skip to main content

Sen. James Risch’s 2016 Report Card

Junior Senator from Idaho
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 2009 – Jan 3, 2021


These statistics cover Risch’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

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 Risch’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.

 

Ranked the 5th bottom/follower compared to All Senators

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 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Risch’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (6th percentile); All Senators (4th percentile).


 

Got the 5th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Risch’s bills and resolutions had 46 cosponsors in the 114th 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 Republicans (7th percentile); All Senators (4th percentile).


 

Introduced the 8th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Risch introduced 17 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (13th percentile); All Senators (7th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 13th least often compared to All Senators

Of the 223 bills that Risch cosponsored, 17% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (22nd percentile); All Senators (12th percentile).

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


 

Got bicameral support on the 15th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 5 of Risch’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. 552: Small Business Investment Capital Company ...; S. 583: Sawtooth National Recreation Area and ...; S. 694: Future Logging Careers Act; S. 1777: A bill to amend the ...; S. 2690: Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (19th percentile); All Senators (14th percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 15th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 5 of Risch’s 17 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (20th percentile); All Senators (14th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 17th least often compared to All Senators (tied with 11 others)

2 of Risch’s bills and resolutions in the 114th 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. 552: Small Business Investment Capital Company ...; S. 1001: Small Business Lending Reauthorization Act ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (17th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Risch introduced 6 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 552: Small Business Investment Capital Company ...; S. 583: Sawtooth National Recreation Area and ...; S. 1000: SCORE for Small Business Act ...; S. 1001: Small Business Lending Reauthorization Act ...; S. 1777: A bill to amend the ...; S.Con.Res. 16: A concurrent resolution stating the ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (41st percentile); All Senators (59th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Risch introduced 1 bill that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th 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. 583: Sawtooth National Recreation Area and ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (15th percentile); All Senators (15th percentile).

The legislator must be the primary sponsor of the bill or joint resolution that was enacted or the primary sponsor of a bill or joint resolution for which at least about one third of its text was incorporated into another bill or joint resolution that was enacted as law, as determined by an automated analysis. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively. We also exclude bills where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill.


 

Bills Cosponsored

Risch cosponsored 223 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 Republicans (54th percentile); All Senators (36th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Risch held a leadership position on 0 committees and 2 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Risch’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (22nd percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Risch missed 0.8% of votes (4 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Risch’s Profile »

Compare to all All Senators (27th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Risch supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Risch 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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 114th Congress) 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.