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Sen. Jeff Merkley’s 2020 Report Card

Junior Senator from Oregon
Democrat
Serving Jan 6, 2009 – Jan 3, 2027


These statistics cover Merkley’s record during the 116th Congress (Jan 3, 2019-Jan 3, 2021) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 30, 2021.

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 134 bills and resolutions in the 116th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Ranked 4th most politically left 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 116th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Merkley’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

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


 

Cosponsored the 5th most bills compared to All Senators

Merkley cosponsored 776 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 (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 5th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years

Of the 776 bills that Merkley cosponsored, 19% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (9th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (8th 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.


 

Wrote the 4th most laws compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 4 others)

Merkley introduced 6 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 116th 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. 50: Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty …; S. 832: A bill to nullify the …; S. 1399: Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization …; S. 2710: A bill to prohibit the …; S. 3758: A bill to amend the …; S. 4072: A bill to designate the …

Compare to all Senate Democrats (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); All Senators (76th 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.


 

Got bicameral support on the 7th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 36 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. 50: Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty …; 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. 1393: Ban Conflicted Trading Act; 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. 2833: Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit …; S. 2925: Protecting Students from Worthless Degrees …; S. 3170: Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for …; S. 3304: MONARCH Act of 2020; S. 3306: MICRO Plastics Act of 2020; S. 3481: Correct the Census Count Act; S. 3758: A bill to amend the …; S. 4046: Climate Smart Ports Act; S. 4072: A bill to designate the …; S. 4147: Job Creation through Energy Efficient …; S. 4220: Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on …; S. 4396: FAAN Act; S. 4627: FEMA Assistance Relief Act of …; S.Res. 561: A resolution supporting the goals …; S.Con.Res. 2: A concurrent resolution expressing the …; S.Con.Res. 29: A concurrent resolution urging all …; S.J.Res. 81: A joint resolution proposing an …

Compare to all Senate Democrats (85th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).

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


 

Got the 12th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Merkley’s bills and resolutions had 739 cosponsors in the 116th 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 (80th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (81st percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Was 12th most present in votes compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 2 others)

Merkley missed 0.8% of votes (6 of 720 votes) in the 116th Congress. View Merkley’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); All Senators (22nd percentile).


 

Ranked the 25th 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 the 116th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Merkley’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (67th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Merkley introduced 11 bills in the 116th Congress 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. 2716: A bill to amend the …; S. 3758: A bill to amend the …; S. 4072: A bill to designate the …; S.Res. 34: A resolution expressing the sense …; S.Res. 392: A resolution recognizing the importance …

Compare to all Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (52nd percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

10 of Merkley’s bills and resolutions in the 116th 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. 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. 2875: Smith River National Recreation Area …; S. 2918: MPH Act of 2019; S. 4220: Preventing Authoritarian Policing Tactics on …; S. 4362: Emergency Water and Energy is …; S. 4540: Poll Worker Recruitment Act of …

Compare to all Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); All Senators (68th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 24 of Merkley’s 134 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Merkley caucused with in the 116th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (44th percentile); All Senators (49th 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 Senate Democrats (20th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


Additional Notes

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 116th Congress) 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.