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Sen. Chris Van Hollen Jr.’s 2017 Report Card

Junior Senator from Maryland
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2017 – Jan 3, 2023


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

 

Joined bipartisan bills the 3rd least often compared to Senate Democrats

Of the 238 bills that Van Hollen cosponsored, 18% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (4th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).

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


 

Got bicameral support on the 3rd 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. 1 of Van Hollen’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.Con.Res. 11: A concurrent resolution recognizing the ...

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (38th percentile); Senate Democrats (4th percentile); All Senators (5th percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 3rd fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

Van Hollen tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 2 of Van Hollen’s 9 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (38th percentile); Senate Democrats (4th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).


 

Got the 4th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Democrats

Van Hollen’s bills and resolutions had 44 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 Senate Freshmen (63rd percentile); Senate Democrats (7th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).


 

Introduced the 4th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

Van Hollen introduced 9 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (7th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).


 

Held the 6th fewest committee positions compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 5 others)

Van Hollen 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. 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 Senate Freshmen (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (11th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 7th least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 6 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Van Hollen introduced 2 bills in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1582: Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act; S. 1591: Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving ...

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (38th percentile); Senate Democrats (13th percentile); All Senators (14th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 18th most bills compared to All Senators

Van Hollen cosponsored 238 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 Freshmen (75th percentile); Senate Democrats (63rd percentile); All Senators (82nd percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 24th least often compared to All Senators (tied with 21 others)

2 of Van Hollen’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: S. 1591: Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving ...; S. 2144: SECURE Act

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Van Hollen missed 1.2% of votes (4 of 325 votes) in 2017. View Van Hollen’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (50th percentile); All Senators (53rd percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Van Hollen introduced 1 bill 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. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: S. 1582: Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (65th percentile); All Senators (49th 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 Van Hollen supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Van Hollen 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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.