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Sen. Jeff Merkley’s 2014 Report Card

Junior Senator from Oregon
Democrat
Serving Jan 6, 2009 – Jan 3, 2021


These special statistics cover Merkley’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 12, 2015. Although Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA1], Rep. Thomas Massie [R-KY4], Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10], and Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI] served in the 112th Congress, they took office within the last two months of the 112th Congress and here are grouped with other freshmen for the 113th Congress.

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 Merkley’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.

 

Joined bipartisan bills the least often compared to All Senators

Of the 288 bills that Merkley cosponsored, 12% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 2nd 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 the 113th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Merkley’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (2nd percentile); All Senators (1st percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 4th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Merkley supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Merkley 5 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Merkley sponsored S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act

Merkley cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1467: FISA Court Reform Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (92nd percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 9th least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 6 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Merkley introduced 2 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 815: Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013; S. 1771: Crooked River Collaborative Water Security ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (15th percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 12th lowest % of bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

Merkley tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 24% of Merkley’s 37 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (22nd percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 20th most bills compared to All Senators

Merkley cosponsored 288 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 Democrats (68th percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Merkley introduced 0 bills that became law in the 113th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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.


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 12 of Merkley’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. 160: Medical Debt Responsibility Act of ...; S. 172: SAFE Lending Act of 2013; S. 416: A bill to amend the ...; S. 815: Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013; S. 934: Supporting Working Moms Act of ...; S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act; S. 1162: A bill to authorize the ...; S. 1375: Rebuilding Equity Act of 2013; S. 1501: Job Creation through Energy Efficient ...; S. 1708: A bill to amend title ...; S. 2382: Fair Raises for Seniors Act; S. 2674: Columbia River Basin Restoration Act ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (57th percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).

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


 

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 the 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Merkley’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Merkley introduced 37 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (38th percentile); All Senators (57th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

4 of Merkley’s bills and resolutions in the 113th 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. 815: Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013; S. 934: Supporting Working Moms Act of ...; S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act; S. 2898: Protecting Students from Worthless Degrees ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (34th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Merkley 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 Merkley’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (25th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Merkley missed 1.2% of votes (8 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Merkley’s Profile »

Compare to all All Senators (31st percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Merkley’s bills and resolutions had 165 cosponsors in the 113th 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 Democrats (28th percentile); All Senators (37th 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 113th Congress) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.