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Sen. Patrick Leahy’s 2018 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Leahy’s record during the 115th Congress (Jan 3, 2017-Jan 3, 2019) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 20, 2019.

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 their bills out of committee the least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Leahy introduced 2 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 974: Creating and Restoring Equal Access ...; S.Res. 429: A resolution commemorating the 59th ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (1st percentile).


 

Introduced the 3rd fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Leahy introduced 19 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); Senate Democrats (6th percentile); All Senators (7th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 4th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 9 of Leahy’s 19 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Leahy caucused with in the 115th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); Senate Democrats (11th percentile); All Senators (10th percentile).


 

Ranked the 5th bottom/follower compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 115th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Leahy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (9th percentile); Senate Democrats (17th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Got the 7th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Leahy’s bills and resolutions had 176 cosponsors in the 115th 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 Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (17th percentile); All Senators (30th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 11th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 4 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 8 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. 550: Restoring Statutory Rights and Interests ...; S. 974: Creating and Restoring Equal Access ...; S. 1174: Artist-Museum Partnership Act of 2017; S. 1353: Automatic Voter Registration Act of ...; S. 2571: Runaway and Homeless Youth and ...; S. 3162: Border Zone Reasonableness Restoration Act ...; S.Res. 408: A resolution commemorating the 59th ...; S.Res. 429: A resolution commemorating the 59th ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); Senate Democrats (21st percentile); All Senators (31st 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 the 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Leahy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); Senate Democrats (45th percentile); All Senators (22nd percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Leahy introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 115th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

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


 

Powerful Cosponsors

5 of Leahy’s bills and resolutions in the 115th 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. 927: Patents for Humanity Program Improvement ...; S. 974: Creating and Restoring Equal Access ...; S. 1353: Automatic Voter Registration Act of ...; S. 1419: Voting Rights Advancement Act of ...; S.Res. 56: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); All Senators (40th 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 Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Leahy cosponsored 316 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 Serving 10+ Years (54th percentile); Senate Democrats (28th percentile); All Senators (61st percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 316 bills that Leahy cosponsored, 32% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (56th percentile); Senate Democrats (53rd percentile); All Senators (65th percentile).

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


 

Missed Votes

Leahy missed 2.8% of votes (17 of 599 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Leahy’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); All Senators (73rd percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Leahy supported any of 14 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. 210: Global Health, Empowerment and Rights ...; S. 298: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 2236: Congressional Harassment Reform Act

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); All Senators (54th 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 115th Congress) 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.