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Sen. John Thune’s 2016 Report Card

Senior Senator from South Dakota
Republican
Serving Jan 4, 2005 – Jan 3, 2023


These special statistics cover Thune’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 Thune’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 most often compared to All Senators

19 of Thune’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. 304: Conscience Protection Act of 2016; S. 431: Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act; S. 489: Low Value Shipment Regulatory Modernization ...; S. 751: CASE Act; S. 808: Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act ...; S. 834: Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational ...; S. 851: Digital Goods and Services Tax ...; S. 1393: REPAIR Act; S. 1429: Charitable Agricultural Research Act; S. 1611: Coast Guard Authorization Act of ...; S. 2044: Consumer Review Freedom Act of ...; S. 2361: Airport Security Enhancement and Oversight ...; S. 2555: MOBILE NOW Act; S. 2644: FCC Reauthorization Act of 2016; S. 2650: United States Appreciation for Olympians ...; S. 2658: Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act ...; S. 2750: Charities Helping Americans Regularly Throughout ...; S. 3304: No Veterans Crisis Line Call ...; S. 3379: Surface Transportation and Maritime Security ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); Senate Republicans (98th percentile); All Senators (99th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 3rd most often compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Thune introduced 19 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 304: Conscience Protection Act of 2016; S. 808: Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act ...; S. 834: Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational ...; S. 1298: Port Performance Act; S. 1331: Seasonal Forecasting Improvement Act; S. 1461: A bill to provide for ...; S. 1551: DOTCOM Act of 2015; S. 1573: Weather Alerts for a Ready ...; S. 1611: Coast Guard Authorization Act of ...; S. 1732: Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection ...; S. 1916: Rural Health Care Connectivity Act ...; S. 2044: Consumer Review Freedom Act of ...; S. 2223: Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary ...; S. 2319: A bill to amend the ...; S. 2361: Airport Security Enhancement and Oversight ...; S. 2417: Tribal Veterans Health Care Enhancement ...; S. 2555: MOBILE NOW Act; S. 2644: FCC Reauthorization Act of 2016; S. 2658: Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); Senate Republicans (94th percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 5th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 28 of Thune’s 62 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); Senate Republicans (93rd percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Wrote the 6th most laws compared to All Senators

Thune introduced 8 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. 808: Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act ...; S. 1461: A bill to provide for ...; S. 2044: Consumer Review Freedom Act of ...; S. 2151: Family Health Care Accessibility Act ...; S. 2361: Airport Security Enhancement and Oversight ...; S. 2650: United States Appreciation for Olympians ...; S. 3304: No Veterans Crisis Line Call ...; S. 3395: Prescribed Burn Approval Act of ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); Senate Republicans (91st percentile); All Senators (94th 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.


 

Introduced the 7th most bills compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

Thune introduced 62 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

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


 

Got the 8th most cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Republicans

Thune’s bills and resolutions had 446 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 (70th percentile); Senate Republicans (85th percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Ranked 9th most conservative compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 Thune’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (81st percentile); Senate Republicans (63rd percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Ranked the 10th top leader compared to All Senators

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 Thune’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); Senate Republicans (87th percentile); All Senators (90th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 11th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Thune cosponsored 202 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 (21st percentile); Senate Republicans (41st percentile); All Senators (26th percentile).


 

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

Thune 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 Thune’s Profile »

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


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 21st least often compared to All Senators

Of the 202 bills that Thune cosponsored, 19% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); Senate Republicans (37th percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).

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


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Thune supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Thune 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

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


 

Missed Votes

Thune missed 0.8% of votes (4 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Thune’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); All Senators (27th percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 11 of Thune’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. 38: Helping Individuals Regain Employment Act; S. 386: Mobile Workforce State Income Tax ...; S. 584: Better Efficiency and Administrative Simplification ...; S. 655: A bill to prohibit the ...; S. 860: Death Tax Repeal Act of ...; S. 1429: Charitable Agricultural Research Act; S. 1461: A bill to provide for ...; S. 1916: Rural Health Care Connectivity Act ...; S. 2650: United States Appreciation for Olympians ...; S. 3181: S Corporation Modernization Act of ...; S. 3254: Spearfish Canyon and Bismarck Lake ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); Senate Republicans (61st percentile); All Senators (51st percentile).

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


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.