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Sen. John McCain’s 2015 Report Card

Senior Senator from Arizona
Republican
Served Jan 6, 1987 – Aug 25, 2018


These year-end statistics cover McCain’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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.

 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 4th lowest % of bills compared to Senate Republicans

McCain tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 13% of McCain’s 30 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (8th percentile); Senate Republicans (7th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); All Senators (11th percentile).

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


 

Got the 6th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

McCain’s bills and resolutions had 88 cosponsors in 2015. 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (13th percentile); Senate Republicans (28th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (27th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 7th most bills compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 13 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. 121: Obamacare Opt-Out Act of 2015; S. 122: Safe and Affordable Drugs from ...; S. 152: Keep the Promise Act of ...; S. 397: Foreign Earnings Reinvestment Act; S. 782: Grand Canyon Bison Management Act; S. 847: Transnational Criminal Organization Illicit Spotter ...; S. 1649: Sonoran Corridor Interstate Development Act ...; S. 1873: Border Security Technology Accountability Act ...; S. 1888: A bill to reduce waste ...; S. 2402: A bill to require the ...; S.Con.Res. 6: A concurrent resolution expressing the ...; S.J.Res. 27: A joint resolution providing for ...; S.J.Res. 28: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (75th percentile); Senate Republicans (85th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); All Senators (82nd percentile).

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


 

Ranked the 8th bottom/follower compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

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 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from McCain’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (18th percentile); Senate Republicans (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (36th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 7th least often compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (tied with 4 others)

2 of McCain’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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. 167: Clay Hunt SAV Act; S. 1118: National Defense Authorization Act for ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (15th percentile); Senate Republicans (20th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (25th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 13th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

McCain cosponsored 134 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (23rd percentile); Senate Republicans (46th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 15th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. McCain introduced 6 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 152: Keep the Promise Act of ...; S. 750: Arizona Borderlands Protection and Preservation ...; S. 782: Grand Canyon Bison Management Act; S. 1376: National Defense Authorization Act for ...; S. 1873: Border Security Technology Accountability Act ...; S.Res. 320: A resolution congratulating the people ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (60th percentile); Senate Republicans (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); All Senators (81st percentile).


 

Was 21st most absent in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

McCain missed 3.2% of votes (11 of 339 votes) in 2015. View McCain’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); All Senators (78th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 23rd least often compared to All Senators

Of the 134 bills that McCain cosponsored, 19% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (23rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); Senate Republicans (41st percentile); All Senators (22nd percentile).

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


 

Ranked 25th most conservative compared to All Senators

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 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from McCain’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (70th percentile); Senate Republicans (54th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

McCain introduced 0 bills that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); 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.


 

Bills Introduced

McCain introduced 30 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (45th percentile); Senate Republicans (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (54th percentile); All Senators (61st percentile).


 

Committee Positions

McCain held a leadership position on 1 committee and 0 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View McCain’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (61st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (31st percentile); All Senators (60th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether McCain supported any of 19 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. 282: Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (30th percentile); Senate Republicans (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (34th 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 2015) 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.