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Sen. Lindsey Graham’s 2016 Report Card

Senior Senator from South Carolina
Republican
Serving Jan 7, 2003 – Jan 3, 2021


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

4th most absent among All Senators

Graham missed 24.5% of votes (123 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Graham’s Profile »

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
Serving 10+ Years 2nd most absent out of 47 0
28% missed votes View All
All Senators 4th most absent out of 100 0
32% missed votes View All
 

Ideology Score

6th most liberal among Senate Republicans

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 Graham’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Serving 10+ Years 22nd most conservative out of 47
View All
Senate Republicans 6th most liberal out of 54
View All
All Senators 49th most conservative out of 100
View All
 

Bills Introduced

6th fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 1 other

Graham introduced 20 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Serving 10+ Years 6th fewest bills (tied w/ 1) out of 47 8
140 bills View All
Senate Republicans 11th fewest bills (tied w/ 3) out of 54 8
140 bills View All
All Senators 13th fewest bills (tied w/ 5) out of 100 8
140 bills View All
 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

7th fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years

Graham tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 5 of Graham’s 20 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Serving 10+ Years 7th fewest bills out of 47 0
49 bills View All
Senate Republicans 12th fewest bills (tied w/ 2) out of 54 1
49 bills View All
All Senators 15th fewest bills (tied w/ 5) out of 100 0
49 bills View All
 

Cosponsors

7th fewest cosponsors among Serving 10+ Years

Graham’s bills and resolutions had 139 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
Serving 10+ Years 7th fewest cosponsors out of 47 11
989 cosponsors View All
Senate Republicans 15th fewest cosponsors out of 54 11
989 cosponsors View All
All Senators 25th fewest cosponsors out of 100 11
989 cosponsors View All
 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

10th most bipartisan among Senate Republicans

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 170 bills that Graham cosponsored, 31% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Serving 10+ Years 19th most bipartisan out of 46 11
54% of bills View All
Senate Republicans 10th most bipartisan out of 54 11
54% of bills View All
All Senators 38th most bipartisan out of 98 11
66% of bills View All

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

 

Committee Positions

9th lowest score among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 2 others

Graham held a leadership position on 0 committees and 3 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 Graham’s Profile »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Serving 10+ Years 9th lowest score (tied w/ 2) out of 47 0
12 points View All
Senate Republicans 22nd highest score (tied w/ 1) out of 54 0
16 points View All
All Senators 41st highest score (tied w/ 3) out of 100 0
16 points View All
 

Bills Cosponsored

11th fewest bills among All Senators

Graham cosponsored 170 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
Serving 10+ Years 8th fewest bills out of 47 74
426 bills View All
Senate Republicans 10th fewest bills out of 54 74
432 bills View All
All Senators 11th fewest bills out of 100 74
479 bills View All
 

Bills Out of Committee

9th fewest bills among Senate Republicans; tied with 6 others

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Graham introduced 3 bills in the 114th Congress that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1725: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...; S. 2839: A bill to amend the ...; S. 3117: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Serving 10+ Years 13th fewest bills (tied w/ 5) out of 47 0
36 bills View All
Senate Republicans 9th fewest bills (tied w/ 6) out of 54 0
36 bills View All
All Senators 32nd fewest bills (tied w/ 13) out of 100 0
36 bills View All
 

Working with the House

13th fewest bills among All Senators; tied with 1 other

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 4 of Graham’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. 1147: A bill to designate the ...; S. 2022: A bill to amend title ...; S. 2839: A bill to amend the ...; S. 3414: Taylor Force Act

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Serving 10+ Years 8th fewest bills out of 47 1
40 bills View All
Senate Republicans 10th fewest bills out of 54 1
40 bills View All
All Senators 13th fewest bills (tied w/ 1) out of 100 1
40 bills View All

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

 

Leadership Score

15th worst score among Serving 10+ Years

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 Graham’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Serving 10+ Years 15th worst score out of 47
View All
Senate Republicans 18th worst score out of 54
View All
All Senators 42nd worst score out of 100
View All
 

Powerful Cosponsors

13th fewest bills among Serving 10+ Years; tied with 8 others

4 of Graham’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: S. 1553: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; S. 2022: A bill to amend title ...; S. 2931: Botnet Prevention Act of 2016; S.Res. 610: A resolution expressing support for ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Serving 10+ Years 13th fewest bills (tied w/ 8) out of 47 0
19 bills View All
Senate Republicans 23rd fewest bills (tied w/ 4) out of 54 0
19 bills View All
All Senators 41st fewest bills (tied w/ 10) out of 100 0
19 bills View All
 

Laws Enacted

34th most bills among All Senators; tied with 8 others

Graham introduced 3 bills 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: S. 1147: A bill to designate the ...; S. 1725: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...; S. 2839: A bill to amend the ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Serving 10+ Years 21st most bills (tied w/ 5) out of 47 0
15 View All
Senate Republicans 23rd most bills (tied w/ 4) out of 54 0
15 View All
All Senators 34th most bills (tied w/ 8) out of 100 0
15 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.

 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Graham supported any of 22 government transparency bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Graham 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Serving 10+ Years least supportive along with 12 others out of 47 0
11 points View All
Senate Republicans least supportive along with 27 others out of 54 0
10 points View All
All Senators least supportive along with 27 others out of 100 0
11 points 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.