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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.

 

Introduced the most bills compared to Senate Republicans

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

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (95th percentile); Senate Republicans (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the lowest % of bills compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (8th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); All Senators (4th percentile).

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


 

Got bicameral support on the 3rd most bills compared to 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 ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (85th percentile); Senate Republicans (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (81st percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 6th least often compared to 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 past committee and to the floor for consideration.

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

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (12th percentile); Senate Republicans (24th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).


 

Ranked 8th most conservative compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (88th percentile); Senate Republicans (82nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).


 

Got the 8th most cosponsors on their bills compared to 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 »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (66th percentile); Senate Republicans (82nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); All Senators (69th percentile).


 

Was 9th most absent in votes compared to All Senators

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

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (91st percentile).


 

Wrote the 11th fewest laws compared to 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 ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (24th percentile); Senate Republicans (31st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).

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.


 

Powerful Cosponsors

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 ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (39th percentile); Senate Republicans (56th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

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. View Vitter’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (56th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); All Senators (59th percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

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

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (65th percentile); Senate Republicans (33rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (60th percentile); All Senators (64th percentile).

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


 

Bills Cosponsored

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 »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (49th percentile); Senate Republicans (51st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (50th percentile); All Senators (51st percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Vitter supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness 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.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Leadership Score

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.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (39th percentile); Senate Republicans (60th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (31st percentile); All Senators (46th 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 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.