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2016 Report Cards: Senate Democrats

These statistics dissect the legislative records of Members of Congress during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017), as of Aug 24, 2017.

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Bills Cosponsored

The number of bills cosponsored by each legislator in the 114th Congress.

Senate Democrats
most bills
#1 479 Sen. Richard Blumenthal [D-CT]
#2 457 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
... EXPAND ...
#43 179 Sen. Thomas Carper [D-DE]
#44 152 Sen. Harry Reid [D-NV, 1987-2016]
fewest bills
 

Bills Introduced

The number of bills each legislator introduced in the 114th Congress.

Senate Democrats
most bills
#1 87 Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]
#2 80 Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
... EXPAND ...
#43 19 Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D-MD, 1987-2016]
#44 18 Sen. Joe Donnelly [D-IN]
fewest bills
 

Bills Out of Committee

The number of bills that each legislator introduced in the 114th Congress that got a committee vote sending it to the floor for further consideration. Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action.

Senate Democrats
most bills
#1 19 Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
#2 16 Sen. Thomas Carper [D-DE]
... EXPAND ...
#41 0 Sen. John “Jack” Reed [D-RI]
#41 0 Sen. Jeff Merkley [D-OR]
#41 0 Sen. Joe Donnelly [D-IN]
#41 0 Sen. Mazie Hirono [D-HI]
fewest bills
 

Committee Positions

A score, giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position, for each legislator.

Senate Democrats
highest score
#1 12 Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-CA, 1993-2016]
#2 7 Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]
#2 7 Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH]
... EXPAND ...
#44 0 Sen. Harry Reid [D-NV, 1987-2016]
lowest score
 

Cosponsors

The total number of cosponsors joining the bills written by each legislator in the 114th Congress.

Senate Democrats
most cosponsors
#1 711 Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
#2 619 Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]
... EXPAND ...
#43 75 Sen. Martin Heinrich [D-NM]
#44 73 Sen. Joe Donnelly [D-IN]
fewest cosponsors
 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether legislators supported any of the government transparency bills that we identified in the 114th Congress. We gave a score to each legislator based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Senate Democrats
most supportive
#1 11 Sen. Claire McCaskill [D-MO]
#2 10 Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT]
... EXPAND ...
 

Ideology Score

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. The score can be interpreted as a conservative—liberal scale, although of course it only takes into account a small aspect of reality.

Senate Democrats
most conservative
#1 0.62 Sen. Joe Manchin [D-WV]
#2 0.56 Sen. Joe Donnelly [D-IN]
... EXPAND ...
#43 0.04 Sen. Edward “Ed” Markey [D-MA]
#44 0.00 Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-MA]
most liberal

For more, see our methodology. An ideology score is not computed for Members of Congress who introduced fewer than 10 bills or who have a low leadership score, as there is usually not enough data in these cases to compute reliable statistics. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 114th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from those elsewhere on GovTrack.

 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. This is the percent of bills cosponsored by each legislator which were introduced by a member of the other party.

Senate Democrats
most bipartisan
#1 66.3% Sen. Joe Manchin [D-WV]
#2 64.6% Sen. Joe Donnelly [D-IN]
... EXPAND ...
#43 23.6% Sen. John “Jack” Reed [D-RI]
#44 19.8% Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-MA]
least bipartisan

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

 

Laws Enacted

The number of bills each legislator introduced that became law in the 114th Congress, including via incorporation into other bills. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Senate Democrats
most bills
#1 9 Sen. Thomas Carper [D-DE]
#2 5 Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]
#2 5 Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
#2 5 Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA]
#2 5 Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI]
... EXPAND ...

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.

 

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.

Senate Democrats
best score
#1 0.78 Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
#2 0.78 Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]
... EXPAND ...
#43 0.22 Sen. Timothy Kaine [D-VA]
#44 0.18 Sen. Martin Heinrich [D-NM]
worst score

For more, see our methodology. A leadership score is not computed for Members of Congress who introduced fewer than 10 bills, as there is usually not enough data in these cases to compute reliable statistics. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 114th Congress is considered, the leadership scores here may differ from those elsewhere on GovTrack.

 

Missed Votes

The percentage of votes each legislator missed in the 114th Congress.

Senate Democrats
most absent
#1 13.3% Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-CA, 1993-2016]
#2 12.2% Sen. Harry Reid [D-NV, 1987-2016]
... EXPAND ...

The Speaker of the House is not included in this statistic because according to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, and the delegates from the five island territories and the District of Columbia are also not included because they were not elligible to vote in any roll call votes.

 

Powerful Cosponsors

The number of bills that each legislator introduced in the 114th Congress that 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.

Senate Democrats
most bills
#1 15 Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH]
#2 13 Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA]
... EXPAND ...
#42 0 Sen. Timothy Kaine [D-VA]
#42 0 Sen. Joe Manchin [D-WV]
#42 0 Sen. Debbie Stabenow [D-MI]
fewest bills
 

Working with the Other Chamber

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. This is the number of bills introduced by each legislator in the 114th Congress that had a companion bill in the other chamber. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.

Senate Democrats
most bills
#1 26 Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]
#2 24 Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-OH]
... EXPAND ...
#43 2 Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D-MD, 1987-2016]
#44 1 Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [D-ND]
fewest bills

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

 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. This is the number of bills introduced by each legislator in the 114th Congress which had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor.

Senate Democrats
most bills
#1 36 Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
#2 31 Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH]
... EXPAND ...
#43 4 Sen. Martin Heinrich [D-NM]
#44 3 Sen. Harry Reid [D-NV, 1987-2016]
fewest bills

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.

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 the 114th Congress) 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.