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Sen. Richard Durbin’s 2015 Report Card

Senate Minority Whip
Senior Senator from Illinois
Democrat
Serving Jan 7, 1997 – Jan 3, 2021


These special year-end statistics cover Durbin’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

Members of Congress with party leadership roles often do not participate in the legislative process in the same way as other Members of Congress. Since Durbin is busy being Minority Whip, the metrics of legislative activity listed below may not apply.

A higher or lower number below doesn’t necessarily make this 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 Durbin’s legislative career and make your own judgements based on what 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.

 

Cosponsored the 2nd most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Durbin cosponsored 268 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 2nd lowest % of bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Durbin tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 10% of Durbin’s 42 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (5th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); All Senators (5th percentile).

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the 2nd most often compared to Senate Democrats

9 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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.

Those bills were: S. 588: Detergent PACS Act of 2015; S. 700: READ Act; S. 780: Cameras in the Courtroom Act; S. 974: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1400: Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act ...; S. 1557: Servicemember Student Loan Affordability Act ...; S. 1860: A bill to protect and ...; S.Res. 26: A resolution commending Pope Francis ...; S.Res. 108: A resolution commemorating the discovery ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (95th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 5th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 18 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the House. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.

Those bills were: S. 198: Stop Corporate Inversions Act of ...; S. 287: Safe Food Act of 2015; S. 289: American Cures Act; S. 396: Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement ...; S. 588: Detergent PACS Act of 2015; S. 657: Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act ...; S. 700: READ Act; S. 747: American Innovation Act; S. 780: Cameras in the Courtroom Act; S. 838: Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit ...; S. 870: Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations ...; S. 974: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1122: Court Legal Access and Student ...; S. 1486: Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act; S. 1763: Petroleum Coke Transparency and Public ...; S. 2176: Affordable College Textbook Act; S. 2272: POST Act of 2015; S. 2323: Visa Waiver Program Firearms Clarification ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 6th most liberal compared to All Senators

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.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (9th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (6th percentile); All Senators (5th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 8th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Durbin supported any of 19 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Durbin 5 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Durbin sponsored S. 1538: Fair Elections Now Act

Durbin cosponsored S. 229: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Compare to all Senate Democrats (84th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Was 12th most present in votes compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 4 others)

Durbin missed 0.6% of votes (2 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); All Senators (25th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 10th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 10 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Durbin introduced 1 bill in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1400: Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (27th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Introduced the 17th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Durbin introduced 42 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 268 bills that Durbin cosponsored, 28% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (53rd percentile); All Senators (57th percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Durbin introduced 0 bills that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).

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.


 

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.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (52nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (35th percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Durbin held a leadership position on 0 committees and 2 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (18th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Durbin’s bills and resolutions had 214 cosponsors in 2015. Securing cosponsors is an important part of getting support for a bill, although having more cosponsors does not always mean a bill will get a vote. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (73rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); All Senators (70th percentile).


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 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.