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Sen. Jon Tester’s 2016 Report Card

Senior Senator from Montana
Democrat
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Tester’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 Tester’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.

 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

3rd 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 291 bills that Tester cosponsored, 48% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Senate Democrats 7th most bipartisan out of 44 20
66% of bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 3rd most bipartisan out of 46 11
54% of bills View All
All Senators 8th most bipartisan out of 98 11
66% 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 Out of Committee

3rd most bills among Senate Democrats

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Tester introduced 15 bills in the 114th Congress that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration.

Those bills were: S. 35: Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa ...; S. 242: Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act ...; S. 434: Security Clearance Accountability, Reform, and ...; S. 1125: Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act ...; S. 1419: Native Language Immersion Student Achievement ...; S. 1577: East Rosebud Wild and Scenic ...; S. 1580: Competitive Service Act of 2015; S. 1928: NEST Act; S. 2169: A bill to amend title ...; S. 2205: Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts ...; S. 2304: Tribal Early Childhood, Education, and ...; S. 2450: Administrative Leave Act of 2016; S. 2468: SAFETY Act; S. 2785: Tribal Youth and Community Protection ...; S. 3261: Native American Business Incubators Program ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 3rd most bills out of 44 0
19 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 9th most bills out of 47 0
36 bills View All
All Senators 10th most bills out of 100 0
36 bills View All
 

Government Transparency

4th most supportive among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 1 other

GovTrack looked at whether Tester supported any of 22 government transparency bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Tester 6 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Sponsored: S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Cosponsored: S. 229: DISCLOSE Act of 2015; S. 337: FOIA Improvement Act of 2016; S. 1959: Close the Revolving Door Act ...

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Senate Democrats 6th most supportive (tied w/ 3) out of 44 1
11 points View All
Serving 10+ Years 4th most supportive (tied w/ 1) out of 47 0
11 points View All
All Senators 8th most supportive (tied w/ 4) out of 100 0
11 points View All
 

Ideology Score

6th most conservative among Senate Democrats

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 Tester’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Senate Democrats 6th most conservative out of 44
View All
Serving 10+ Years 23rd most liberal out of 47
View All
All Senators 41st most liberal out of 100
View All
 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

9th most bills among Senate Democrats

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 18 of Tester’s 59 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 9th most bills out of 44 3
36 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 13th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 47 0
49 bills View All
All Senators 19th most bills (tied w/ 3) out of 100 0
49 bills View All
 

Laws Enacted

12th most bills among Senate Democrats; tied with 3 others

Tester introduced 3 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. 719: A bill to rename the ...; S. 1125: Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act ...; S. 1580: Competitive Service Act of 2015

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 12th most bills (tied w/ 3) out of 44 0
9 View All
Serving 10+ Years 21st most bills (tied w/ 5) out of 47 0
15 View All
All Senators 34th most bills (tied w/ 8) out of 100 0
15 View All

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.

 

Missed Votes

13th most voting among All Senators; tied with 4 others

Tester missed 0.2% of votes (1 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Tester’s Profile »

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
Serving 10+ Years 7th most voting (tied w/ 2) out of 47 0
28% missed votes View All
All Senators 13th most voting (tied w/ 4) out of 100 0
32% missed votes View All
 

Bills Cosponsored

15th most bills among Serving 10+ Years

Tester cosponsored 291 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 Democrats 15th fewest bills out of 44 152
479 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 15th most bills out of 47 74
426 bills View All
All Senators 35th most bills out of 100 74
479 bills View All
 

Working with the House

16th fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 4 others

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 10 of Tester’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. 35: Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa ...; S. 603: Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act ...; S. 865: Ruth Moore Act of 2015; S. 1302: Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act; S. 1426: Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient ...; S. 1580: Competitive Service Act of 2015; S. 1745: Extracurricular Programs for Indian Children ...; S. 2134: Grow Our Own Directive: Physician ...; S. 2468: SAFETY Act; S.Con.Res. 2: A concurrent resolution authorizing the ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 17th fewest bills out of 44 1
26 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 16th fewest bills (tied w/ 4) out of 47 1
40 bills View All
All Senators 44th fewest bills (tied w/ 7) out of 100 1
40 bills View All

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

 

Leadership Score

19th 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 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Tester’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Senate Democrats 20th best score out of 44
View All
Serving 10+ Years 19th worst score out of 47
View All
All Senators 46th worst score out of 100
View All
 

Cosponsors

20th fewest cosponsors among Serving 10+ Years

Tester’s bills and resolutions had 237 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 »

compared to... rank fewest cosponsors ⇢ most cosponsors
Senate Democrats 21st fewest cosponsors out of 44 73
711 cosponsors View All
Serving 10+ Years 20th fewest cosponsors out of 47 11
989 cosponsors View All
All Senators 47th most cosponsors out of 100 11
989 cosponsors View All
 

Bills Introduced

20th most bills among All Senators; tied with 1 other

Tester introduced 59 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 11th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 44 18
87 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 13th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 47 8
140 bills View All
All Senators 20th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 100 8
140 bills View All
 

Powerful Cosponsors

22nd fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 4 others

5 of Tester’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. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1580: Competitive Service Act of 2015; S. 1676: DOCs for Veterans Act of ...; S. 2450: Administrative Leave Act of 2016; S. 2633: Improving Veterans Access to Care ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Democrats 18th most bills (tied w/ 4) out of 44 0
15 bills View All
Serving 10+ Years 22nd fewest bills (tied w/ 4) out of 47 0
19 bills View All
All Senators 38th most bills (tied w/ 11) out of 100 0
19 bills View All
 

Committee Positions

Tester held a leadership position on 1 committee and 1 subcommittee, 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 Tester’s Profile »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Senate Democrats 4th highest score (tied w/ 14) out of 44 0
12 points View All
Serving 10+ Years 8th highest score (tied w/ 22) out of 47 0
12 points View All
All Senators 10th highest score (tied w/ 24) out of 100 0
16 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 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.