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Rep. Joe Cunningham’s 2019 Report Card

Representative from South Carolina's 1st District
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2019 – Jan 3, 2021


These year-end statistics cover Cunningham’s record during the 2019 legislative year (Jan 3, 2019-Dec 31, 2019) and compare him to other representatives 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 Cunningham’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 South Carolina Delegation (tied with 1 other)

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

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (0th percentile); House Freshmen (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).

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


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 2nd most often compared to House Democrats

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 145 bills that Cunningham cosponsored, 41% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (71st percentile); House Freshmen (79th percentile); House Democrats (99th percentile); All Representatives (74th percentile).

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


 

Got the 2nd fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to South Carolina Delegation

Cunningham’s bills and resolutions had 106 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 South Carolina Delegation (14th percentile); House Freshmen (58th percentile); House Democrats (19th percentile); All Representatives (38th percentile).


 

Was 2nd most present in votes compared to South Carolina Delegation

Cunningham missed 1.7% of votes (12 of 701 votes) in 2019. View Cunningham’s Profile »

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (14th percentile); House Freshmen (72nd percentile); All Representatives (49th 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.


 

Ranked 6th most right (~conservative) compared to House Democrats

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 Cunningham’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (14th percentile); House Freshmen (61st percentile); House Democrats (97th percentile); All Representatives (55th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 8th fewest bills compared to House Democrats

Cunningham cosponsored 145 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 South Carolina Delegation (43rd percentile); House Freshmen (23rd percentile); House Democrats (3rd percentile); All Representatives (26th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 15th most bills compared to House Freshmen (tied with 8 others)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 8 of Cunningham’s 12 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Cunningham caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (71st percentile); House Freshmen (75th percentile); House Democrats (45th percentile); All Representatives (62nd percentile).

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


 

Ranked the 50th bottom/follower compared to House Democrats

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 Cunningham’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (29th percentile); House Freshmen (61st percentile); House Democrats (21st percentile); All Representatives (40th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 51st least often compared to House Democrats (tied with 48 others)

2 of Cunningham’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: H.R. 1941: Coastal and Marine Economies Protection ...; H.R. 4679: Climate-Ready Fisheries Act of 2019

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (57th percentile); House Freshmen (51st percentile); House Democrats (21st percentile); All Representatives (40th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Cunningham introduced 1 bill 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: H.R. 3648: Defense Access Road Enhancement Act

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (43rd percentile); House Freshmen (75th percentile); House Democrats (57th percentile); All Representatives (63rd 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 Introduced

Cunningham introduced 12 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (57th percentile); House Freshmen (59th percentile); House Democrats (27th percentile); All Representatives (46th percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Cunningham introduced 3 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.R. 1941: Coastal and Marine Economies Protection ...; H.R. 3648: Defense Access Road Enhancement Act; H.R. 4771: VA Tele-Hearing Modernization Act

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (57th percentile); House Freshmen (71st percentile); House Democrats (48th percentile); All Representatives (66th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Cunningham 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 Cunningham’s Profile »

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (0th percentile); House Freshmen (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th 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.