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Rep. Lamar Smith’s 2015 Report Card

Representative from Texas's 21st District
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 1987 – Jan 3, 2019


These special year-end statistics cover Smith’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare him to other representatives serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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 Smith’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 2nd most laws compared to All Representatives (tied with 2 others)

Smith introduced 3 bills that became law in 2015. 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. 1020: STEM Education Act of 2015; H.R. 2559: To designate the “PFC Milton ...; H.R. 2604: Need-Based Educational Aid Act of ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (97th percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (96th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (99th percentile); House Republicans (98th percentile); Safe House Seats (99th percentile); All Representatives (99th percentile).

A bill or joint resolution is considered enacted if it or an exactly identical bill to it is enacted as law. We only consider bills that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.


 

Got their bills out of committee the 7th most often compared to All Representatives (tied with 2 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Smith introduced 8 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.R. 758: Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of ...; H.R. 1030: Secret Science Reform Act of ...; H.R. 1147: Legal Workforce Act; H.R. 1643: Digital Goods and Services Tax ...; H.R. 1806: America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of ...; H.R. 2604: Need-Based Educational Aid Act of ...; H.R. 3033: READ Act; H.R. 3293: Scientific Research in the National ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (92nd percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); House Republicans (96th percentile); Safe House Seats (98th percentile); All Representatives (98th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 12th most often compared to All Representatives (tied with 1 other)

9 of Smith’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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. 758: Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of ...; H.R. 1030: Secret Science Reform Act of ...; H.R. 1147: Legal Workforce Act; H.R. 1643: Digital Goods and Services Tax ...; H.R. 1806: America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of ...; H.R. 2293: Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture ...; H.R. 2604: Need-Based Educational Aid Act of ...; H.R. 3033: READ Act; H.R. 3293: Scientific Research in the National ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (92nd percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); House Republicans (96th percentile); Safe House Seats (97th percentile); All Representatives (97th percentile).


 

Ranked 13th most conservative compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Smith’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Texas Delegation (72nd percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (92nd percentile); House Republicans (79th percentile); Safe House Seats (87th percentile); All Representatives (88th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 20th highest % of bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 50% of Smith’s 12 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Texas Delegation (76th percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (69th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (78th percentile); House Republicans (61st percentile); Safe House Seats (76th percentile); All Representatives (74th percentile).

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


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 36th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

Of the 192 bills that Smith cosponsored, 10% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (47th percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (38th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (21st percentile); House Republicans (53rd percentile); Safe House Seats (32nd percentile); All Representatives (30th percentile).

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


 

Ranked the 50th top leader compared to All Representatives

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 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Smith’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Texas Delegation (78th percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (85th percentile); House Republicans (82nd percentile); Safe House Seats (88th percentile); All Representatives (89th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 53rd most bills compared to House Republicans (tied with 2 others)

Smith cosponsored 192 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 Texas Delegation (72nd percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (64th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (56th percentile); House Republicans (78th percentile); Safe House Seats (59th percentile); All Representatives (59th percentile).


 

Got the 55th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Representatives

Smith’s bills and resolutions had 399 cosponsors in 2015. 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 Texas Delegation (83rd percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (79th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (82nd percentile); House Republicans (86th percentile); Safe House Seats (87th percentile); All Representatives (88th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Smith held a leadership position on 1 committee and 0 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Smith’s Profile »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (71st percentile); House Republicans (87th percentile); Safe House Seats (87th percentile); All Representatives (88th percentile).


 

Working with the Senate

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 3 of Smith’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. 758: Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of ...; H.R. 1030: Secret Science Reform Act of ...; H.R. 2604: Need-Based Educational Aid Act of ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (72nd percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (68th percentile); House Republicans (71st percentile); Safe House Seats (71st percentile); All Representatives (71st percentile).

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


 

Missed Votes

Smith missed 1.8% of votes (13 of 704 votes) in 2015. View Smith’s Profile »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (50th percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (56th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (40th percentile); Safe House Seats (49th percentile); All Representatives (51st 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.


 

Bills Introduced

Smith introduced 12 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (56th percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (45th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (50th percentile); House Republicans (61st percentile); Safe House Seats (58th percentile); All Representatives (60th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Smith supported any of 28 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Smith 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Smith cosponsored H.R. 1764: United States Chief Technology Officer ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (50th percentile); House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (51st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (41st percentile); House Republicans (69th percentile); Safe House Seats (41st percentile); All Representatives (43rd 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 2015) 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.