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Rep. Joe Barton’s 2017 Report Card

Representative from Texas's 6th District
Republican
Served Jan 3, 1985 – Jan 3, 2019


These year-end statistics cover Barton’s record during the 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017) and compare him to other representatives serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 6, 2018.

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 Barton’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.

 

Wrote the 4th most laws compared to Texas Delegation (tied with 3 others)

Barton introduced 1 bill that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2017. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: H.R. 3298: Wounded Officers Recovery Act of ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (81st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (81st percentile); House Republicans (73rd percentile); All Representatives (79th 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 influential cosponsors the 9th least often compared to Texas Delegation (tied with 7 others)

1 of Barton’s bills and resolutions in 2017 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: H.R. 3298: Wounded Officers Recovery Act of ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (22nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (18th percentile); House Republicans (20th percentile); All Representatives (19th percentile).


 

Introduced the 20th fewest bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 20 others)

Barton introduced 3 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (3rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (6th percentile); House Republicans (5th percentile); All Representatives (4th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 32nd fewest bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 1 other)

Barton cosponsored 79 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 Texas Delegation (8th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); House Republicans (12th percentile); All Representatives (7th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 40th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years

Of the 79 bills that Barton cosponsored, 14% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (47th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); House Republicans (61st percentile); All Representatives (34th percentile).

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


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Barton introduced 1 bill in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.R. 3298: Wounded Officers Recovery Act of ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (17th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (32nd percentile); House Republicans (13th percentile); All Representatives (29th percentile).


 

Working with the Senate

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 1 of Barton’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate. 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: H.R. 1821: DELIVER Act of 2017

Compare to all Texas Delegation (33rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); House Republicans (27th percentile); All Representatives (28th percentile).

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


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 3 of Barton’s 3 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

Compare to all Texas Delegation (36th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (40th percentile); House Republicans (34th percentile); All Representatives (37th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Barton held a leadership position on 0 committees and 0 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Barton’s Profile »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); House Republicans (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Barton’s bills and resolutions had 198 cosponsors in 2017. 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 Texas Delegation (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (58th percentile); House Republicans (68th percentile); All Representatives (64th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Barton missed 2.1% of votes (15 of 710 votes) in 2017. View Barton’s Profile »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (58th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (44th percentile); All Representatives (55th percentile).

The Speaker of the House is not included in this statistic because according to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, and the delegates from the five island territories and the District of Columbia are also not included because they were not elligible to vote in any roll call votes.


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Barton supported any of 21 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Barton 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Barton cosponsored H.Res. 630: Requiring each Member, officer, and ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (31st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); House Republicans (36th percentile); All Representatives (28th 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 2017) was the 115th Congress (freshmen) or 114th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.