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Sen. Jon Tester’s 2018 Report Card

Senior Senator from Montana
Democrat
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2025


These statistics cover Tester’s record during the 115th Congress (Jan 3, 2017-Jan 3, 2019) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 20, 2019.

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.

 

Supported government transparency the 2nd most often compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Tester supported any of 14 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Tester 9 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Tester sponsored S. 522: A bill to establish a ...; S. 298: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Tester cosponsored S. 210: Global Health, Empowerment and Rights ...; S. 1989: Honest Ads Act; S. 3027: Modernizing Congressional Reporting Act of ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (94th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Ranked 4th 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 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Tester’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); All Senators (46th percentile).


 

Ranked the 5th top leader compared to Senate Democrats

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 115th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Tester’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

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


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 7th most often compared to All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 334 bills that Tester cosponsored, 50% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (89th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).

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


 

Got the 14th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Tester’s bills and resolutions had 505 cosponsors in the 115th 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 (78th percentile); Senate Democrats (81st percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Introduced the 15th most bills compared to All Senators

Tester introduced 73 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (78th percentile); Senate Democrats (77th percentile); All Senators (85th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Tester introduced 3 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 115th 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. 501: East Rosebud Wild and Scenic ...; S. 544: A bill to amend the ...; S. 2248: Veterans Benefits and Transition Act ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); Senate Democrats (43rd percentile); All Senators (36th 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.


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Tester introduced 11 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 39: Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa ...; S. 458: NEST Act; S. 501: East Rosebud Wild and Scenic ...; S. 544: A bill to amend the ...; S. 941: Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act; S. 1333: Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2017; S. 2248: Veterans Benefits and Transition Act ...; S.Res. 98: A resolution designating the first ...; S.Res. 449: A resolution designating the first ...; S.Res. 474: A resolution relative to the ...; S.J.Res. 64: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); All Senators (54th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

8 of Tester’s bills and resolutions in the 115th 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. 298: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 458: NEST Act; S. 544: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1333: Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2017; S. 3284: Spotlight Act; S.Res. 98: A resolution designating the first ...; S.Res. 433: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.J.Res. 64: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); Senate Democrats (66th percentile); All Senators (69th percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 13 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. 501: East Rosebud Wild and Scenic ...; S. 528: Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act; S. 619: Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient ...; S. 833: Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and ...; S. 941: Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act; S. 1333: Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2017; S. 1775: Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act ...; S. 2063: Veterans’ Electronic Health Record Modernization ...; S. 2532: NURSE Act; S. 2796: VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act ...; S. 3284: Spotlight Act; S. 3391: GAAME Act of 2018; S.J.Res. 64: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (54th percentile); Senate Democrats (51st percentile); All Senators (59th percentile).

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


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 30 of Tester’s 73 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Tester caucused with in the 115th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); Senate Democrats (68th percentile); All Senators (70th 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 Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Tester cosponsored 334 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 (61st percentile); Senate Democrats (34th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Tester missed 1.0% of votes (6 of 599 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Tester’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (52nd percentile); All Senators (49th 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 115th Congress) was the 115th Congress (freshmen) or 114th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.