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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.

 

Introduced the fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

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

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (9th percentile).


 

Got the fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to 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 »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (6th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (10th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 2nd most often compared to 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 »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (95th percentile); All Senators (98th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 2nd most conservative compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (69th percentile); Senate Democrats (95th percentile); All Senators (45th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 2nd least often compared to 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 ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (6th percentile); Senate Democrats (7th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 3rd fewest bills compared to 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 »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (6th percentile); Senate Democrats (5th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 3rd least oftenn compared to Senate Sophomores (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Donnelly supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness 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.

Donnelly cosponsored S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (28th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 3rd fewest bills compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (5th percentile); All Senators (14th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 5th fewest bills compared to 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 ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (9th percentile); All Senators (14th percentile).

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


 

Ranked the 6th bottom follower compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (19th percentile); Senate Democrats (11th percentile); All Senators (15th percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

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

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

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. View Donnelly’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (38th percentile); Senate Democrats (18th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

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.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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.


 

Missed Votes

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

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (50th percentile); All Senators (27th 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 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.