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Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy

Former Senator for Massachusetts

Kennedy was a senator from Massachusetts and was a Democrat. He served from 1962 to 2009.

Misconduct

On July 18, 1969, Kennedy faced an allegation of leaving the scene of an accident after driving a car into the Poucha Pond inlet while his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. On Jul. 25, 1969, he pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence.

Jul. 25, 1969 Pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence.
Photo of Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy [D-MA, 1962-2009]

Analysis

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Kennedy is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2010 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 Kennedy sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Kennedy was the primary sponsor of 115 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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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

Kennedy sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (19%) Economics and Public Finance (14%) Health (13%) Labor and Employment (12%) Law (12%) Social Welfare (11%) Education (9%) Families (9%)

Recent Bills

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

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Kennedy’s Vote Vote Description
Not Voting On the Nomination PN64-6: Timothy F. Geithner, of New York, to be Secretary of the Treasury
Jan 26, 2009. Nomination Confirmed 60/34.
Nay H.R. 2206 (110th): U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007
May 24, 2007. Motion Agreed to 80/14.
The U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, (Pub.L. 110–28, 121 Stat. 112, enacted May 25, 2007), is an emergency appropriations act passed by the 110th United States Congress that provides funding for the Iraq War through September 30, ...
Yea On the Nomination PN177: Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., in the Army, to be General
Feb 8, 2007. Nomination Confirmed 83/14.

Missed Votes

From Jan 1963 to Aug 2009, Kennedy missed 2,831 of 18,069 roll call votes, which is 15.7%. This is much worse than the median of 2.0% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Aug 2009. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

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Primary Sources

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