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Sen. Paul Tsongas

Former Senator for Massachusetts

Tsongas was a senator from Massachusetts and was a Democrat. He served from 1979 to 1984.

He was previously the representative for Massachusetts’s 5th congressional district as a Democrat from 1975 to 1978.

Photo of Sen. Paul Tsongas [D-MA, 1979-1984]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Tsongas is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 1984 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 Tsongas sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 15, 1979 to Oct 12, 1984. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Tsongas was the primary sponsor of 6 bills that were enacted:

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Does 6 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

Tsongas sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Private Legislation (20%) Immigration (17%) International Affairs (14%) Civil Rights and Liberties, Minority Issues (14%) Labor and Employment (11%) Education (10%) Energy (7%) Government Operations and Politics (7%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Tsongas recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Feb 1979 to Oct 1984, Tsongas missed 278 of 2,682 roll call votes, which is 10.4%. This is worse than the median of 6.9% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Oct 1984. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

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

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Primary Sources

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