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Sen. Richard Durbin’s 2019 Report Card

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


These year-end statistics cover Durbin’s record during the 2019 legislative year (Jan 3, 2019-Dec 31, 2019) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 18, 2020.

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.

 

Joined bipartisan bills the least often compared to Senate Party Leaders

Of the 405 bills that Durbin cosponsored, 18% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (12th percentile); Senate Democrats (11th percentile); All Senators (9th percentile).

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


 

Wrote the fewest laws compared to Senate Party Leaders (tied with 1 other)

Durbin introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2019. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (0th percentile); 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.


 

Got bicameral support on the 2nd most bills compared to All Senators

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 32 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. 320: SECURE Firearm Storage Act; S. 366: FLAT Prices Act; S. 458: A bill to require the ...; S. 551: REFUND Act of 2019; S. 608: Court Legal Access and Student ...; S. 655: SAFE Kids Act; S. 763: Climate Change Resiliency Fund for ...; S. 894: Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of ...; S. 916: MOMMA’s Act; S. 1036: Affordable College Textbook Act; S. 1241: Protecting American Consumers from Robocalls ...; S. 1249: American Innovation Act; S. 1250: American Cures Act; S. 1315: Wounded Warrior Workforce Enhancement Act; S. 1414: Student Borrower Bankruptcy Relief Act ...; S. 1551: Creating Pathways for Youth Employment ...; S. 1775: POST Act of 2019; S. 1823: Children Don’t Belong on Tobacco ...; S. 1995: Safe Food Act of 2019; S. 2139: American Business for American Companies ...; S. 2390: A bill to prohibit the ...; S. 2400: Expanding Cannabis Research and Information ...; S. 2545: Promoting Access to Broadband Act ...; S. 2603: Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant ...; S. 2650: Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and ...; S. 2659: Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act ...; S. 2700: Protecting Roadside First Responders Act; S. 2896: Pullman National Historical Park Act; S. 3071: Family Medical Leave Modernization Act; S. 3103: Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act ...; S.Res. 89: A resolution expressing the condolences ...; S.J.Res. 56: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); Senate Democrats (96th percentile); All Senators (98th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 2nd most liberal compared to Senate Party Leaders

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 2019 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (8th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); Senate Democrats (18th percentile); All Senators (9th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 2nd least often compared to Senate Party Leaders (tied with 1 other)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Durbin introduced 4 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1328: DETER Act; S.Res. 89: A resolution expressing the condolences ...; S.Res. 198: A resolution condemning Brunei’s dramatic ...; S.Res. 282: A resolution honoring former Associate ...

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (8th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (14th percentile); Senate Democrats (27th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Ranked the 4th top leader compared to All Senators

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 2019 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (96th percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Held the 3rd fewest committee positions compared to Senate Party Leaders (tied with 2 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 Party Leaders (17th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); Senate Democrats (18th percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).


 

Got the 5th most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Durbin’s bills and resolutions had 587 cosponsors in 2019. 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 Party Leaders (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Introduced the 6th most bills compared to All Senators

Durbin introduced 76 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (90th percentile); Senate Democrats (89th percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 6th most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Durbin cosponsored 405 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 Party Leaders (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (86th percentile); Senate Democrats (67th percentile); All Senators (85th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 15th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 8 others)

8 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions in 2019 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. 791: GI Education Benefits Fairness Act ...; S. 1328: DETER Act; S. 1437: Drug-price Transparency in Communications (DTC) ...; S. 2184: Know Before You Owe Private ...; S. 2517: Tobacco Tax Equity Act of ...; S.Res. 198: A resolution condemning Brunei’s dramatic ...; S.Res. 217: A resolution expressing support for ...; S.J.Res. 56: A joint resolution providing for ...

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (67th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (71st percentile); Senate Democrats (69th percentile); All Senators (77th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 19 of Durbin’s 76 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Durbin caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (50th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); All Senators (63rd percentile).

Cosponsors who caucused with neither the Democratic nor Republican party do not count toward this statistic.


 

Missed Votes

Durbin missed 1.4% of votes (6 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (58th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (51st 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 2019) was the 116th Congress (freshmen) or 115th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.