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2017 Report Cards
Senate Democrats / Government Transparency

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.

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.

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Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether legislators supported any of the government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills that we identified in 2017. 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 often
#1 7 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
#2 4 Sen. Michael Bennet [D-CO]
#2 4 Sen. Martin Heinrich [D-NM]
#4 3 Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto [D-NV]
#4 3 Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL]
#4 3 Sen. Jon Tester [D-MT]
#7 2 Sen. Richard Blumenthal [D-CT]
#7 2 Sen. Cory Booker [D-NJ]
#7 2 Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-OH]
#7 2 Sen. Joe Donnelly [D-IN, 2013-2018]
#7 2 Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA]
#7 2 Sen. Kamala Harris [D-CA]
#7 2 Sen. Margaret “Maggie” Hassan [D-NH]
#7 2 Sen. Mazie Hirono [D-HI]
#7 2 Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
#7 2 Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH]
#7 2 Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-MA]
#7 2 Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI]
#19 1 Sen. Tammy Baldwin [D-WI]
#19 1 Sen. Tammy Duckworth [D-IL]
#19 1 Sen. Alan “Al” Franken [D-MN, 2009-2017]
#19 1 Sen. Timothy “Tim” Kaine [D-VA]
#19 1 Sen. Claire McCaskill [D-MO, 2007-2018]
#19 1 Sen. Jeff Merkley [D-OR]
#19 1 Sen. Christopher Murphy [D-CT]
#19 1 Sen. Tom Udall [D-NM]
#19 1 Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]
#28 0 Sen. Maria Cantwell [D-WA]
#28 0 Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
#28 0 Sen. Thomas Carper [D-DE]
#28 0 Sen. Robert “Bob” Casey [D-PA]
#28 0 Sen. Chris Coons [D-DE]
#28 0 Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [D-ND, 2013-2018]
#28 0 Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT]
#28 0 Sen. Joe Manchin [D-WV]
#28 0 Sen. Edward “Ed” Markey [D-MA]
#28 0 Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez [D-NJ]
#28 0 Sen. Patty Murray [D-WA]
#28 0 Sen. Bill Nelson [D-FL, 2001-2018]
#28 0 Sen. Gary Peters [D-MI]
#28 0 Sen. John “Jack” Reed [D-RI]
#28 0 Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI]
#28 0 Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer [D-NY]
#28 0 Sen. Debbie Stabenow [D-MI]
#28 0 Sen. Chris Van Hollen [D-MD]
#28 0 Sen. Mark Warner [D-VA]
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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.

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.