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Sen. Jon Tester’s 2020 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Tester’s record during the 116th Congress (Jan 3, 2019-Jan 3, 2021) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 30, 2021.

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.

 

Wrote the 2nd most laws compared to Senate Democrats

Tester introduced 11 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 116th 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. 51: Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa …; S. 60: Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act; S. 514: Deborah Sampson Act; S. 524: Department of Veterans Affairs Tribal …; S. 629: Accountability in Department of Veterans …; S. 711: CARE for Reservists Act of …; S. 785: Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans …; S. 2265: GI Bill Work Study Improvement …; S. 2988: Veteran Pension Protection Act of …; S. 3039: A bill to authorize the …; S. 3637: A bill to amend the …

Compare to all Senate Democrats (96th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd 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.


 

Ranked 4th most politically right 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 116th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Tester’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (46th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 5th most bills compared to Senate Democrats

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 54 of Tester’s 90 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Tester caucused with in the 116th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (81st percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).

Cosponsors who caucused with neither the Democratic nor Republican party do not count toward this statistic.


 

Got their bills out of committee the 6th most often compared to Senate Democrats

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Tester introduced 19 bills in the 116th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 51: Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa …; S. 60: Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act; S. 257: Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2019; S. 514: Deborah Sampson Act; S. 524: Department of Veterans Affairs Tribal …; S. 629: Accountability in Department of Veterans …; S. 711: CARE for Reservists Act of …; S. 785: Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans …; S. 805: SHIELD for Veterans Act of …; S. 2265: GI Bill Work Study Improvement …; S. 2336: Department of Veterans Affairs Information …; S. 2988: Veteran Pension Protection Act of …; S. 3039: A bill to authorize the …; S. 3637: A bill to amend the …; S.Res. 37: A resolution designating the week …; S.Res. 92: A resolution designating the first …; S.Res. 419: A resolution permitting the collection …; S.Res. 491: A resolution designating the week …; S.Res. 650: A resolution designating July 10, …

Compare to all Senate Democrats (87th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (67th percentile); All Senators (78th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 9th 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 411 bills that Tester cosponsored, 45% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (91st percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 10th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

Tester cosponsored 411 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 (20th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (56th percentile).


 

Introduced the 16th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

Tester introduced 90 bills and resolutions in the 116th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (67th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); All Senators (82nd percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 16th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 29 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. 60: Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act; S. 128: Stop Taxing Our Potential Act …; S. 179: VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act …; S. 257: Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2019; S. 276: Spotlight Act; S. 336: Studying the Missing and Murdered …; S. 374: Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and …; S. 524: Department of Veterans Affairs Tribal …; S. 559: Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act; S. 619: Improving Rural Access to Power …; S. 711: CARE for Reservists Act of …; S. 885: GAAME Act of 2019; S. 970: Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient …; S. 1047: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement …; S. 1154: Department of Veterans Affairs Electronic …; S. 1305: St. Mary’s Reinvestment Act; S. 1362: NURSE Act; S. 1642: Increasing Access to Mental Health …; S. 1680: OATH Act; S. 2599: Seeding Rural Resilience Act; S. 2966: Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act …; S. 3177: Strengthening Oversight for Veterans Act …; S. 3266: Guard and Reserve GI Bill …; S. 3637: A bill to amend the …; S. 3762: Veterans Cemetery Grants Improvement Act …; S. 3788: Veterans Cemetery Grants Improvement Act …; S. 4344: ENCORES Act; S. 4412: Veterans Benefits Fairness and Transparency …; S.Res. 638: A resolution expressing the sense …

Compare to all Senate Democrats (70th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); All Senators (82nd percentile).

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the 15th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

13 of Tester’s bills and resolutions in the 116th 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. 128: Stop Taxing Our Potential Act …; S. 257: Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2019; S. 276: Spotlight Act; S. 336: Studying the Missing and Murdered …; S. 514: Deborah Sampson Act; S. 711: CARE for Reservists Act of …; S. 785: Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans …; S. 1161: NEST Act; S. 2808: A bill to amend the …; S. 3050: A bill to amend the …; S. 3637: A bill to amend the …; S. 4909: Native American Veteran PACT Act; S.Res. 638: A resolution expressing the sense …

Compare to all Senate Democrats (65th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Got the 22nd most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Tester’s bills and resolutions had 615 cosponsors in the 116th 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 (61st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (69th percentile); All Senators (78th 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 (61st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (64th 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 116th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Tester’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (65th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (59th percentile); All Senators (73rd percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Tester missed 3.2% of votes (23 of 720 votes) in the 116th Congress. View Tester’s Profile »

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


Additional Notes

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 116th Congress) was the 116th Congress (freshmen) or 115th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.