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Sen. Mark Kirk’s 2016 Report Card

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


These special statistics cover Kirk’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

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.

 

Got bicameral support on the 2nd most bills compared to All Senators

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 28 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. 2180: Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination ...; S. 2183: Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization ...; S. 2584: Living Donor Protection Act of ...; S. 2601: A bill to direct the ...; S. 2689: REGROW Act; S. 2925: Requiring Accountability and Inspections for ...; S. 3407: MISSION ZERO Act; 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 (96th percentile); All Senators (98th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 2nd most bills compared to Senate Republicans

Kirk cosponsored 371 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 (96th percentile); All Senators (83rd percentile).


 

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 114th 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 (48th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 3rd 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 371 bills that Kirk cosponsored, 39% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (94th percentile); All Senators (82nd percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 5th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 28 of Kirk’s 74 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (93rd percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Wrote the 7th most laws compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Kirk introduced 7 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th 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. 316: Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter ...; S. 575: HERO Act of 2015; S. 819: Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization ...; S. 1004: Veterans Day Moment of Silence ...; S. 2183: Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization ...; S. 2291: VA Patient Protection Act of ...; S. 2806: Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (87th percentile); All Senators (92nd 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 9th most bills compared to All Senators

Kirk introduced 74 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (91st percentile); All Senators (91st percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 8th most often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 3 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Kirk supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Kirk 3 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. 1820: Early Participation in Regulations Act ...; S. 2127: Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (80th percentile); All Senators (56th percentile).


 

Got the 10th most cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Republicans

Kirk’s bills and resolutions had 408 cosponsors in the 114th 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 (81st percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Was 12th most absent in votes compared to All Senators

Kirk missed 6.2% of votes (31 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Kirk’s Profile »

Compare to all All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Ranked the 16th 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 the 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Kirk’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (81st percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

5 of Kirk’s bills and resolutions in the 114th 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. 316: Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter ...; S. 800: Enhancing the Stature and Visibility ...; S. 2291: VA Patient Protection Act of ...; S. 2471: 401(Kids) Education Savings Account Modernization ...; S.Res. 148: A resolution condemning the Government ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (50th 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 (22nd percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Kirk introduced 7 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 800: Enhancing the Stature and Visibility ...; S. 1024: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act ...; S. 1662: Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area ...; S. 2183: Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization ...; S. 2608: American Discovery Trail Act of ...; S. 2806: Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and ...; S.Res. 148: A resolution condemning the Government ...

Compare to all Senate Republicans (50th percentile); All Senators (66th 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 114th Congress) 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.