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Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2017 Report Card

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


These special year-end statistics cover Ernst’s record during the 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017) and compare her to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 6, 2018.

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.

 

Got the most cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Sophomores

Ernst’s bills and resolutions had 159 cosponsors in 2017. 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 Sophomores (92nd percentile); Senate Republicans (63rd percentile); All Senators (56th percentile).


 

Ranked the 2nd top leader compared to Senate Sophomores

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 2017 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Ernst’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (85th percentile); Senate Republicans (63rd percentile); All Senators (67th percentile).


 

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

GovTrack looked at whether Ernst supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Ernst 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Ernst cosponsored S.Res. 323: STOP Sexual Harassment Resolution; S. 2236: Congressional Harassment Reform Act

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (77th percentile); Senate Republicans (85th percentile); All Senators (74th percentile).


 

Wrote the 12th most laws compared to All Senators (tied with 11 others)

Ernst introduced 2 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2017. 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. 926: Global War on Terrorism War ...; S.J.Res. 13: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (69th percentile); Senate Republicans (63rd percentile); All Senators (77th 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.


 

Cosponsored the 24th fewest bills compared to All Senators

Ernst cosponsored 115 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 Sophomores (23rd percentile); Senate Republicans (44th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Ranked 25th most conservative compared to All Senators

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 2017 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Ernst’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (46th percentile); Senate Republicans (52nd percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Was 24th most present in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 18 others)

Ernst missed 0.3% of votes (1 of 325 votes) in 2017. View Ernst’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (38th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Ernst introduced 5 bills in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 926: Global War on Terrorism War ...; S. 1038: A bill to require the ...; S. 1791: Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of ...; S.Res. 234: A resolution recognizing the Sailors ...; S.J.Res. 13: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (54th percentile); Senate Republicans (35th percentile); All Senators (49th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

5 of Ernst’s bills and resolutions in 2017 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. 37: Sarah’s Law; S. 925: VETS Act of 2017; S. 926: Global War on Terrorism War ...; S. 1791: Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of ...; S.Res. 234: A resolution recognizing the Sailors ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (69th percentile); Senate Republicans (65th percentile); All Senators (67th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 7 of Ernst’s 21 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (54th percentile); Senate Republicans (40th percentile); All Senators (39th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Ernst held a leadership position on 0 committees and 2 subcommittees, 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 Sophomores (31st percentile); Senate Republicans (17th percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Ernst introduced 21 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (38th percentile); Senate Republicans (40th percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 115 bills that Ernst cosponsored, 23% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (38th percentile); Senate Republicans (44th percentile); All Senators (34th percentile).

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


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 9 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. 37: Sarah’s Law; S. 93: Allowing Greater Access to Safe ...; S. 307: Department of Defense Emergency Response ...; S. 925: VETS Act of 2017; S. 926: Global War on Terrorism War ...; S. 1151: Credit for Caring Act of ...; S. 1791: Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of ...; S. 2033: SQUEAL Act; S.J.Res. 13: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (69th percentile); Senate Republicans (71st percentile); All Senators (63rd percentile).

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


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 2017) 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.