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Sen. Richard Durbin’s 2018 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Durbin’s record during the 115th Congress (Jan 3, 2017-Jan 3, 2019) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 20, 2019.

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 was busy being Senate 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.

 

Got their bills out of committee the 5th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Durbin introduced 6 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 2535: Opioid Quota Reform Act; S. 2785: DETER Act; S. 2830: SIREN Act of 2018; S.Res. 224: A resolution recognizing the 6th ...; S.Res. 683: A resolution recognizing and commemorating ...; S.Res. 720: A resolution expressing the condolences ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (9th percentile); Senate Democrats (19th percentile); All Senators (18th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 6th fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 13 of Durbin’s 60 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Durbin caucused with in the 115th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (11th percentile); Senate Democrats (19th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Wrote the 5th fewest laws compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 5 others)

Durbin introduced 1 bill that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 115th 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. 2830: SIREN Act of 2018

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


 

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

Of the 485 bills that Durbin cosponsored, 24% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (29th percentile); Senate Democrats (19th percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).

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


 

Ranked 11th 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 the 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (19th percentile); All Senators (10th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 9th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Durbin supported any of 14 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 cosponsored S. 210: Global Health, Empowerment and Rights ...; S. 298: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1989: Honest Ads Act; 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 (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (77th percentile); All Senators (87th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 12th most bills compared to All Senators

Durbin cosponsored 485 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 (87th percentile); Senate Democrats (74th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 18th 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. 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. 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. 1467: Wounded Warrior Workforce Enhancement Act; S. 1636: Stop Corporate Inversions Act of ...; S. 1864: Affordable College Textbook Act; S. 2037: POST Act of 2017; S. 2157: Drug-Price Transparency in Communications Act; S. 2328: Pay Our Military Act of ...; S. 2729: Addiction Prevention and Responsible Opioid ...; S. 3205: Know Before You Owe Private ...; S.Res. 683: A resolution recognizing and commemorating ...; S.Res. 720: A resolution expressing the condolences ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); Senate Democrats (64th percentile); All Senators (78th percentile).

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


 

Got the 22nd most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Durbin’s bills and resolutions had 423 cosponsors in the 115th 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 Serving 10+ Years (70th percentile); Senate Democrats (66th percentile); All Senators (78th percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Durbin introduced 60 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); All Senators (72nd percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

8 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions in the 115th 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. 649: Cameras in the Courtroom Act; S. 2328: Pay Our Military Act of ...; S. 2535: Opioid Quota Reform Act; S.Res. 179: A resolution expressing support for ...; S.Res. 224: A resolution recognizing the 6th ...; S.Res. 250: A resolution condemning horrific acts ...; S.Res. 414: A resolution condemning the continued ...; S.Res. 524: A resolution expressing support for ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); Senate Democrats (66th percentile); All Senators (69th 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 Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); Senate Democrats (23rd percentile); All Senators (19th 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 the 115th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); Senate Democrats (45th percentile); All Senators (47th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Durbin missed 2.5% of votes (15 of 599 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (65th percentile); All Senators (69th 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 115th Congress) 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.