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Sen. John Kerry

Former Senator for Massachusetts

Kerry was a senator from Massachusetts and was a Democrat. He served from 1985 to 2013.

Photo of Sen. John Kerry [D-MA, 1985-2013]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Kerry is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2014 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 Kerry sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 6, 2009 to Dec 12, 2014. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Kerry was the primary sponsor of 36 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 36 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

Kerry sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

International Affairs (26%) Foreign Trade and International Finance (21%) Health (12%) Government Operations and Politics (9%) Taxation (9%) Armed Forces and National Security (8%) Commerce (8%) Economics and Public Finance (7%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Kerry recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Kerry voted Yea

Bill Passed 73/26 on Mar 22, 2012.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, is a law intended to encourage funding of small businesses in the United States by easing …

Kerry voted Yea

Conference Report Agreed to 86/13 on Dec 15, 2011.

Kerry voted Yea

Kerry voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known …

Kerry voted Yea

Bill Passed 70/28 on Apr 11, 2007.

Kerry voted Yea

Missed Votes

From Jan 1985 to Jan 2013, Kerry missed 727 of 9,457 roll call votes, which is 7.7%. This is much worse than the median of 2.1% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Jan 2013. 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: