Sen. David Vitter’s 2014 Report Card

Senior Senator from Louisiana
Republican
Served Jan 4, 2005 – Jan 3, 2017


These special statistics cover Vitter’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 Vitter’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.

 

Bills Introduced

the most bills among Senate Republicans

Vitter introduced 85 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 2nd most bills out of 41 7
107 bills View All
Senate Republicans the most bills out of 45 7
85 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 2nd most bills out of 54 7
107 bills View All
All Senators 3rd most bills out of 100 7
107 bills View All
 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

the lowest % of bills among Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Vitter tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 8% of Vitter’s 85 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

compared to... rank lowest % of bills ⇢ highest % of bills
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs the lowest % of bills out of 35 8
57% of bills View All
Senate Republicans 4th lowest % of bills out of 37 5
61% of bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 2nd lowest % of bills out of 49 8
61% of bills View All
All Senators 5th lowest % of bills out of 90 5
65% of bills View All

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

 

Working with the House

3rd most bills among Senate Republicans; tied with 1 other

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 15 of Vitter’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. 90: Notch Fairness Act of 2013; S. 91: Child Tax Credit Integrity Preservation ...; S. 93: Investment Savings Access After Catastrophes ...; S. 97: Small Business Paperwork Relief Act ...; S. 135: Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition ...; S. 681: Offshore Fairness Act; S. 741: North American Wetlands Conservation Extension ...; S. 1098: Responsible Implementation of Flood Insurance ...; S. 1629: Show Your Exemption Act; S. 1667: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1725: Restoring Main Street Investor Protection ...; S. 2621: Federal Duck Stamp Act of ...; S.Res. 22: A resolution recognizing the goals ...; S.Res. 334: A resolution recognizing the goals ...; S.J.Res. 2: A joint resolution proposing an ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 6th most bills out of 41 0
25 bills View All
Senate Republicans 3rd most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 45 0
23 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 10th most bills out of 54 0
25 bills View All
All Senators 14th most bills (tied w/ 2) out of 100 0
32 bills View All

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

 

Bills Out of Committee

6th fewest bills among Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs; tied with 3 others

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Vitter introduced 1 bill in the 113th Congress that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration.

Those bills were: S. 741: North American Wetlands Conservation Extension ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 6th fewest bills (tied w/ 3) out of 41 0
30 bills View All
Senate Republicans 12th fewest bills (tied w/ 8) out of 45 0
15 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 8th fewest bills (tied w/ 4) out of 54 0
30 bills View All
All Senators 17th fewest bills (tied w/ 12) out of 100 0
30 bills View All
 

Ideology Score

8th most conservative among All Senators

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 Vitter’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 5th most conservative out of 41
View All
Senate Republicans 8th most conservative out of 45
View All
Serving 10+ Years 7th most conservative out of 54
View All
All Senators 8th most conservative out of 100
View All
 

Cosponsors

8th most cosponsors among Senate Republicans

Vitter’s bills and resolutions had 286 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 »

compared to... rank fewest cosponsors ⇢ most cosponsors
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 14th most cosponsors out of 41 9
894 cosponsors View All
Senate Republicans 8th most cosponsors out of 45 9
412 cosponsors View All
Serving 10+ Years 21st most cosponsors out of 54 9
894 cosponsors View All
All Senators 31st most cosponsors out of 100 9
894 cosponsors View All
 

Missed Votes

9th most absent among All Senators

Vitter missed 9.7% of votes (64 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Vitter’s Profile »

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 7th most absent out of 41 0
20% missed votes View All
Serving 10+ Years 6th most absent out of 54 0
17% missed votes View All
All Senators 9th most absent out of 100 0
20% missed votes View All
 

Laws Enacted

11th fewest bills among Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs; tied with 8 others

Vitter 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. 2621: Federal Duck Stamp Act of ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 11th fewest bills (tied w/ 8) out of 41 0
7 laws View All
Senate Republicans 14th most bills (tied w/ 17) out of 45 0
6 laws View All
Serving 10+ Years 14th fewest bills (tied w/ 16) out of 54 0
7 laws View All
All Senators 33rd fewest bills (tied w/ 31) out of 100 0
7 laws View All

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.

 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

16th least bipartisan among Senate Republicans

Of the 237 bills that Vitter cosponsored, 32% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 14th most bipartisan out of 40 14
70% of bills View All
Senate Republicans 16th least bipartisan out of 45 24
70% of bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 21st most bipartisan out of 53 14
70% of bills View All
All Senators 35th most bipartisan out of 98 12
70% of bills View All

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

 

Committee Positions

16th lowest score among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 3 others

Vitter 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 Vitter’s Profile »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Senate Republicans 16th highest score (tied w/ 4) out of 45 0
8 points View All
Serving 10+ Years 16th lowest score (tied w/ 3) out of 54 0
16 points View All
All Senators 37th highest score (tied w/ 4) out of 100 0
16 points View All
 

Leadership Score

18th worst score among Serving 10+ Years

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 Vitter’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 17th worst score out of 41
View All
Senate Republicans 18th best score out of 45
View All
Serving 10+ Years 18th worst score out of 54
View All
All Senators 47th worst score out of 100
View All
 

Powerful Cosponsors

21st fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 7 others

4 of Vitter’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. 109: Government Neutrality in Contracting Act; S. 138: Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of ...; S. 299: A bill to prohibit appropriated ...; S. 741: North American Wetlands Conservation Extension ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 17th fewest bills (tied w/ 4) out of 41 0
20 bills View All
Senate Republicans 14th most bills (tied w/ 6) out of 45 0
9 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 21st fewest bills (tied w/ 7) out of 54 0
20 bills View All
All Senators 43rd most bills (tied w/ 13) out of 100 0
20 bills View All
 

Bills Cosponsored

48th most bills among All Senators; tied with 1 other

Vitter cosponsored 237 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs 20th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 41 51
375 bills View All
Senate Republicans 21st most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 45 51
337 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 26th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 54 51
375 bills View All
All Senators 48th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 100 51
449 bills View All
 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Vitter supported any of 8 government transparency bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Vitter 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs least supportive along with 15 others out of 41 0
8 points View All
Senate Republicans least supportive along with 26 others out of 45 0
5 points View All
Serving 10+ Years least supportive along with 19 others out of 54 0
8 points View All
All Senators least supportive along with 34 others out of 100 0
8 points View All

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.

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.