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Sen. Jefferson “Jeff” Sessions’s 2014 Report Card

Junior Senator from Alabama
Republican
Served Jan 7, 1997 – Feb 8, 2017


These special statistics cover Sessions’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 Sessions’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.

 

Got bicameral support on the fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 0 of Sessions’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.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).

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


 

Held the most committee positions compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

Sessions held a leadership position on 1 committee and 3 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 Sessions’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (96th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Introduced the 2nd fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 2 others)

Sessions introduced 8 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (2nd percentile); Senate Republicans (7th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); All Senators (3rd percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 4th fewest bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Sessions cosponsored 150 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (7th percentile); Senate Republicans (13th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (11th percentile); All Senators (12th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 10th least often compared to Senate Republicans

Of the 150 bills that Sessions cosponsored, 29% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (58th percentile); Senate Republicans (20th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (55th percentile); All Senators (57th percentile).

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


 

Got the 14th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Sessions’s bills and resolutions had 147 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (27th percentile); Senate Republicans (40th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (33rd percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Sessions missed 2.0% of votes (13 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Sessions’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (41st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (44th percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Sessions introduced 0 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Sessions supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Sessions 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

0 of Sessions’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.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Sessions 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (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.


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.