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Sen. Patrick Leahy’s 2014 Report Card

Senior Senator from Vermont
Democrat
Serving Jan 14, 1975 – Jan 3, 2023


These special statistics cover Leahy’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 12, 2015. Although Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA1], Rep. Thomas Massie [R-KY4], Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10], and Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI] served in the 112th Congress, they took office within the last two months of the 112th Congress and here are grouped with other freshmen for the 113th Congress.

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 Leahy’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 bipartisan cosponsors on the highest % of bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 57% of Leahy’s 47 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (97th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); Senate Democrats (94th percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).

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


 

Wrote the 2nd most laws compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Leahy introduced 6 bills that became law in the 113th 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. 47: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act ...; S. 517: Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless ...; S.J.Res. 28: A joint resolution providing for ...; S.J.Res. 29: A joint resolution providing for ...; S.J.Res. 32: A joint resolution providing for ...; S.J.Res. 40: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (96th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (97th 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.


 

Ranked the 3rd 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 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Leahy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (95th percentile); Senate Democrats (94th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 3rd most often compared to All Senators

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Leahy introduced 16 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 42: Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of ...; S. 47: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act ...; S. 54: Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms ...; S. 517: Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless ...; S. 607: Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments ...; S. 657: Foreign Prison Conditions Improvement Act ...; S. 822: Justice for All Reauthorization Act ...; S. 933: Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program ...; S. 1372: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...; S. 1690: Second Chance Reauthorization Act of ...; S. 2454: Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act ...; S. 2499: Department of State, Foreign Operations, ...; S. 2520: FOIA Improvement Act of 2014; S. 2646: Runaway and Homeless Youth and ...; S. 2685: Uniting and Strengthening America by ...; S.Res. 92: A resolution authorizing the expenditures ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (94th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Got the 5th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Leahy’s bills and resolutions had 553 cosponsors in the 113th 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Ranked 6th most liberal compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

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 113th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Leahy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (12th percentile); Senate Democrats (28th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (15th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 8th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 8 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Leahy supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Leahy 3 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Leahy cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 405: Sunshine in the Courtroom Act ...; S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (74th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 21st least often compared to All Senators

Of the 205 bills that Leahy cosponsored, 18% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (23rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (23rd percentile); Senate Democrats (38th percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).

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


 

Committee Positions

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

Compare to all Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (35th percentile); All Senators (64th percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 12 of Leahy’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. 517: Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless ...; S. 645: Refugee Protection Act of 2013; S. 1690: Second Chance Reauthorization Act of ...; S. 1897: Personal Data Privacy and Security ...; S. 1945: Voting Rights Amendment Act of ...; S. 2476: Online Competition and Consumer Choice ...; S. 2598: CEJA; S. 2726: Captive Insurers Clarification Act; S. 2919: Copyright and Marriage Equality Act; S.J.Res. 28: A joint resolution providing for ...; S.J.Res. 32: A joint resolution providing for ...; S.J.Res. 40: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (66th percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (65th percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).

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


 

Missed Votes

Leahy missed 1.1% of votes (7 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Leahy’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (27th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); All Senators (27th percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Leahy introduced 47 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (61st percentile); Senate Democrats (53rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (59th percentile); All Senators (69th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

6 of Leahy’s bills and resolutions in the 113th 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. 42: Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of ...; S. 54: Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms ...; S. 517: Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless ...; S. 1945: Voting Rights Amendment Act of ...; S. 2454: Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act ...; S. 2520: FOIA Improvement Act of 2014

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (63rd percentile); Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); All Senators (67th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Leahy cosponsored 205 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (27th percentile); Senate Democrats (36th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); All Senators (38th 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 113th Congress) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.