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Sen. Richard Durbin’s 2017 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 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 6, 2018.

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.

 

Supported government transparency the 2nd most often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

GovTrack looked at whether Durbin supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Durbin 3 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Durbin cosponsored S.Res. 323: STOP Sexual Harassment Resolution; S. 2159: ME TOO Congress Act; S. 2236: Congressional Harassment Reform Act

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (87th percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 4th most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Durbin cosponsored 280 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 Serving 10+ Years (90th percentile); Senate Democrats (72nd percentile); All Senators (87th percentile).


 

Ranked 5th 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 2017 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); Senate Democrats (24th percentile); All Senators (12th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 10th least often compared to Senate Democrats

Of the 280 bills that Durbin cosponsored, 23% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (28th percentile); Senate Democrats (20th percentile); All Senators (33rd percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 11th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 4 others)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 6 of Durbin’s 38 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); Senate Democrats (26th percentile); All Senators (30th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 10th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 8 others)

2 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions in 2017 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. 649: Cameras in the Courtroom Act; S.Res. 179: A resolution expressing support for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Held the 12th fewest committee positions compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 12 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 Serving 10+ Years (5th percentile); Senate Democrats (24th percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).


 

Got the 19th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Durbin’s bills and resolutions had 262 cosponsors in 2017. 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 Serving 10+ Years (68th percentile); Senate Democrats (72nd percentile); All Senators (81st percentile).


 

Introduced the 21st most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

Durbin introduced 38 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); Senate Democrats (67th percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 21st most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 11 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. 553: Court Legal Access and Student ...; S. 641: American Innovation Act; S. 649: Cameras in the Courtroom Act; S. 922: Climate Change Adapt America Fund ...; S. 983: Helping to Encourage Real Opportunities ...; S. 984: Creating Pathways for Youth Employment ...; S. 1169: Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery ...; S. 1341: Children Don’t Belong on Tobacco ...; S. 1636: Stop Corporate Inversions Act of ...; S. 1864: Affordable College Textbook Act; S. 2037: POST Act of 2017

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (71st percentile); Senate Democrats (67th percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).

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


 

Missed Votes

Durbin missed 2.5% of votes (8 of 325 votes) in 2017. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (68th percentile); All Senators (73rd percentile).


 

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 2017 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (41st percentile); Senate Democrats (52nd percentile); All Senators (52nd percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Durbin introduced 0 bills in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

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


 

Laws Enacted

Durbin introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2017. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

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


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.