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Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s 2018 Report Card

Representative from Massachusetts's 4th District
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2013 – Jan 3, 2021


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

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.

 

Held the fewest committee positions compared to 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 »

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).


 

Introduced the 2nd fewest bills compared to Massachusetts Delegation

Kennedy introduced 13 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (11th percentile); House Democrats (27th percentile); All Representatives (30th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 2nd fewest bills compared to Massachusetts Delegation (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 2 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. 1652: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of ...; H.R. 4778: Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act ...

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (11th percentile); House Democrats (34th percentile); All Representatives (37th percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 3rd fewest bills compared to Massachusetts Delegation

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 6 of Kennedy’s 13 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Kennedy caucused with in the 115th Congress.

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (22nd percentile); House Democrats (39th percentile); All Representatives (37th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 11th most often compared to House Democrats (tied with 11 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Kennedy introduced 5 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.Res. 154: Of inquiry requesting the President ...; H.R. 587: Fair RATES Act; H.R. 1652: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of ...; H.R. 1762: POWER Act; H.R. 3192: CHIP Mental Health Parity Act

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (78th percentile); House Democrats (89th percentile); All Representatives (68th percentile).


 

Was 46th most absent in votes compared to All Representatives (tied with 1 other)

Kennedy missed 8.9% of votes (108 of 1,210 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Kennedy’s Profile »

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (78th percentile); All Representatives (89th percentile).

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.


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 104th most often compared to All Representatives

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 390 bills that Kennedy cosponsored, 29% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (67th percentile); House Democrats (57th percentile); All Representatives (76th percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Kennedy introduced 3 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: H.R. 1652: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of ...; H.R. 1762: POWER Act; H.R. 3192: CHIP Mental Health Parity Act

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (56th percentile); House Democrats (92nd percentile); All Representatives (81st 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.


 

Powerful Cosponsors

5 of Kennedy’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: H.R. 1762: POWER Act; H.R. 3136: Graduate Student Savings Act of ...; H.R. 3192: CHIP Mental Health Parity Act; H.R. 3222: Do No Harm Act; H.R. 6358: Gay and Trans Panic Defense ...

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (44th percentile); House Democrats (61st percentile); All Representatives (69th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Kennedy cosponsored 390 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 Massachusetts Delegation (33rd percentile); House Democrats (46th percentile); All Representatives (74th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Kennedy’s bills and resolutions had 345 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 Massachusetts Delegation (56th percentile); House Democrats (61st percentile); All Representatives (68th percentile).


 

Ideology Score

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 Kennedy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (67th percentile); House Democrats (56th percentile); All Representatives (26th percentile).


 

Leadership Score

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 Kennedy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (44th percentile); House Democrats (70th percentile); All Representatives (62nd percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Kennedy supported any of 32 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Kennedy 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Kennedy cosponsored H.R. 4396: ME TOO Congress Act

Compare to all Massachusetts Delegation (0th percentile); House Democrats (16th percentile); All Representatives (19th 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 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.