegation

Van Hollen held a leadership position on 1 committee and 0 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Van Hollen’s Profile »

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); House Democrats (89th percentile); All Representatives (88th percentile).


 

Ranked the 2nd top leader compared to Maryland 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 the 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Van Hollen’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (49th percentile); House Democrats (60th percentile); All Representatives (51st percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 2nd most bills compared to Maryland Delegation

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 5 of Van Hollen’s 17 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (45th percentile); House Democrats (46th percentile); All Representatives (43rd percentile).


 

Got the 2nd most cosponsors on their bills compared to Maryland Delegation

Van Hollen’s bills and resolutions had 322 cosponsors in the 114th 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 Maryland Delegation (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (59th percentile); House Democrats (62nd percentile); All Representatives (67th percentile).


 

Ranked 20th most liberal compared to All Representatives

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 114th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Van Hollen’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (13th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (8th percentile); House Democrats (10th percentile); All Representatives (4th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 19th most often compared to All Representatives (tied with 17 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Van Hollen supported any of 40 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Van Hollen 7 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Van Hollen sponsored H.R. 430: DISCLOSE 2015 Act

Van Hollen cosponsored H.R. 425: Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act; H.R. 20: Government By the People Act ...; H.R. 2143: EMPOWER Act; H.R. 2173: Redistricting Reform Act of 2015

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); House Democrats (83rd percentile); All Representatives (92nd percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 30th least often compared to House Democrats

Of the 498 bills that Van Hollen cosponsored, 21% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (50th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (48th percentile); House Democrats (15th percentile); All Representatives (56th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 33rd most bills compared to All Representatives

Van Hollen cosponsored 498 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 Maryland Delegation (88th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); House Democrats (83rd percentile); All Representatives (92nd percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Van Hollen introduced 0 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

4 of Van Hollen’s bills and resolutions in the 114th 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: H.R. 430: DISCLOSE 2015 Act; H.R. 551: IDEA Full Funding Act; H.R. 2563: State and Local Predatory Towing ...; H.R. 3064: GROW AMERICA Act

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (56th percentile); House Democrats (56th percentile); All Representatives (60th 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 Van Hollen’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. 744: Medical Innovation Act of 2015; H.R. 4813: ABLE Age Adjustment Act

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (36th percentile); House Democrats (37th percentile); All Representatives (41st percentile).

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


 

Bills Introduced

Van Hollen introduced 17 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (49th percentile); House Democrats (49th percentile); All Representatives (55th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Van Hollen introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); House Democrats (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.


 

Missed Votes

Van Hollen missed 3.0% of votes (40 of 1,325 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Van Hollen’s Profile »

Compare to all Maryland Delegation (38th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (47th percentile); All Representatives (59th 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 the 114th Congress) 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.