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Sen. Jeff Merkley’s 2019 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Merkley’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 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.

 

Introduced the 3rd most bills compared to All Senators

Merkley introduced 88 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (95th percentile); Senate Democrats (96th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Ranked 4th most left (~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 2019 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Merkley’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (5th percentile); Senate Democrats (4th percentile); All Senators (3rd percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 5th most bills compared to All Senators

Merkley cosponsored 477 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 (95th percentile); Senate Democrats (89th percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Got the 7th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Merkley’s bills and resolutions had 531 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 (88th percentile); Senate Democrats (87th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 9th least often compared to All Senators

Of the 477 bills that Merkley cosponsored, 18% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); Senate Democrats (9th percentile); All Senators (8th 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 10th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 20 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. 397: Shut Down Child Prison Camps ...; S. 696: National Nurse Act of 2019; S. 708: KITTEN Act of 2019; S. 832: A bill to nullify the ...; S. 993: Electric CARS Act of 2019; S. 1002: Affordable Loans for Any Student ...; S. 1261: Choose Medicare Act; S. 1371: Oxybenzone and Octinoxate Impact Study ...; S. 1487: Zero-Emission Vehicles Act of 2019; S. 1662: Opioid Treatment Surge Act; S. 1812: Smoke Planning and Research Act ...; S. 1987: End Price Gouging for Medications ...; S. 2070: Summer Meals and Learning Act ...; S. 2113: Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children ...; S. 2382: Community Energy Savings Program Act ...; S. 2499: Elementary and Secondary School Counseling ...; S. 2817: End Price Gouging for Insulin ...; S. 2925: Protecting Students from Worthless Degrees ...; S.Con.Res. 2: A concurrent resolution expressing the ...; S.Con.Res. 29: A concurrent resolution urging all ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (86th percentile); Senate Democrats (76th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).

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


 

Ranked the 21st top leader 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 2019 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Merkley’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (64th percentile); Senate Democrats (71st percentile); All Senators (79th percentile).


 

Was 17th most present in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 8 others)

Merkley missed 0.2% of votes (1 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Merkley’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Merkley introduced 2 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. 50: Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty ...; S. 2710: A bill to prohibit the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); Senate Democrats (58th percentile); All Senators (51st 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 Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Merkley introduced 7 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 46: Klamath Tribe Judgment Fund Repeal ...; S. 50: Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty ...; S. 832: A bill to nullify the ...; S. 1399: Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization ...; S. 1590: RAWR Act; S. 2710: A bill to prohibit the ...; S.Res. 34: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (36th percentile); Senate Democrats (60th percentile); All Senators (53rd percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

6 of Merkley’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. 788: Equality Act; S. 1248: Income-Based Repayment Debt Forgiveness Act; S. 1399: Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization ...; S. 2113: Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children ...; S. 2833: Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit ...; S. 2918: MPH Act of 2019

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (62nd percentile); Senate Democrats (56th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 15 of Merkley’s 88 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Merkley caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); Senate Democrats (36th percentile); All Senators (45th percentile).

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


 

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 Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); Senate Democrats (18th percentile); All Senators (20th 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.