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Rep. Lamar Smith’s 2018 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Smith’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 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.

 

Supported government transparency the most often compared to Texas Delegation

GovTrack looked at whether Smith supported any of 32 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Smith 4 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Smith cosponsored H.R. 24: Federal Reserve Transparency Act of ...; H.R. 522: Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act ...; H.R. 732: Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act ...; H.R. 6755: Judiciary ROOM Act of 2018

Compare to all Texas Delegation (97th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (86th percentile); House Republicans (82nd percentile); All Representatives (82nd percentile).


 

Was 4th most absent in votes compared to Texas Delegation (tied with 1 other)

Smith missed 6.7% of votes (81 of 1,210 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Smith’s Profile »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (86th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (75th percentile); All Representatives (81st 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.


 

Ranked 6th 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 the 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Smith’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Texas Delegation (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (97th percentile); House Republicans (91st percentile); All Representatives (95th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 14th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years

Of the 269 bills that Smith cosponsored, 9% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Texas Delegation (19th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); House Republicans (23rd percentile); All Representatives (13th percentile).

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the 24th most often compared to House Republicans (tied with 11 others)

7 of Smith’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. 589: Department of Energy Research and ...; H.R. 720: Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of ...; H.R. 1430: HONEST Act; H.R. 1494: PACT Act; H.R. 3711: Legal Workforce Act; H.R. 6226: American Space SAFE Management Act; H.R. 6227: National Quantum Initiative Act

Compare to all Texas Delegation (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); House Republicans (85th percentile); All Representatives (84th percentile).


 

Got the 38th most cosponsors on their bills compared to House Republicans

Smith’s bills and resolutions had 488 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 Texas Delegation (78th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); House Republicans (84th percentile); All Representatives (81st percentile).


 

Ranked the 40th 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 the 115th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Smith’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Texas Delegation (86th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); House Republicans (86th percentile); All Representatives (91st percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 59th most bills compared to House Republicans

Smith cosponsored 269 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 (58th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (40th percentile); House Republicans (75th percentile); All Representatives (46th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 63rd most often compared to All Representatives (tied with 20 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Smith introduced 7 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.R. 589: Department of Energy Research and ...; H.R. 720: Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of ...; H.R. 1430: HONEST Act; H.R. 2809: American Space Commerce Free Enterprise ...; H.R. 3711: Legal Workforce Act; H.R. 6226: American Space SAFE Management Act; H.R. 6227: National Quantum Initiative Act

Compare to all Texas Delegation (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); House Republicans (68th percentile); All Representatives (81st percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Smith introduced 2 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. 589: Department of Energy Research and ...; H.R. 6227: National Quantum Initiative Act

Compare to all Texas Delegation (64th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); House Republicans (53rd percentile); All Representatives (63rd 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

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

Compare to all Texas Delegation (36th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (29th percentile); House Republicans (32nd percentile); All Representatives (30th 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. 720: Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of ...; H.R. 1494: PACT Act; H.R. 7058: Digital Goods and Services Tax ...

Compare to all Texas Delegation (58th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (47th percentile); House Republicans (58th percentile); All Representatives (54th 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. 8 of Smith’s 13 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Smith caucused with in the 115th Congress.

Compare to all Texas Delegation (61st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (55th percentile); House Republicans (52nd percentile); All Representatives (52nd 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 (78th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (77th percentile); House Republicans (89th percentile); All Representatives (89th 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.