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Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2016 Report Card

Junior Senator from Iowa
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 2015 – Jan 3, 2021


These special statistics cover Ernst’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare her 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 Ernst’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.

 

Ranked the top leader compared to Senate Freshmen

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 Ernst’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (92nd percentile); Senate Republicans (39th percentile); All Senators (50th percentile).


 

Was most present in votes compared to Senate Freshmen (tied with 1 other)

Ernst missed 0.0% of votes (0 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Ernst’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 2nd fewest bills compared to Senate Freshmen

Ernst cosponsored 172 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 Freshmen (8th percentile); Senate Republicans (20th percentile); All Senators (12th percentile).


 

Got the 2nd most cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Freshmen

Ernst’s bills and resolutions had 160 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 Freshmen (85th percentile); Senate Republicans (33rd percentile); All Senators (30th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 2nd most often compared to Senate Freshmen (tied with 1 other)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Ernst introduced 7 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1411: Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of ...; S. 1550: Program Management Improvement Accountability Act; S. 1881: A bill to prohibit Federal ...; S. 2847: Prove It Act of 2016; S. 2975: Federal Information Systems Safeguards Act ...; S.Con.Res. 41: A concurrent resolution expressing the ...; S.J.Res. 22: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (77th percentile); Senate Republicans (50th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Ranked 4th most liberal compared to Senate Freshmen

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 Ernst’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (23rd percentile); Senate Republicans (31st percentile); All Senators (63rd percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 6th most often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Ernst supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Ernst 4 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Ernst cosponsored S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 579: Inspector General Empowerment Act of ...; S. 1820: Early Participation in Regulations Act ...; S. 2127: Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection ...

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (77th percentile); Senate Republicans (87th percentile); All Senators (72nd percentile).


 

Introduced the 8th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Ernst introduced 17 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (23rd percentile); Senate Republicans (13th percentile); All Senators (7th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 7th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 3 of Ernst’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. 1881: A bill to prohibit Federal ...; S. 3124: Sarah’s Law; S.J.Res. 22: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (15th percentile); Senate Republicans (7th percentile); All Senators (6th percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 21st fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

Ernst tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 6 of Ernst’s 17 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (54th percentile); Senate Republicans (26th percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 17th least often compared to All Senators (tied with 11 others)

2 of Ernst’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. 2582: Midnight Rule Relief Act of ...; S. 3124: Sarah’s Law

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (46th percentile); Senate Republicans (17th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Ernst held a leadership position on 0 committees and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Ernst’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (15th percentile); Senate Republicans (6th percentile); All Senators (5th percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 172 bills that Ernst cosponsored, 24% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (54th percentile); Senate Republicans (63rd percentile); All Senators (37th percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Ernst introduced 1 bill 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. 1550: Program Management Improvement Accountability Act

Compare to all Senate Freshmen (31st percentile); Senate Republicans (15th percentile); All Senators (15th 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.


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.