skip to main content

Sen. Joe Donnelly’s 2016 Report Card

Senior Senator from Indiana
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2013 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Donnelly’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

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 Donnelly’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.

 

Bills Introduced

the fewest bills among Senate Democrats

Donnelly introduced 18 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Sophomores the fewest bills out of 16 18
73 bills View All
Senate Democrats the fewest bills out of 44 18
87 bills View All
All Senators 10th fewest bills out of 100 8
140 bills View All
 

Cosponsors

the fewest cosponsors among Senate Democrats

Donnelly’s bills and resolutions had 73 cosponsors in the 114th 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 »

compared to... rank fewest cosponsors ⇢ most cosponsors
Senate Sophomores 2nd fewest cosponsors out of 16 72
367 cosponsors View All
Senate Democrats the fewest cosponsors out of 44 73
711 cosponsors View All
All Senators 11th fewest cosponsors out of 100 11
989 cosponsors View All
 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

2nd most bipartisan among All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 189 bills that Donnelly cosponsored, 65% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Senate Sophomores the most bipartisan out of 15 11
65% of bills View All
Senate Democrats 2nd most bipartisan out of 44 20
66% of bills View All
All Senators 2nd most bipartisan out of 98 11
66% of bills View All

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

 

Ideology Score

2nd most conservative among Senate 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 the 114th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Donnelly’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Senate Sophomores 5th most conservative out of 16
View All
Senate Democrats 2nd most conservative out of 44
View All
All Senators 46th most liberal out of 100
View All
 

Powerful Cosponsors

2nd fewest bills among Senate Sophomores; tied with 1 other

1 of Donnelly’s bills and resolutions in the 114th 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.Con.Res. 10: A concurrent resolution supporting the ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Sophomores 2nd fewest bills (tied w/ 1) out of 16 0
9 bills View All
Senate Democrats 4th fewest bills (tied w/ 3) out of 44 0
15 bills View All
All Senators 9th fewest bills (tied w/ 7) out of 100 0
19 bills View All
 

Bills Cosponsored

3rd fewest bills among Senate Democrats

Donnelly cosponsored 189 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Sophomores 2nd fewest bills out of 16 171
429 bills View All
Senate Democrats 3rd fewest bills out of 44 152
479 bills View All
All Senators 20th fewest bills (tied w/ 1) out of 100 74
479 bills View All
 

Government Transparency

3rd least supportive among Senate Sophomores; tied with 1 other

GovTrack looked at whether Donnelly supported any of 22 government transparency bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Donnelly 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Cosponsored: S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Senate Sophomores 3rd least supportive (tied w/ 1) out of 16 0
5 points View All
Senate Democrats the least supportive (tied w/ 4) out of 44 1
11 points View All
All Senators 29th least supportive (tied w/ 15) out of 100 0
11 points View All
 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

3rd fewest bills among Senate Democrats; tied with 2 others

Donnelly tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 5 of Donnelly’s 18 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Sophomores 3rd fewest bills (tied w/ 1) out of 16 4
17 bills View All
Senate Democrats 3rd fewest bills (tied w/ 2) out of 44 3
36 bills View All
All Senators 15th fewest bills (tied w/ 5) out of 100 0
49 bills View All
 

Working with the House

5th fewest bills among Senate Democrats; tied with 2 others

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 5 of Donnelly’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. 682: Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing ...; S. 1111: Public Power Risk Management Act ...; S. 1239: A bill to amend the ...; S.Con.Res. 9: A concurrent resolution honoring the ...; S.J.Res. 18: A joint resolution proposing a ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Sophomores 3rd fewest bills out of 16 1
19 bills View All
Senate Democrats 5th fewest bills (tied w/ 2) out of 44 1
26 bills View All
All Senators 15th fewest bills (tied w/ 5) out of 100 1
40 bills View All

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

 

Leadership Score

6th worst score among Senate 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 the 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Donnelly’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Senate Sophomores 4th worst score out of 16
View All
Senate Democrats 6th worst score out of 44
View All
All Senators 16th worst score out of 100
View All
 

Missed Votes

28th most voting among All Senators; tied with 6 others

Donnelly missed 0.8% of votes (4 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Donnelly’s Profile »

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
Senate Sophomores 8th most absent out of 16 0
32% missed votes View All
All Senators 28th most voting (tied w/ 6) out of 100 0
32% missed votes View All
 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Donnelly introduced 0 bills in the 114th Congress that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration.

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Sophomores the fewest bills (tied w/ 2) out of 16 0
9 bills View All
Senate Democrats the fewest bills (tied w/ 3) out of 44 0
19 bills View All
All Senators the fewest bills (tied w/ 6) out of 100 0
36 bills View All
 

Committee Positions

Donnelly 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. 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 Donnelly’s Profile »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Senate Sophomores 2nd highest score (tied w/ 8) out of 16 0
3 points View All
Senate Democrats 9th lowest score (tied w/ 15) out of 44 0
12 points View All
All Senators 22nd lowest score (tied w/ 34) out of 100 0
16 points View All
 

Laws Enacted

Donnelly introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law. View Enacted Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Sophomores the fewest bills (tied w/ 4) out of 16 0
5 View All
Senate Democrats the fewest bills (tied w/ 4) out of 44 0
9 View All
All Senators the fewest bills (tied w/ 14) out of 100 0
15 View All

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.

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.

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 114th Congress) was the 114th Congress (freshmen) or 113th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.