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Sen. Lindsey Graham’s 2019 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Graham’s record during the 2019 legislative year (Jan 3, 2019-Dec 31, 2019) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 18, 2020.

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.

 

Ranked the 3rd top leader compared to Senate Republicans

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 2019 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Graham’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (88th percentile); Senate Republicans (94th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 3rd most often compared to Serving 10+ Years

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 125 bills that Graham cosponsored, 45% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); Senate Republicans (87th percentile); All Senators (90th 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 4th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 2 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. 2128: National Guard and Reservists Debt ...; S. 2436: Southern Campaign of the Revolution ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (5th percentile); Senate Republicans (6th percentile); All Senators (3rd percentile).

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


 

Got the 6th most cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

Graham’s bills and resolutions had 339 cosponsors in 2019. 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 (55th percentile); Senate Republicans (87th percentile); All Senators (71st percentile).


 

Held the 6th most committee positions compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

Graham held a leadership position on 1 committee 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 »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); Senate Republicans (92nd percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).


 

Ranked 9th most left (~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 2019 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Graham’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (71st percentile); Senate Republicans (15th percentile); All Senators (55th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 13th fewest bills compared to All Senators

Graham cosponsored 125 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 (14th percentile); Senate Republicans (23rd percentile); All Senators (12th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 21st most often compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Graham introduced 12 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 482: Defending American Security from Kremlin ...; S. 1494: Secure and Protect Act of ...; S. 2128: National Guard and Reservists Debt ...; S. 2511: Reauthorizing Security for Supreme Court ...; S. 2583: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...; S. 2644: Countering Turkish Aggression Act of ...; S.Res. 15: A resolution commending the Clemson ...; S.Res. 155: A resolution relative to the ...; S.Res. 209: A resolution designating the week ...; S.Res. 245: A resolution designating July 17, ...; S.Res. 252: A resolution designating September 2019 ...; S.Res. 346: A resolution designating October 8, ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (69th percentile); Senate Republicans (68th percentile); All Senators (77th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Graham introduced 2 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2019. 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. 2128: National Guard and Reservists Debt ...; S. 2583: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); Senate Republicans (45th percentile); All Senators (51st 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

Graham introduced 25 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (31st percentile); Senate Republicans (38th percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

5 of Graham’s bills and resolutions in 2019 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. 71: Special Counsel Independence and Integrity ...; S. 482: Defending American Security from Kremlin ...; S. 2128: National Guard and Reservists Debt ...; S.Res. 252: A resolution designating September 2019 ...; S.Res. 378: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); Senate Republicans (58th percentile); All Senators (52nd percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 13 of Graham’s 25 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Graham caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (29th percentile); Senate Republicans (40th percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).

Cosponsors who caucused with neither the Democratic nor Republican party do not count toward this statistic.


 

Missed Votes

Graham missed 2.8% of votes (12 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Graham’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (71st percentile); All Senators (69th 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 2019) was the 116th Congress (freshmen) or 115th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.