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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.

 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

the least bipartisan among All Senators

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

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Senate Democrats the least bipartisan out of 53 12
48% of bills View All
All Senators the least bipartisan out of 98 12
70% of bills View All

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

 

Ideology Score

2nd most liberal among 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.

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Senate Democrats 2nd most liberal out of 53
View All
All Senators 2nd most liberal out of 100
View All
 

Government Transparency

4th most supportive among All Senators; tied with 1 other

GovTrack looked at whether Merkley supported any of 8 government transparency 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.

Sponsored: S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act

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

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Senate Democrats 4th most supportive out of 53 0
8 points View All
All Senators 4th most supportive (tied w/ 1) out of 100 0
8 points View All
 

Bills Out of Committee

9th fewest bills among 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 a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration.

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

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 9th fewest bills (tied w/ 6) out of 53 0
30 bills View All
All Senators 30th fewest bills (tied w/ 14) out of 100 0
30 bills View All
 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

12th lowest % of bills among 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.

compared to... rank lowest % of bills ⇢ highest % of bills
Senate Democrats 12th lowest % of bills (tied w/ 1) out of 51 8
65% of bills View All
All Senators 29th lowest % of bills (tied w/ 1) out of 90 5
65% of bills View All

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

 

Cosponsors

16th fewest cosponsors among Senate Democrats

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 »

compared to... rank fewest cosponsors ⇢ most cosponsors
Senate Democrats 16th fewest cosponsors out of 53 23
894 cosponsors View All
All Senators 38th fewest cosponsors out of 100 9
894 cosponsors View All
 

Leadership Score

18th worst score among Senate Democrats

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.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Senate Democrats 18th worst score out of 53
View All
All Senators 45th worst score out of 100
View All
 

Bills Cosponsored

20th most bills among 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 »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 17th most bills out of 53 95
449 bills View All
All Senators 20th most bills out of 100 51
449 bills View All
 

Powerful Cosponsors

19th fewest bills among Senate Democrats; tied with 6 others

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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 19th fewest bills (tied w/ 6) out of 53 0
20 bills View All
All Senators 43rd most bills (tied w/ 13) out of 100 0
20 bills View All
 

Bills Introduced

21st fewest bills among Senate Democrats; tied with 2 others

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

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 21st fewest bills (tied w/ 2) out of 53 9
107 bills View All
All Senators 40th most bills (tied w/ 3) out of 100 7
107 bills View All
 

Working with the House

25th most bills among All Senators; tied with 5 others

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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 19th most bills (tied w/ 4) out of 53 0
32 bills View All
All Senators 25th most bills (tied w/ 5) out of 100 0
32 bills View All

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

 

Missed Votes

32nd most voting among All Senators; tied with 4 others

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

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
All Senators 32nd most voting (tied w/ 4) out of 100 0
20% missed votes View All
 

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. 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 Merkley’s Profile »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Senate Democrats 14th lowest score (tied w/ 16) out of 53 0
16 points View All
All Senators 20th lowest score (tied w/ 31) out of 100 0
16 points View All
 

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. View Enacted Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats fewest bills along with 16 others out of 53 0
7 laws View All
All Senators fewest bills along with 31 others out of 100 0
7 laws View All

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.

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.

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.