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Sen. Lindsey Graham’s 2018 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Graham’s record during the 115th Congress (Jan 3, 2017-Jan 3, 2019) and compare him to other senators 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 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.

 

Was 7th most absent in votes compared to All Senators

Graham missed 6.0% of votes (36 of 599 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Graham’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).


 

Wrote the 5th fewest laws compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 5 others)

Graham introduced 1 bill 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: S. 1780: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (9th percentile); Senate Republicans (2nd percentile); All Senators (6th 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.


 

Introduced the 8th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Graham introduced 27 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (15th percentile); Senate Republicans (20th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Ranked 9th most liberal compared to 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 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Graham’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); Senate Republicans (16th percentile); All Senators (58th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 10th most often compared to Senate Republicans

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 159 bills that Graham cosponsored, 35% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (71st percentile); Senate Republicans (80th percentile); All Senators (74th percentile).

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


 

Got bicameral support on the 10th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 3 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 7 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. 128: BRIDGE Act; S. 341: Russia Sanctions Review Act of ...; S. 1615: Dream Act of 2017; S. 1735: Special Counsel Independence Protection Act; S. 1922: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; S. 2311: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; S. 2644: Special Counsel Independence and Integrity ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); Senate Republicans (34th percentile); All Senators (24th percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 11th least often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 5 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Graham introduced 8 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1697: Taylor Force Act; S. 1780: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...; S. 2311: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; S. 2644: Special Counsel Independence and Integrity ...; S. 3108: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...; S.Res. 14: A resolution commending the Clemson ...; S.Res. 287: A resolution designating October 8, ...; S.Res. 664: A resolution designating October 8, ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); Senate Republicans (20th percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 10th least oftenn compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 7 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Graham supported any of 14 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Graham 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Graham cosponsored S. 2236: Congressional Harassment Reform Act

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); Senate Republicans (48th percentile); All Senators (24th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 14th fewest bills compared to All Senators

Graham cosponsored 159 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 Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); Senate Republicans (26th percentile); All Senators (13th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 17th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

9 of Graham’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: S. 128: BRIDGE Act; S. 341: Russia Sanctions Review Act of ...; S. 474: A bill to condition assistance ...; S. 1615: Dream Act of 2017; S. 1697: Taylor Force Act; S. 1922: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; S. 3336: Defending American Security from Kremlin ...; S.Res. 738: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.J.Res. 48: A joint resolution proposing an ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); Senate Republicans (76th percentile); All Senators (81st percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 19 of Graham’s 27 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Graham caucused with in the 115th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); Senate Republicans (44th percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Graham held a leadership position on 0 committees and 2 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Graham’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); Senate Republicans (16th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Graham’s bills and resolutions had 265 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 Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); Senate Republicans (62nd percentile); All Senators (52nd 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 Graham’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (65th percentile); Senate Republicans (68th percentile); All Senators (73rd 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.