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Sen. Patrick Leahy’s 2015 Report Card

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


These special year-end statistics cover Leahy’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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.

 

Supported government transparency the 3rd most often compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Leahy supported any of 19 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Leahy 7 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Leahy sponsored S. 1838: Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act

Leahy cosponsored S. 229: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 337: FOIA Improvement Act of 2015; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1538: Fair Elections Now Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (95th percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Introduced the 8th fewest bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Leahy introduced 20 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (18th percentile); Senate Democrats (23rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 7th least often compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (tied with 5 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Leahy introduced 1 bill in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 125: Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (15th percentile); Senate Democrats (27th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 11th fewest bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (tied with 3 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 6 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. 23: Copyright and Marriage Equality Act; S. 40: Online Competition and Consumer Choice ...; S. 569: Farm to School Act of ...; S. 1158: Consumer Privacy Protection Act of ...; S. 1659: Voting Rights Advancement Act of ...; S.Res. 222: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (25th percentile); Senate Democrats (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (38th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 23rd most liberal compared to All Senators

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 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Leahy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (25th percentile); Senate Democrats (48th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); All Senators (22nd percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Leahy cosponsored 175 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 (60th percentile); Senate Democrats (27th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (59th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Leahy’s bills and resolutions had 171 cosponsors in 2015. 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 (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (68th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (65th percentile).


 

Leadership Score

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 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Leahy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (40th percentile); Senate Democrats (64th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (46th percentile); All Senators (49th percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 175 bills that Leahy cosponsored, 32% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (72nd percentile); Senate Democrats (50th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (68th percentile); All Senators (71st percentile).

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


 

Powerful Cosponsors

3 of Leahy’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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. 1402: Patents for Humanity Program Improvement ...; S. 1501: American Job Creation and Investment ...; S. 2231: A bill to express the ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (28th percentile); Senate Democrats (50th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); All Senators (48th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Leahy missed 0.9% of votes (3 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Leahy’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (28th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (37th percentile).


 

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 (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Leahy introduced 0 bills that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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.


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Leahy tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 30% of Leahy’s 20 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (46th percentile); Senate Democrats (52nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (50th percentile); All Senators (49th percentile).

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


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 2015) 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.