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Sen. Patrick Leahy’s 2019 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Leahy’s record during the 2019 legislative year (Jan 3, 2019-Dec 31, 2019) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 18, 2020.

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.

 

Introduced the 2nd fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

Leahy introduced 15 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (7th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 3rd least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Leahy introduced 3 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 340: CREATES Act of 2019; S. 1231: A bill to reauthorize the ...; S.Res. 403: A resolution designating October 2019 ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (5th percentile); Senate Democrats (9th percentile); All Senators (10th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 5th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 9 of Leahy’s 15 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Leahy caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (14th percentile); Senate Democrats (9th percentile); All Senators (15th percentile).

Cosponsors who caucused with neither the Democratic nor Republican party do not count toward this statistic.


 

Got bicameral support on the 8th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 3 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 7 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. 340: CREATES Act of 2019; S. 1231: A bill to reauthorize the ...; S. 2026: Farm to School Act of ...; S. 2180: Border Zone Reasonableness Restoration Act ...; S. 2303: Freedom for Americans to Travel ...; S. 2916: Runaway and Homeless Youth and ...; S. 2936: Refugee Protection Act of 2019

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (31st percentile); Senate Democrats (16th percentile); All Senators (36th percentile).

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the 9th least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 4 others)

3 of Leahy’s bills and resolutions in 2019 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. 561: Voting Rights Advancement Act of ...; S. 1231: A bill to reauthorize the ...; S.Res. 291: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (21st percentile); Senate Democrats (18th percentile); All Senators (33rd percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 11th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

Leahy cosponsored 290 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 (57th percentile); Senate Democrats (22nd percentile); All Senators (62nd percentile).


 

Ranked 18th 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 2019 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Leahy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (21st percentile); Senate Democrats (36th percentile); All Senators (17th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Leahy introduced 1 bill that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2019. 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. 1231: A bill to reauthorize the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); Senate Democrats (20th percentile); All Senators (20th 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.


 

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 (40th percentile); Senate Democrats (60th percentile); All Senators (67th percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 290 bills that Leahy cosponsored, 23% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (41st percentile); Senate Democrats (42nd percentile); All Senators (36th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsors

Leahy’s bills and resolutions had 221 cosponsors in 2019. 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 (36th percentile); Senate Democrats (33rd percentile); All Senators (51st 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 2019 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Leahy’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); Senate Democrats (40th percentile); All Senators (50th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Leahy missed 0.7% of votes (3 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Leahy’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); All Senators (30th 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 2019) was the 116th Congress (freshmen) or 115th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.