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Sen. Mark Kirk’s 2015 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Kirk’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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 2nd 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 216 bills that Kirk cosponsored, 42% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (96th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 2nd 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 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Kirk’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (2nd percentile); All Senators (47th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 3rd most bills compared to All Senators

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 22 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. 376: A bill to amend the ...; S. 572: A bill to amend title ...; S. 628: Improving Access to Maternity Care ...; S. 800: Enhancing the Stature and Visibility ...; S. 819: Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization ...; S. 846: Small Business Regulatory Sunset Act ...; S. 850: Horse Transportation Safety Act of ...; S. 898: National Health Service Corps Improvement ...; S. 1004: Veterans Day Moment of Silence ...; S. 1024: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act ...; S. 1168: Preserving Rehabilitation Innovation Centers Act ...; S. 1287: Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of ...; S. 1465: FAST Act; S. 1466: Ensuring Equal Access to Treatments ...; S. 1566: Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act ...; S. 1586: Great Lakes Water Protection Act; S. 1662: Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area ...; S. 1978: SBIC Advisers Relief Act of ...; S. 2183: Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization ...; S.Res. 137: A resolution congratulating the administration, ...; S.Res. 148: A resolution condemning the Government ...; S.Con.Res. 26: A concurrent resolution expressing the ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (94th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 3rd most bills compared to Senate Republicans

Kirk cosponsored 216 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 (94th percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Was 9th most absent in votes compared to All Senators

Kirk missed 6.5% of votes (22 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Kirk’s Profile »

Compare to all All Senators (91st percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 9th most often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 3 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Kirk supported any of 19 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Kirk 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Kirk cosponsored S. 579: Inspector General Empowerment Act of ...; S. 2127: Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (78th percentile); All Senators (52nd percentile).


 

Introduced the 12th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Kirk introduced 46 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (85th percentile); All Senators (85th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 14th highest % of bills compared to All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 46% of Kirk’s 46 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (78th percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 14th least often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 5 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Kirk introduced 2 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 2183: Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization ...; S.Res. 148: A resolution condemning the Government ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (24th percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).


 

Ranked the 20th top leader compared to All Senators

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 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Kirk’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (72nd percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Got the 24th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Kirk’s bills and resolutions had 246 cosponsors in 2015. 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 (72nd percentile); All Senators (76th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Kirk introduced 0 bills that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

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

3 of Kirk’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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. 316: Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter ...; S. 2291: VA Patient Protection Act of ...; S.Res. 148: A resolution condemning the Government ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (46th percentile); All Senators (48th 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 (22nd percentile); All Senators (21st 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 2015) 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.