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Sen. James “Jim” Jeffords

Former Senator for Vermont

Jeffords was a senator from Vermont and was most recently an Independent caucusing with the Democrats (2001-2006) and previously a Republican (1989-2001). He served from 1989 to 2006.

He was previously the representative for Vermont’s at-large district as a Republican from 1975 to 1988.

Photo of Sen. James “Jim” Jeffords [I-VT, 1989-2006]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Jeffords is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2006 positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Jeffords sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 22, 2001 to Dec 8, 2006. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Jeffords was the primary sponsor of 24 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 24 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

Jeffords sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (19%) Economics and Public Finance (16%) Science, Technology, Communications (13%) Environmental Protection (13%) Health (10%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (10%) Commerce (9%) Law (9%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Jeffords recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1989 to Dec 2006, Jeffords missed 246 of 6,068 roll call votes, which is 4.1%. This is much worse than the median of 2.0% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Dec 2006. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

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Primary Sources

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