Leahy is the senior senator from Vermont and is a Democrat. He has served since Jan 14, 1975. Leahy is next up for reelection in 2022 and serves until Jan 3, 2023.
He is also President Pro Tempore of the Senate, a party leadership role. Party leaders focus more on setting their party’s legislative priorties than on introducing legislation.
Read our 2020 Report Card for Leahy.
Leahy is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Leahy has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2017 to Feb 24, 2021. See full analysis methodology.
Ratings from Advocacy Organizations
Patrick Leahy sits on the following committees:
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies subcommittees
- State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs subcommittee Ranking Member
- Joint Committee on the Library
- Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
- Senate Committee on the Judiciary
- Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
Leahy was the primary sponsor of 106 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:
- S. 2814 (116th): Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act
- S. 1231 (116th): A bill to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program.
- S. 125 (114th): Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2015
- S.J.Res. 3 (114th): A joint resolution providing for the reappointment of David M. Rubenstein as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution.
- S.J.Res. 40 (113th): A joint resolution providing for the appointment of Michael Lynton as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution.
- S. 517 (113th): Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act
- S.J.Res. 32 (113th): A joint resolution providing for the reappointment of John W. McCarter as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution.
Does 106 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).
Leahy sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Crime and Law Enforcement (22%) Immigration (17%) International Affairs (15%) Government Operations and Politics (15%) Taxation (10%) Agriculture and Food (7%) Armed Forces and National Security (7%) Health (7%)
Some of Leahy’s most recently sponsored bills include...
- S.J.Res. 8: A joint resolution providing for the appointment of Barbara M. Barrett as a ...
- S. 38: A bill to specify the Federal share of the costs of certain duty ...
- S. 4544 (116th): A bill to specify the Federal share of the costs of certain ...
- S. 4438 (116th): Federal Employee Access to Information Act
- S. 4263 (116th): John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
- S. 3889 (116th): Congressional Power of the Purse Act
- S. 3420 (116th): USA FREEDOM Extension and Amici Curiae Reform Act of 2020
As President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Leahy may be focused on his responsibilities other than introducing legislation, such as setting the chamber’s agenda, uniting his party, and brokering deals.
From Jan 1975 to Feb 2021, Leahy missed 622 of 17,139 roll call votes, which is 3.6%. This is worse than the median of 1.5% among the lifetime records of senators 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.
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
- unitedstates/congress-legislators, a community project gathering congressional information
- The House and Senate websites, for committee membership and voting records
- United States Congressional Roll Call Voting Records, 1789-1990 by Howard L. Rosenthal and Keith T. Poole.
- Martis’s “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress”, via Keith Poole’s roll call votes data set, for political party affiliation for Members of Congress from 1789 through about year 2000
- GPO Member Guide for the photo
- GovInfo.gov, for sponsored bills