2017 Report Cards: Senate Democrats
These special year-end statistics dissect the legislative records of Members of Congress during the 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017), looking at Members who served at the end of that period. This page was last updated on Jan 6, 2018.
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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.
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 2017 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from those elsewhere on GovTrack.
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 2017) was the 115th Congress (freshmen) or 114th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.