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Sen. Richard Durbin’s 2020 Report Card

Senate Minority Whip
Senior Senator from Illinois
Democrat
Serving Jan 7, 1997 – Jan 3, 2027


These statistics cover Durbin’s record during the 116th Congress (Jan 3, 2019-Jan 3, 2021) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 30, 2021.

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 bicameral support on the most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 46 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. 1198: Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad …; 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. 1744: Keep STEM Talent Act of …; 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. 2458: America Grows Act of 2019; S. 2545: Promoting Access to Broadband Act …; S. 2603: RELIEF Act; 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. 3056: America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act; S. 3071: Family Medical Leave Modernization Act; S. 3096: PREVENT Act of 2020; S. 3103: Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act …; S. 3634: Health Heroes 2020 Act; S. 3745: Coronavirus E-BD Act of 2020; S. 4067: American Assistance for American Companies …; S. 4314: RETAIN Act; S. 4407: Mentoring to Succeed Act of …; S. 4409: A bill to designate the …; S. 4450: Bronzeville-Black Metropolis National Heritage Area …; S. 4538: RENEW Conservation Corps Act; S.Res. 89: A resolution expressing the condolences …; S.Res. 536: A resolution recognizing the Baltic …; S.J.Res. 56: A joint resolution providing for …

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).

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


 

Ranked most politically left 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 the 116th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (22nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (11th percentile); All Senators (11th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 2nd least often compared to Senate Party Leaders

Of the 662 bills that Durbin cosponsored, 20% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (7th percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (11th percentile); All Senators (16th percentile).

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


 

Wrote the 3rd fewest laws compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

Durbin introduced 1 bill that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 116th 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. 3478: Commission on America’s Medical Security …

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (7th percentile); Senate Democrats (4th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); All Senators (9th 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.


 

Held the 3rd fewest committee positions compared to Senate Party Leaders (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 Party Leaders (14th percentile); Senate Democrats (20th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

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

Durbin’s bills and resolutions had 914 cosponsors in the 116th 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 Party Leaders (93rd percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Ranked the 6th 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 the 116th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Durbin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (86th percentile); Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Introduced the 9th most bills compared to All Senators

Durbin introduced 108 bills and resolutions in the 116th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (86th percentile); Senate Democrats (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (91st percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 14th most bills compared to All Senators

Durbin cosponsored 662 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 (86th percentile); Senate Democrats (70th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (85th percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Durbin introduced 10 bills in the 116th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1328: DETER Act; S. 3339: Restoring Military Priorities Act of …; S. 3478: Commission on America’s Medical Security …; S. 4409: A bill to designate the …; 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 …; S.Res. 579: A resolution encouraging the international …; S.Res. 658: A resolution calling for a …; S.J.Res. 56: A joint resolution providing for …

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (36th percentile); Senate Democrats (52nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); All Senators (48th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

11 of Durbin’s bills and resolutions in the 116th 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. 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. 3478: Commission on America’s Medical Security …; S.Res. 198: A resolution condemning Brunei’s dramatic …; S.Res. 217: A resolution expressing support for …; S.Res. 579: A resolution encouraging the international …; S.Res. 592: A resolution expressing support for …; S.J.Res. 56: A joint resolution providing for …

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (57th percentile); Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (67th percentile); All Senators (71st percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 27 of Durbin’s 108 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Durbin caucused with in the 116th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (56th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (59th percentile); All Senators (64th percentile).

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


 

Missed Votes

Durbin missed 1.7% of votes (12 of 720 votes) in the 116th Congress. View Durbin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Party Leaders (50th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); All Senators (37th percentile).


Additional Notes

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 116th Congress) 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.