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Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s 2016 Report Card

Representative from Massachusetts's 4th District
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2013 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Kennedy’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other representatives 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 Kennedy’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.

 

Missed Votes

the most absent among Massachusetts Delegation

Kennedy missed 4.8% of votes (63 of 1,325 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Kennedy’s Profile »

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
Massachusetts Delegation the most absent out of 9 1
5% missed votes View All
House Sophomores 12th most absent out of 73 0
19% missed votes View All
All Representatives 94th most absent (tied w/ 2) out of 432 0
29% missed votes View All

The Speaker of the House is not included in this statistic because according to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, and the delegates from the five island territories and the District of Columbia are also not included because they were not elligible to vote in any roll call votes.

 

Committee Positions

the lowest score among Massachusetts Delegation; tied with 1 other

Kennedy held a leadership position on 0 committees and 0 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 Kennedy’s Profile »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Massachusetts Delegation the lowest score (tied w/ 1) out of 9 0
1 points View All
House Sophomores lowest score along with 47 others out of 73 0
2 points View All
House Democrats lowest score along with 73 others out of 191 0
10 points View All
All Representatives lowest score along with 169 others out of 439 0
11 points View All
 

Bills Cosponsored

2nd fewest bills among Massachusetts Delegation

Kennedy cosponsored 263 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Massachusetts Delegation 2nd fewest bills out of 9 241
786 bills View All
House Sophomores 24th fewest bills out of 73 136
703 bills View All
House Democrats 38th fewest bills out of 191 2
1,007 bills View All
All Representatives 200th fewest bills (tied w/ 2) out of 439 1
1,007 bills View All
 

Government Transparency

2nd least supportive among Massachusetts Delegation

GovTrack looked at whether Kennedy supported any of 40 government transparency bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Kennedy 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Cosponsored: H.R. 20: Government By the People Act ...; H.R. 6340: Presidential Accountability Act

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Massachusetts Delegation 2nd least supportive out of 9 0
8 points View All
House Sophomores 31st most supportive (tied w/ 9) out of 73 0
10 points View All
House Democrats 31st least supportive (tied w/ 37) out of 191 0
17 points View All
All Representatives 146th most supportive (tied w/ 63) out of 439 0
17 points View All
 

Laws Enacted

2nd most bills among Massachusetts Delegation; tied with 2 others

Kennedy 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: H.R. 5722: John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Massachusetts Delegation 2nd most bills (tied w/ 2) out of 9 0
3 View All
House Sophomores 10th most bills (tied w/ 23) out of 73 0
5 View All
House Democrats 25th most bills (tied w/ 60) out of 191 0
4 View All
All Representatives 79th most bills (tied w/ 144) out of 439 0
8 View All

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.

 

Cosponsors

5th fewest cosponsors among Massachusetts Delegation

Kennedy’s bills and resolutions had 232 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 »

compared to... rank fewest cosponsors ⇢ most cosponsors
Massachusetts Delegation 5th fewest cosponsors out of 9 68
743 cosponsors View All
House Sophomores 37th fewest cosponsors out of 73 1
1,455 cosponsors View All
House Democrats 89th most cosponsors out of 191 0
1,647 cosponsors View All
All Representatives 197th most cosponsors out of 439 0
1,647 cosponsors View All
 

Powerful Cosponsors

17th fewest bills among House Sophomores; tied with 12 others

2 of Kennedy’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: H.R. 5272: Do No Harm Act; H.R. 6417: Fair Calculations in Civil Damages ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Massachusetts Delegation 3rd fewest bills (tied w/ 1) out of 9 0
7 bills View All
House Sophomores 17th fewest bills (tied w/ 12) out of 73 0
14 bills View All
House Democrats 46th fewest bills (tied w/ 30) out of 191 0
19 bills View All
All Representatives 119th fewest bills (tied w/ 72) out of 439 0
20 bills View All
 

Bills Introduced

24th fewest bills among House Sophomores; tied with 3 others

Kennedy introduced 14 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Massachusetts Delegation 4th most bills out of 9 6
20 bills View All
House Sophomores 24th fewest bills (tied w/ 3) out of 73 2
65 bills View All
House Democrats 76th fewest bills (tied w/ 5) out of 191 0
106 bills View All
All Representatives 190th fewest bills (tied w/ 18) out of 439 0
106 bills View All
 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

43rd most bills among House Democrats; tied with 5 others

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 8 of Kennedy’s 14 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Massachusetts Delegation 3rd most bills out of 9 2
11 bills View All
House Sophomores 25th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 73 0
29 bills View All
House Democrats 43rd most bills (tied w/ 5) out of 191 0
29 bills View All
All Representatives 117th most bills (tied w/ 10) out of 439 0
30 bills View All
 

Working with the Senate

65th most bills among All Representatives; tied with 15 others

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 5 of Kennedy’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate. 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: H.R. 840: STEM Gateways Act; H.R. 2984: Fair RATES Act; H.R. 5722: John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission ...; H.R. 6417: Fair Calculations in Civil Damages ...; H.R. 6470: Graduate Student Savings Act of ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Massachusetts Delegation 2nd most bills out of 9 0
6 bills View All
House Sophomores 13th most bills (tied w/ 2) out of 73 0
10 bills View All
House Democrats 28th most bills (tied w/ 8) out of 191 0
13 bills View All
All Representatives 65th most bills (tied w/ 15) out of 439 0
16 bills View All

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

 

Leadership Score

73rd best score among House Democrats

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 Kennedy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Massachusetts Delegation 4th best score out of 9
View All
House Sophomores 37th worst score out of 73
View All
House Democrats 73rd best score out of 191
View All
All Representatives 211th best score out of 439
View All
 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

85th most bipartisan among All Representatives

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 263 bills that Kennedy cosponsored, 32% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Massachusetts Delegation 4th most bipartisan out of 9 23
50% of bills View All
House Sophomores 25th most bipartisan out of 73 6
59% of bills View All
House Democrats 79th most bipartisan out of 189 3
69% of bills View All
All Representatives 85th most bipartisan out of 435 1
69% of bills View All

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

 

Ideology Score

124th most liberal among All Representatives

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 Kennedy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Massachusetts Delegation 3rd most conservative out of 9
View All
House Sophomores 23rd most liberal out of 73
View All
House Democrats 68th most conservative out of 191
View All
All Representatives 124th most liberal out of 439
View All
 

Bills Out of Committee

116th fewest bills among All Representatives; tied with 100 others

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Kennedy introduced 1 bill in the 114th Congress that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration.

Those bills were: H.R. 2984: Fair RATES Act

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Massachusetts Delegation 4th fewest bills (tied w/ 1) out of 9 0
3 bills View All
House Sophomores 18th fewest bills (tied w/ 23) out of 73 0
24 bills View All
House Democrats 51st most bills (tied w/ 58) out of 191 0
6 bills View All
All Representatives 116th fewest bills (tied w/ 100) out of 439 0
24 bills View All

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.

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.