Vitter was a senator from Louisiana and was a Republican. He served from 2005 to 2016.
He was previously the representative for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district as a Republican from 1999 to 2004.
Alleged misconduct & resolution
In 2012 Vitter was investigated for demanding the issuance Gulf of Mexico deep water permits from the Secretary of the Interior in exchange for dropping his block on a proposed salary increase for the Secretary. The Senate Select Committee on Ethics dismissed the charges because there did not appear to be any Senate rule or any law in place prohibiting Vitter's actions. In 2014, Senator Vitter lost the election for Louisiana Governor and did not run again for the Senate.
In 2008 Vitter was investigated for hiring prostitutes. The Senate Select Committee on Ethics dismissed the charges because the solicitation happened before his Senate term, did not involve public funds and did not result in criminal charges. In 2014, Senator Vitter lost the election for Louisiana Governor and did not run again for the Senate.
Read our 2016 Report Card for Vitter.
Vitter is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2016 positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Vitter sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 5, 2011 to Dec 10, 2016. See full analysis methodology.
Vitter was the primary sponsor of 13 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:
- S. 2036 (114th): Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2015
- S. 984 (114th): Steve Gleason Act of 2015
- S. 1470 (114th): RISE After Disaster Act of 2015
- S. 798 (114th): Policyholder Protection Act of 2015
- S. 768 (114th): Steve Gleason Act of 2015
- S. 2621 (113th): Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014
- S. 3666 (112th): A bill to amend the Animal Welfare Act to modify the definition of “exhibitor”.
Does 13 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.
We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).
Vitter sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:
Some of Vitter’s most recently sponsored bills include...
- S. 7 (114th): Steve Gleason Act of 2016
- S. 3487 (114th): Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2016
- S.Res. 609 (114th): A resolution honoring the memories and heroic actions of those killed, injured, ...
- S. 3429 (114th): Small Business Survival from Disaster Act
- S.Res. 569 (114th): A resolution recognizing November 26, 2016, as “Small Business Saturday” and supporting ...
- S. 3120 (114th): A bill to apply the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable ...
- S. 3024 (114th): Small Business Cyber Security Improvements Act of 2016
From Jan 2005 to Dec 2016, Vitter missed 272 of 3,643 roll call votes, which is 7.5%. This is much worse than the median of 1.8% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Dec 2016. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.
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The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: