skip to main content

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s 2015 Report Card

Senior Senator from California
Democrat
Serving Nov 10, 1992 – Jan 3, 2019


These special year-end statistics cover Feinstein’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare her to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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 Feinstein’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.

 

Got influential cosponsors the most often compared to Senate Democrats

10 of Feinstein’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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. 28: Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act ...; S. 29: Respect for Marriage Act; S. 32: Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of ...; S. 596: San Francisco Bay Restoration Act; S. 1006: Positive Train Control Safety Act; S. 1300: Adoptive Family Relief Act; S. 2013: Los Angeles Homeless Veterans Leasing ...; S. 2171: Scholarships for Opportunity and Results ...; S. 2337: Visa Waiver Program Security Enhancement ...; S.Res. 200: A resolution wishing His Holiness ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (90th percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Ranked the top leader compared to Senate Democrats

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 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Feinstein’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Got the 4th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Feinstein’s bills and resolutions had 444 cosponsors in 2015. 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 (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (95th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 6th most bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Feinstein cosponsored 226 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 (85th percentile); Senate Democrats (66th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Introduced the 7th most bills compared to All Senators

Feinstein introduced 53 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 6th most often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Feinstein introduced 4 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 32: Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of ...; S. 833: Department of Veterans Affairs Medical ...; S. 1170: Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization ...; S. 1300: Adoptive Family Relief Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (48th percentile); Senate Democrats (80th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (65th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 8th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 15 of Feinstein’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. 28: Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act ...; S. 29: Respect for Marriage Act; S. 32: Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of ...; S. 36: Protecting Our Youth from Dangerous ...; S. 140: Combat Human Trafficking Act of ...; S. 370: Breast Density and Mammography Reporting ...; S. 487: Fire-Damaged Home Rebuilding Act of ...; S. 596: San Francisco Bay Restoration Act; S. 630: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage ...; S. 833: Department of Veterans Affairs Medical ...; S. 1170: Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization ...; S. 1300: Adoptive Family Relief Act; S. 1957: State Licensing Efficiency Act of ...; S.Res. 166: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.Res. 299: A resolution honoring the life, ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); All Senators (90th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 18th most liberal 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 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Feinstein’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (20th percentile); Senate Democrats (36th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); All Senators (17th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Feinstein held a leadership position on 1 committee and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Feinstein’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Feinstein tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 38% of Feinstein’s 53 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (65th percentile); Senate Democrats (73rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).

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


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 226 bills that Feinstein cosponsored, 31% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (64th percentile); Senate Democrats (39th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (62nd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Feinstein introduced 2 bills that became law in 2015. 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. 1170: Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization ...; S. 1300: Adoptive Family Relief Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (73rd percentile); Senate Democrats (82nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (83rd 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.


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Feinstein supported any of 19 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Feinstein 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Feinstein cosponsored S. 229: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (30th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (34th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Feinstein missed 2.9% of votes (10 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Feinstein’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (70th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); All Senators (74th 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 2015) was the 114th Congress (freshmen) or 113th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.