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Sen. James Risch’s 2019 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Risch’s record during the 2019 legislative year (Jan 3, 2019-Dec 31, 2019) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 18, 2020.

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 3rd most conservative compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 2019 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Risch’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); Senate Republicans (83rd percentile); All Senators (91st percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 4th most often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

10 of Risch’s bills and resolutions in 2019 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. 52: Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act ...; S. 2641: Promoting American National Security and ...; S. 2702: Integrated Energy Systems Act of ...; S.Res. 96: A resolution commending the Government ...; S.Res. 123: A resolution supporting the North ...; S.Res. 184: A resolution condemning the Easter ...; S.Res. 318: A resolution to support the ...; S.Res. 385: A resolution celebrating the 30th ...; S.Res. 435: A resolution reaffirming the importance ...; S.Res. 447: A resolution expressing serious concern ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (81st percentile); Senate Republicans (91st percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Introduced the 6th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

Risch introduced 20 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (12th percentile); Senate Republicans (19th percentile); All Senators (15th percentile).


 

Got the 9th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Risch’s bills and resolutions had 151 cosponsors in 2019. 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 Serving 10+ Years (19th percentile); Senate Republicans (45th percentile); All Senators (30th percentile).


 

Held the 11th fewest committee positions compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 6 others)

Risch 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. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Risch’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); Senate Republicans (62nd percentile); All Senators (60th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 12th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 8 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 4 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. 79: A bill to authorize the ...; S. 372: Statistical Area Fairness Act of ...; S. 1570: Aquifer Recharge Flexibility Act; S.Res. 385: A resolution celebrating the 30th ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); Senate Republicans (19th percentile); All Senators (11th percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 16th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Risch introduced 13 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 52: Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act ...; S. 79: A bill to authorize the ...; S. 1570: Aquifer Recharge Flexibility Act; S. 2092: Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for ...; S. 2641: Promoting American National Security and ...; S. 2702: Integrated Energy Systems Act of ...; S.Res. 96: A resolution commending the Government ...; S.Res. 123: A resolution supporting the North ...; S.Res. 184: A resolution condemning the Easter ...; S.Res. 318: A resolution to support the ...; S.Res. 385: A resolution celebrating the 30th ...; S.Res. 435: A resolution reaffirming the importance ...; S.Res. 447: A resolution expressing serious concern ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); Senate Republicans (72nd percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 18th least often compared to All Senators

Of the 153 bills that Risch cosponsored, 20% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); Senate Republicans (17th percentile); All Senators (17th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 25th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Risch cosponsored 153 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 Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); Senate Republicans (45th percentile); All Senators (24th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Risch introduced 3 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2019. 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. 52: Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act ...; S. 79: A bill to authorize the ...; S. 2092: Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (69th percentile); Senate Republicans (72nd percentile); All Senators (77th 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.


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 15 of Risch’s 20 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Risch caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); Senate Republicans (51st percentile); All Senators (45th percentile).

Cosponsors who caucused with neither the Democratic nor Republican party do not count toward this statistic.


 

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 2019 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Risch’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); Senate Republicans (47th percentile); All Senators (34th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Risch missed 1.6% of votes (7 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Risch’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (60th percentile); All Senators (56th 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 2019) was the 116th Congress (freshmen) or 115th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.