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Rep. Maxine Waters’s 2017 Report Card

Representative from California's 43rd District
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2013 – Jan 3, 2019


These special year-end statistics cover Waters’s record during the 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017) and compare her to other representatives serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 6, 2018.

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 Waters’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.

 

Introduced the 2nd most bills compared to California Delegation

Waters introduced 30 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all California Delegation (96th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); House Democrats (93rd percentile); All Representatives (95th percentile).


 

Was 11th most absent in votes compared to California Delegation (tied with 1 other)

Waters missed 3.5% of votes (25 of 710 votes) in 2017. View Waters’s Profile »

Compare to all California Delegation (77th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (67th percentile); All Representatives (74th percentile).

The Speaker of the House is not included in this statistic because according to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, and the delegates from the five island territories and the District of Columbia are also not included because they were not elligible to vote in any roll call votes.


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 12th least often compared to House Democrats

Of the 169 bills that Waters cosponsored, 17% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all California Delegation (19th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (34th percentile); House Democrats (6th percentile); All Representatives (43rd percentile).

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


 

Got the 18th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Representatives

Waters’s bills and resolutions had 644 cosponsors in 2017. 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 California Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); House Democrats (95th percentile); All Representatives (96th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 19th fewest bills compared to House Democrats (tied with 2 others)

Waters cosponsored 169 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 California Delegation (26th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); House Democrats (9th percentile); All Representatives (42nd percentile).


 

Ranked the 26th top leader compared to House Democrats

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 2017 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Waters’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all California Delegation (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); House Democrats (87th percentile); All Representatives (79th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 35th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 31 others)

Waters tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 2 of Waters’s 30 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

Compare to all California Delegation (25th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (21st percentile); House Democrats (19th percentile); All Representatives (18th percentile).


 

Ranked 54th most liberal compared to All Representatives

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 2017 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Waters’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all California Delegation (21st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (18th percentile); House Democrats (27th percentile); All Representatives (12th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Waters introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2017. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all California Delegation (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th 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.


 

Working with the Senate

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 1 of Waters’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate. 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: H.R. 2301: Court Legal Access and Student ...

Compare to all California Delegation (26th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); House Democrats (29th percentile); All Representatives (28th percentile).

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


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Waters supported any of 21 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Waters 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Waters cosponsored H.R. 4396: ME TOO Congress Act; H.Res. 630: Requiring each Member, officer, and ...

Compare to all California Delegation (40th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (55th percentile); House Democrats (40th percentile); All Representatives (55th percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Waters introduced 1 bill in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.Res. 442: Of inquiry directing the Secretary ...

Compare to all California Delegation (45th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (32nd percentile); House Democrats (49th percentile); All Representatives (29th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

3 of Waters’s bills and resolutions in 2017 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: H.R. 1641: To amend the Small Business ...; H.R. 1882: Stop AIDS in Prison Act ...; H.R. 2973: To provide for the issuance ...

Compare to all California Delegation (55th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (60th percentile); House Democrats (60th percentile); All Representatives (65th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Waters held a leadership position on 1 committee and 0 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Waters’s Profile »

Compare to all California Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); House Democrats (90th percentile); All Representatives (90th 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 2017) was the 115th Congress (freshmen) or 114th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.