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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.

 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

3rd most bipartisan among 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 »

compared to... rank least bipartisan ⇢ most bipartisan
Senate Republicans 3rd most bipartisan out of 45 24
70% of bills View All
All Senators 3rd most bipartisan out of 98 12
70% of bills View All

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

 

Ideology Score

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

compared to... rank most liberal ⇢ most conservative
Senate Republicans 3rd most liberal out of 45
View All
All Senators 43rd most conservative out of 100
View All
 

Bills Introduced

5th most bills among Senate Republicans

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

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 5th most bills out of 45 7
85 bills View All
All Senators 29th most bills (tied w/ 2) out of 100 7
107 bills View All
 

Bills Cosponsored

7th most bills among 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 »

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 7th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 45 51
337 bills View All
All Senators 24th most bills (tied w/ 1) out of 100 51
449 bills View All
 

Leadership Score

12th best score among 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 the 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Kirk’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

compared to... rank worst score ⇢ best score
Senate Republicans 12th best score out of 45
View All
All Senators 42nd best score out of 100
View All
 

Missed Votes

13th most absent among All Senators; tied with 1 other

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

compared to... rank most voting ⇢ most absent
All Senators 13th most absent (tied w/ 1) out of 100 0
20% missed votes View All
 

Bills Out of Committee

17th most bills among Senate Republicans

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Kirk introduced 3 bills in the 113th Congress that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further 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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 17th most bills out of 45 0
15 bills View All
All Senators 45th fewest bills (tied w/ 7) out of 100 0
30 bills View All
 

Cosponsors

17th most cosponsors among Senate Republicans

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 »

compared to... rank fewest cosponsors ⇢ most cosponsors
Senate Republicans 17th most cosponsors out of 45 9
412 cosponsors View All
All Senators 49th most cosponsors out of 100 9
894 cosponsors View All
 

Working with the House

17th most bills among Senate Republicans; tied with 3 others

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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 17th most bills (tied w/ 3) out of 45 0
23 bills View All
All Senators 48th fewest bills (tied w/ 4) out of 100 0
32 bills View All

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

 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

21st lowest % of bills among 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.

compared to... rank lowest % of bills ⇢ highest % of bills
Senate Republicans 14th lowest % of bills out of 37 5
61% of bills View All
All Senators 21st lowest % of bills out of 90 5
65% of bills View All

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

 

Laws Enacted

33rd fewest bills among All Senators; tied with 31 others

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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 14th most bills (tied w/ 17) out of 45 0
6 laws View All
All Senators 33rd fewest bills (tied w/ 31) out of 100 0
7 laws View All

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

43rd most bills among All Senators; tied with 13 others

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 ...

compared to... rank fewest bills ⇢ most bills
Senate Republicans 14th most bills (tied w/ 6) out of 45 0
9 bills View All
All Senators 43rd most bills (tied w/ 13) out of 100 0
20 bills View All
 

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. 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 Kirk’s Profile »

compared to... rank lowest score ⇢ highest score
Senate Republicans 6th lowest score (tied w/ 14) out of 45 0
8 points View All
All Senators 20th lowest score (tied w/ 31) out of 100 0
16 points View All
 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Kirk supported any of 8 government transparency 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.

compared to... rank least supportive ⇢ most supportive
Senate Republicans least supportive along with 26 others out of 45 0
5 points View All
All Senators least supportive along with 34 others out of 100 0
8 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 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.