skip to main content

Sen. John McCain’s 2014 Report Card

Senior Senator from Arizona
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 1987 – Jan 3, 2023


These special statistics cover McCain’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 12, 2015. Although Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA1], Rep. Thomas Massie [R-KY4], Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10], and Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI] served in the 112th Congress, they took office within the last two months of the 112th Congress and here are grouped with other freshmen for the 113th Congress.

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 McCain’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 Cosponsored

5th fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years

McCain cosponsored 141 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 Republicans 5th fewest bills out of 45 51
337 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 5th fewest bills out of 54 51
375 bills View All
All Senators 9th fewest bills out of 100 51
449 bills View All
 

Ideology Score

6th most liberal among Senate Republicans

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 113th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from McCain’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Senate Republicans 6th most liberal out of 45
View All
Serving 10+ Years 21st most conservative out of 54
View All
All Senators 40th most conservative out of 100
View All
 

Cosponsors

8th fewest cosponsors among Serving 10+ Years

McCain’s bills and resolutions had 94 cosponsors in the 113th 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 Republicans 12th fewest cosponsors out of 45 9
412 cosponsors View All
Serving 10+ Years 8th fewest cosponsors out of 54 9
894 cosponsors View All
All Senators 22nd fewest cosponsors (tied w/ 1) out of 100 9
894 cosponsors View All
 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

9th most bipartisan among Serving 10+ Years

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 141 bills that McCain cosponsored, 43% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Senate Republicans 17th most bipartisan out of 45 24
70% of bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 9th most bipartisan out of 53 14
70% of bills View All
All Senators 18th most bipartisan out of 98 12
70% of bills View All

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

 

Bills Introduced

9th fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 1 other

McCain introduced 18 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 11th fewest bills (tied w/ 2) out of 45 7
85 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 9th fewest bills (tied w/ 1) out of 54 7
107 bills View All
All Senators 18th fewest bills (tied w/ 3) out of 100 7
107 bills View All
 

Leadership Score

10th worst score among Serving 10+ Years

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 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from McCain’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Senate Republicans 17th worst score out of 45
View All
Serving 10+ Years 10th worst score out of 54
View All
All Senators 29th worst score out of 100
View All
 

Committee Positions

12th lowest score among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 3 others

McCain held a leadership position on 0 committees and 3 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 McCain’s Profile »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Senate Republicans 21st lowest score (tied w/ 4) out of 45 0
8 points View All
Serving 10+ Years 12th lowest score (tied w/ 3) out of 54 0
16 points View All
All Senators 42nd highest score (tied w/ 7) out of 100 0
16 points View All
 

Working with the House

11th fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 5 others

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 5 of McCain’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. 339: Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and ...; S. 632: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1851: Empowering Patients First Act of ...; S. 2111: Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area ...; S.Con.Res. 5: A concurrent resolution expressing the ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 14th fewest bills (tied w/ 3) out of 45 0
23 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 11th fewest bills (tied w/ 5) out of 54 0
25 bills View All
All Senators 26th fewest bills (tied w/ 7) out of 100 0
32 bills View All

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

 

Powerful Cosponsors

14th fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 6 others

3 of McCain’s bills and resolutions in the 113th 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. 2424: Veterans Choice Act of 2014; S. 2930: Clay Hunt SAV Act; S.Res. 567: A resolution expressing the sense ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 20th fewest bills (tied w/ 5) out of 45 0
9 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 14th fewest bills (tied w/ 6) out of 54 0
20 bills View All
All Senators 33rd fewest bills (tied w/ 11) out of 100 0
20 bills View All
 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

19th lowest % of bills among Serving 10+ Years

McCain tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 28% of McCain’s 18 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

compared to... rank lowest % of bills ⇢ highest % of bills
Senate Republicans 17th highest % of bills out of 37 5
61% of bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 19th lowest % of bills out of 49 8
61% of bills View All
All Senators 37th lowest % of bills out of 90 5
65% of bills View All

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

 

Missed Votes

26th most absent among All Senators

McCain missed 4.7% of votes (31 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View McCain’s Profile »

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
Serving 10+ Years 15th most absent out of 54 0
17% missed votes View All
All Senators 26th most absent out of 100 0
20% missed votes View All
 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. McCain introduced 0 bills in the 113th Congress that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration.

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans the fewest bills (tied w/ 10) out of 45 0
15 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years the fewest bills (tied w/ 6) out of 54 0
30 bills View All
All Senators the fewest bills (tied w/ 15) out of 100 0
30 bills View All
 

Laws Enacted

McCain introduced 0 bills that became law in the 113th 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 Republicans fewest bills along with 13 others out of 45 0
6 laws View All
Serving 10+ Years the fewest bills (tied w/ 12) out of 54 0
7 laws View All
All Senators fewest bills along with 31 others out of 100 0
7 laws View All

A bill or joint resolution is considered enacted if it or an exactly identical bill to it is enacted as law. We only consider bills that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.

 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether McCain supported any of 8 government transparency bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave McCain 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Cosponsored: S. 994: DATA Act

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Senate Republicans 6th most supportive (tied w/ 12) out of 45 0
5 points View All
Serving 10+ Years 13th most supportive (tied w/ 21) out of 54 0
8 points View All
All Senators 30th most supportive (tied w/ 35) out of 100 0
8 points View All

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 113th Congress) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.