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.

 

Cosponsored the 5th fewest bills compared to 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 »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (9th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).


 

Ranked 6th most liberal compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (11th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); All Senators (60th percentile).


 

Got the 8th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to 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 »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (24th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 9th most often compared to 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 »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); All Senators (82nd percentile).

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


 

Introduced the 9th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

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

Compare to all Senate Republicans (22nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (15th percentile); All Senators (17th percentile).


 

Ranked the 10th bottom follower compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (36th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (28th percentile).


 

Held the 12th fewest committee positions compared to 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 »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (44th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); All Senators (51st percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 11th fewest bills compared to 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 ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (29th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (19th percentile); All Senators (25th percentile).

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the 14th least often compared to 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 ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

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

Compare to all Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

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.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (54th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (40th percentile).

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


 

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.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).

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, accountability, and effectiveness 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.

McCain cosponsored S. 994: DATA Act

Compare to all Senate Republicans (60th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (35th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

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

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); All Senators (74th 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 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.