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Rep. Ralph Metcalfe

Former Representative for Illinois’s 1st District

Metcalfe was the representative for Illinois’s 1st congressional district and was a Democrat. He served from 1971 to 1978.

Photo of Rep. Ralph Metcalfe [D-IL1, 1971-1978]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Metcalfe is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the House of Representatives in 1978 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 Metcalfe sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 1973 to Oct 15, 1978. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Metcalfe was the primary sponsor of 4 bills that were enacted:

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Does 4 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

Metcalfe sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Civil Rights and Liberties, Minority Issues (25%) Government Operations and Politics (14%) Crime and Law Enforcement (12%) International Affairs (12%) Housing and Community Development (11%) Agriculture and Food (9%) Private Legislation (8%) Law (8%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Metcalfe recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1971 to Oct 1978, Metcalfe missed 1,109 of 4,492 roll call votes, which is 24.7%. This is much worse than the median of 8.8% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Oct 1978. 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.

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Primary Sources

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