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Sen. Richard Durbin’s 2016 Report Card

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


These special statistics cover Durbin’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

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 most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Durbin cosponsored 426 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 (86th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).


 

Ranked 2nd most liberal compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 the 114th Congress 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 (2nd percentile); All Senators (5th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 3rd most bills compared to Senate Democrats

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 23 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 ...; S. 2605: Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery ...; S. 2631: Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act ...; S. 2891: A bill to designate the ...; S. 3075: Addiction Prevention and Responsible Opioid ...; S. 3345: A bill to designate the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (85th percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).

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


 

Supported government transparency the 4th most often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Durbin supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Durbin 6 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: DISCLOSE Act of 2015; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1176: EMPOWER Act of 2015

Compare to all Senate Democrats (80th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Held the 5th fewest committee positions compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 3 others)

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. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (18th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (9th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Ranked the 8th bottom follower compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 the 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (15th percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 8th least often compared to Senate Democrats

Of the 426 bills that Durbin cosponsored, 27% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (16th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (46th percentile); All Senators (50th percentile).

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the 8th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

11 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress 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. 3256: Education for All Act of ...; S. 3432: Solitary Confinement Reform Act; S.Res. 26: A resolution commending Pope Francis ...; S.Res. 108: A resolution commemorating the discovery ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); All Senators (89th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 9th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Durbin introduced 2 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1400: Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act ...; S. 2891: A bill to designate the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (27th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Durbin introduced 53 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (66th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (66th percentile); All Senators (74th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Durbin introduced 2 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: S. 2891: A bill to designate the ...; S. 3345: A bill to designate the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (41st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); All Senators (40th percentile).

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. We also exclude bills where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill.


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Durbin tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 9 of Durbin’s 53 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); All Senators (36th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Durbin’s bills and resolutions had 288 cosponsors in the 114th Congress. 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 (66th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (65th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Durbin missed 2.2% of votes (11 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (49th percentile); All Senators (56th 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 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.