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Rep. Jim Bates

Former Representative for California’s 44th District

Bates was the representative for California’s 44th congressional district and was a Democrat. He served from 1983 to 1990.


In 1989, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct investigated Bates for sexual harassment and improper campaign activity in congressional office. On Oct. 18, 1989, the committee adopted a public letter of reproval. In 1989, he admitted to violations and wrote personal letter of apology.

Oct. 18, 1989 House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct adopted a public letter of reproval
1989 Admitted to violations and wrote personal letter of apology.


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Bates is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the House of Representatives in 1990 positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Bates sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 1985 to Oct 27, 1990. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Bates was the primary sponsor of 4 bills that were enacted:

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Does 4 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Bates sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (23%) Health (21%) Environmental Protection (18%) Armed Forces and National Security (12%) Foreign Trade and International Finance (9%) International Affairs (7%) Education (5%) Economics and Public Finance (5%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Bates recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1983 to Oct 1990, Bates missed 190 of 3,639 roll call votes, which is 5.2%. This is on par with the median of 4.8% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Oct 1990. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: