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Rep. Maxine Waters

Representative for California’s 43rd District

pronounced mak-SEEN // WAH-terz

Waters is the representative for California’s 43rd congressional district (view map) and is a Democrat. She has served since Jan 3, 2013. Waters is next up for reelection in 2020 and serves until Jan 3, 2021 unless re-elected.

She was previously the representative for California’s 35th congressional district as a Democrat from 1993 to 2012; and the representative for California’s 29th congressional district as a Democrat from 1991 to 1992.

Alleged misconduct & resolution

In 2009 Waters was investigated for a conflict of interest with respect to meetings with a bank in which she had a financial interest. The House Committee on Ethics concluded that Representative Waters' chief of staff was at fault for creating the appearance of conflict, but Waters was not.

Jul. 24, 2009 House Office of Congressional Ethics recommended that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct further review the allegations
Sep. 25, 2012 House Committee on Ethics concluded that Representative Waters' chief of staff was at fault for creating the appearance of conflict, but Waters was not
Photo of Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA43]


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2019 Report Card for Waters.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Waters is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the House of Representatives positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Waters has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 6, 2015 to Jul 2, 2020. See full analysis methodology.

Ratings from Advocacy Organizations

Committee Membership

Maxine Waters sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Waters was the primary sponsor of 6 bills that were enacted:

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Does 6 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Waters sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Finance and Financial Sector (23%) Housing and Community Development (22%) Health (19%) Education (10%) Crime and Law Enforcement (9%) Armed Forces and National Security (6%) International Affairs (6%) Transportation and Public Works (5%)

Recent Bills

Some of Waters’s most recently sponsored bills include...

View All » | View Cosponsors »

Voting Record

Key Votes

Waters voted Nay

Passed 338/88 on May 13, 2015.

The USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048, Pub.L. 114–23) is a U.S. law enacted on June 2, 2015 that restored in modified form several provisions of ...

Waters voted Nay

Passed 219/206 on Dec 11, 2014.

This bill became the vehicle for passage of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 [pdf], which was approved by the House on December ...

Waters voted Aye

Waters voted No

Passed 304/117 on Jun 23, 2011.

The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack ...

Missed Votes

From Jan 1991 to Jul 2020, Waters missed 1,364 of 18,927 roll call votes, which is 7.2%. This is much worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: