skip to main content

Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2019 Report Card

Senate Republican Conference Vice Chair
Junior Senator from Iowa
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 2015 – Jan 3, 2027


These year-end statistics cover Ernst’s record during the 2019 legislative year (Jan 3, 2019-Dec 31, 2019) and compare her to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 18, 2020.

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.

 

Wrote the fewest laws compared to Senate Party Leaders (tied with 1 other)

Ernst introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2019. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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 2nd most politically right 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 2019 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Ernst’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (92nd percentile); Senate Republicans (96th percentile); All Senators (98th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 2nd least often compared to Senate Party Leaders (tied with 2 others)

2 of Ernst’s bills and resolutions in 2019 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. 143: Department of Energy Veterans’ Health ...; S. 565: Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (8th percentile); Senate Republicans (28th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 4th least often compared to Senate Party Leaders

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Ernst introduced 5 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 143: Department of Energy Veterans’ Health ...; S. 565: Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act of ...; S. 580: Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of ...; S. 2920: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act ...; S.Res. 336: A resolution instructing the managers ...

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (25th percentile); Senate Republicans (28th percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 4th fewest bills compared to Senate Party Leaders

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 6 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. 123: Ensuring Quality Care for Our ...; S. 285: Sarah’s Law; S. 565: Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act of ...; S. 1757: United States Army Rangers Veterans ...; S. 2845: Fair Access for Individuals to ...; S. 3023: Pediatricians Accelerate Childhood Therapies Act ...

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (25th percentile); Senate Republicans (43rd percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).

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


 

Held the 3rd fewest committee positions compared to Senate Party Leaders (tied with 2 others)

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. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Ernst’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (17th percentile); Senate Republicans (23rd percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).


 

Got the 4th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Party Leaders

Ernst’s bills and resolutions had 225 cosponsors in 2019. 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 Party Leaders (25th percentile); Senate Republicans (66th percentile); All Senators (54th percentile).


 

Ranked the 4th bottom/follower compared to Senate Party Leaders

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 2019 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Ernst’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (25th percentile); Senate Republicans (62nd percentile); All Senators (58th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 6th most bills compared to Senate Republicans

Ernst cosponsored 235 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 Party Leaders (58th percentile); Senate Republicans (89th percentile); All Senators (54th percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Ernst introduced 34 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (58th percentile); Senate Republicans (64th percentile); All Senators (51st percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 18 of Ernst’s 34 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Ernst caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (42nd percentile); Senate Republicans (58th percentile); All Senators (58th percentile).

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


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 235 bills that Ernst cosponsored, 26% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (67th percentile); Senate Republicans (36th percentile); All Senators (47th percentile).

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


 

Missed Votes

Ernst missed 1.4% of votes (6 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Ernst’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (58th percentile); All Senators (51st 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 2019) 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.