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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.

 

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

Compare to all Senate Democrats (84th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 3rd most often compared to Senate Democrats

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Tester introduced 15 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for 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 ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (81st percentile); All Senators (90th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 4th most often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Tester supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness 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.

Tester sponsored S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

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

Compare to all Senate Democrats (80th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Ranked 6th most conservative compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (86th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (47th percentile); All Senators (40th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 9th most bills compared to 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.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (80th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); All Senators (78th percentile).


 

Was 13th most present in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

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

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); All Senators (12th percentile).


 

Introduced the 20th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

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

Compare to all Senate Democrats (73rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); All Senators (79th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

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 ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (50th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (45th percentile); All Senators (51st percentile).


 

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. View Tester’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (36th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

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 »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (68th percentile); All Senators (65th percentile).


 

Working with the House

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 ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (36th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (32nd percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).

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


 

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 Tester’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (55th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); All Senators (45th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

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

Compare to all Senate Democrats (66th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (45th percentile); All Senators (58th 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.


 

Cosponsors

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 »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (45th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (40th percentile); All Senators (53rd 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 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.