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Sen. Paul Sarbanes

Former Senator for Maryland

Sarbanes was a senator from Maryland and was a Democrat. He served from 1977 to 2006.

He was previously the representative for Maryland’s 3rd congressional district as a Democrat from 1973 to 1976; and the representative for Maryland’s 4th congressional district as a Democrat from 1971 to 1972.

Photo of Sen. Paul Sarbanes [D-MD, 1977-2006]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Sarbanes is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 2006 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 Sarbanes sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 22, 2001 to Dec 8, 2006. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Sarbanes was the primary sponsor of 27 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 27 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).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Sarbanes sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (22%) Economics and Public Finance (18%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (14%) Commerce (10%) Environmental Protection (10%) Water Resources Development (9%) Social Welfare (9%) Science, Technology, Communications (9%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Sarbanes recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1977 to Dec 2006, Sarbanes missed 236 of 11,445 roll call votes, which is 2.1%. This is on par with the median of 2.0% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Dec 2006. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: