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Sen. Mark Kirk’s 2014 Report Card

Junior Senator from Illinois
Republican
Served Nov 29, 2010 – Jan 3, 2017


These special statistics cover Kirk’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 12, 2015. Although Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA1], Rep. Thomas Massie [R-KY4], Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10], and Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI] served in the 112th Congress, they took office within the last two months of the 112th Congress and here are grouped with other freshmen for the 113th Congress.

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 Kirk’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.

 

Joined bipartisan bills the 3rd most often compared to All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 277 bills that Kirk cosponsored, 62% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (93rd percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 3rd 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 113th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Kirk’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (4th percentile); All Senators (57th percentile).


 

Introduced the 5th most bills compared to Senate Republicans

Kirk introduced 47 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (89th percentile); All Senators (69th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 7th most bills compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

Kirk cosponsored 277 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 Senate Republicans (82nd percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Was 13th most absent in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Kirk missed 7.2% of votes (47 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Kirk’s Profile »

Compare to all All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 21st lowest % of bills compared to All Senators

Kirk tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 19% of Kirk’s 47 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (35th percentile); All Senators (22nd percentile).

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


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Kirk supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Kirk 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Kirk introduced 1 bill that became law in the 113th 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. 2208: Money Remittances Improvement Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (31st percentile); All Senators (32nd 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.


 

Powerful Cosponsors

4 of Kirk’s bills and resolutions in the 113th 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. 1907: Fairness for Community Job Creators ...; S. 2304: Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter ...; S.Res. 75: A resolution condemning the Government ...; S.Res. 215: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (56th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 8 of Kirk’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. 571: Great Lakes Water Protection Act; S. 1146: State Ethics Law Protection Act ...; S. 1613: Credit Access and Inclusion Act; S. 2208: Money Remittances Improvement Act of ...; S. 2525: A bill to amend the ...; S. 2765: SBIC Advisers Relief Act of ...; S.Res. 75: A resolution condemning the Government ...; S.Res. 217: A resolution expressing support for ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (56th percentile); All Senators (47th percentile).

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


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Kirk introduced 3 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1328: New Philadelphia, Illinois, Study Act; S.Res. 75: A resolution condemning the Government ...; S.Res. 270: A resolution supporting the goals ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (62nd percentile); All Senators (44th 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 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Kirk’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (73rd percentile); All Senators (58th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Kirk’s bills and resolutions had 213 cosponsors in the 113th 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 Senate Republicans (62nd percentile); All Senators (51st percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Kirk 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 Kirk’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (11th percentile); All Senators (19th 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 113th Congress) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.