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Sen. John McCain’s 2016 Report Card

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


These special statistics cover McCain’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 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 influential cosponsors the 7th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 3 others)

2 of McCain’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. 167: Clay Hunt SAV Act; S. 1118: National Defense Authorization Act for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); Senate Republicans (17th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).


 

Got the 9th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

McCain’s bills and resolutions had 153 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 Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); Senate Republicans (31st percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 9th 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. 17 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: USA Act; S. 2395: A bill to reauthorize the ...; S. 2402: A bill to require the ...; S. 2470: A bill to repeal the ...; S. 3339: Halt Tax Increases on the ...; S.Res. 563: A resolution calling on 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 Serving 10+ Years (68th percentile); Senate Republicans (81st percentile); All Senators (76th percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 10th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 3 others)

McCain tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 8 of McCain’s 45 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (19th percentile); Senate Republicans (35th percentile); All Senators (30th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 13th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. McCain introduced 13 bills in the 114th Congress 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. 2711: Native American Education Opportunity Act; S. 2943: National Defense Authorization Act for ...; S. 2959: A bill to amend the ...; S. 3296: Protection from ObamaCare Monopolies Act; S. 3516: VA Best-Practices Peer Review Act ...; S.Res. 320: A resolution congratulating the people ...; S.Con.Res. 42: A concurrent resolution to express ...; S.J.Res. 28: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); Senate Republicans (81st percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Held the 12th fewest committee positions compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 5 others)

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. 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 Serving 10+ Years (23rd percentile); Senate Republicans (61st percentile); All Senators (60th percentile).


 

Leadership Score

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 McCain’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); Senate Republicans (30th percentile); All Senators (40th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

McCain missed 2.8% of votes (14 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View McCain’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (66th percentile); All Senators (67th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

McCain introduced 2 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. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: S. 167: Clay Hunt SAV Act; S. 2943: National Defense Authorization Act for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); Senate Republicans (37th percentile); All Senators (40th 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.


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether McCain supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave McCain 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

McCain cosponsored S. 282: Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act; S. 2639: Equal Access to Congressional Research ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (47th percentile); Senate Republicans (72nd percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

McCain cosponsored 213 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 Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); Senate Republicans (48th percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

McCain introduced 45 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (47th percentile); Senate Republicans (59th percentile); All Senators (58th percentile).


 

Ideology Score

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 McCain’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); Senate Republicans (41st percentile); All Senators (68th percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 213 bills that McCain cosponsored, 23% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); Senate Republicans (54th percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).

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


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.