2015 Report Cards
These special year-end statistics dissect the legislative records of Members of Congress during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015), looking at Members who served at the end of that period. This page was last updated on Jan 9, 2016.
A higher or lower number below doesn’t necessarily make a 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 legislating and make your own judgements based on what legislative 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.
Look at report cards for...
- All Representatives (440)
- Safe House Seats (385)
- House Republicans (247)
- House Democrats (192)
- Serving 10+ Years (House) (169)
- All Senators (100)
- House Sophomores (73)
- House Freshmen (64)
- Competitive House Seats (55)
- Senate Republicans (54)
- Serving 10+ Years (Senate) (54)
- House Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (53)
- Senate Democrats (44)
- Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (40)
- Senate Sophomores (16)
- Senate Freshmen (13)
The number of bills each legislator introduced that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.
A bill or joint resolution is considered enacted if it or an exactly identical bill to it is enacted as law. We only consider bills that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.
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 2015) was the 114th Congress (freshmen) or 113th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.