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Sen. David Vitter

Former Senator for Louisiana

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.

Mar. 30, 2012 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
2014 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.

May. 8, 2008 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
2014 Vitter lost the election for Louisiana Governor and did not run again for the Senate.
Photo of Sen. David Vitter [R-LA, 2005-2016]

Analysis

Legislative Metrics

Read our 2016 Report Card for Vitter.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

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.

Enacted Legislation

Vitter was the primary sponsor of 13 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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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).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Vitter sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Health (17%) Finance and Financial Sector (16%) Taxation (14%) Commerce (14%) Immigration (12%) Education (11%) Government Operations and Politics (10%) Environmental Protection (7%)

Recent Bills

Some of Vitter’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Vitter voted Yea

Bill Passed 72/26 on Sep 28, 2016.

The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations ...

Vitter voted Nay

Conference Report Agreed to 85/12 on Dec 9, 2015.

The Every Child Achieves Act is a bipartisan educational policy reform bill that would expand state responsibility over schools, provide grants to charter schools, and ...

Vitter voted Yea

Conference Report Agreed to 83/16 on Dec 3, 2015.

H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the ...

Vitter voted Nay

Vitter voted Yea

Joint Resolution Passed 78/22 on Sep 18, 2014.

Vitter voted Yea

Bill Passed 64/35 on Mar 31, 2014.

Section 212 of this bill pushed back the deadline to implement the ICD-10 code set to October 1, 2015. The Cutting Costly Codes Act of ...

Vitter voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known ...

Vitter voted Nay

Missed Votes

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.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: