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Sen. Richard Shelby’s 2015 Report Card

Senior Senator from Alabama
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 1987 – Jan 3, 2023


These special year-end statistics cover Shelby’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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 Shelby’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 the fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Shelby’s bills and resolutions had 10 cosponsors in 2015. 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the fewest bills compared to All Senators

Shelby cosponsored 49 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Introduced the fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Shelby introduced 6 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (4th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (2nd percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the fewest bills compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 1 of Shelby’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. 929: Simplified, Manageable, And Responsible Tax ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (1st percentile).

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


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 4th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years

Of the 49 bills that Shelby cosponsored, 14% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (8th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (6th percentile); Senate Republicans (13th percentile); All Senators (7th percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 14th least often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 5 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Shelby introduced 2 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 792: Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act ...; S. 1484: Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (30th percentile); Senate Republicans (24th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Shelby supported any of 19 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Shelby 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Shelby introduced 0 bills that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).

A bill or joint resolution is considered enacted if it or an exactly identical bill to it is enacted as law. We only consider bills that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.


 

Powerful Cosponsors

0 of Shelby’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Shelby missed 2.1% of votes (7 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Shelby’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (63rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Shelby held a leadership position on 1 committee and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Shelby’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (72nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (66th 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 2015) 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.