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Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2018 Report Card

Senate Republican Conference Vice Chair
Junior Senator from Iowa
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 2015 – Jan 3, 2021


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

Members of Congress with party leadership roles often do not participate in the legislative process in the same way as other Members of Congress. Since Ernst was busy being Senate Republican Conference Vice Chair, the metrics of legislative activity listed below may not apply.

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.

 

Was most present in votes compared to Senate Sophomores

Ernst missed 0.2% of votes (1 of 599 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Ernst’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (0th percentile); All Senators (9th percentile).


 

Got the 3rd most cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Sophomores

Ernst’s bills and resolutions had 202 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 Senate Sophomores (77th percentile); Senate Republicans (42nd percentile); All Senators (36th percentile).


 

Ranked the 3rd 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 the 115th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Ernst’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (77th percentile); Senate Republicans (44th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 3rd most often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Ernst supported any of 14 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Ernst 5 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Ernst cosponsored S. 298: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S.Res. 323: STOP Sexual Harassment Resolution; S. 2178: Inspector General Recommendation Transparency Act ...; S. 2236: Congressional Harassment Reform Act; S. 3027: Modernizing Congressional Reporting Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (85th percentile); Senate Republicans (92nd percentile); All Senators (78th percentile).


 

Ranked 10th 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 the 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Ernst’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (62nd percentile); Senate Republicans (80th percentile); All Senators (90th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 11th least often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 5 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Ernst introduced 8 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 925: VETS Act of 2017; S. 926: Global War on Terrorism War ...; S. 1038: A bill to require the ...; S. 1791: Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of ...; S. 2645: Access to Increased Drug Disposal ...; S. 3489: EDU Act of 2018; S.Res. 234: A resolution recognizing the Sailors ...; S.J.Res. 13: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (31st percentile); Senate Republicans (20th percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Ernst introduced 4 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. 925: VETS Act of 2017; S. 926: Global War on Terrorism War ...; S. 3489: EDU Act of 2018; S.J.Res. 13: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (46th percentile); Senate Republicans (38th percentile); All Senators (53rd 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 Introduced

Ernst introduced 34 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (46th percentile); Senate Republicans (42nd percentile); All Senators (33rd percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

7 of Ernst’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. 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. 2645: Access to Increased Drug Disposal ...; S. 2930: No Budget, No Vacation Act; S.Res. 234: A resolution recognizing the Sailors ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (62nd percentile); Senate Republicans (64th percentile); All Senators (62nd 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 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. 2534: CERTIFY Heroes Act; S. 2592: SWAMP Act; S. 3166: United States Army Rangers Veterans ...; S. 3489: EDU Act of 2018; S.J.Res. 13: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (69th percentile); Senate Republicans (66th 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. 22 of Ernst’s 34 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Ernst caucused with in the 115th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (62nd percentile); Senate Republicans (60th percentile); All Senators (57th 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 (23rd percentile); Senate Republicans (16th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Ernst cosponsored 225 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 (31st percentile); Senate Republicans (60th percentile); All Senators (33rd percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 225 bills that Ernst cosponsored, 24% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (38th percentile); Senate Republicans (42nd percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).

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


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.