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Sen. Richard Shelby’s 2016 Report Card

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


These special statistics cover Shelby’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

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.

 

Introduced the fewest bills compared to All Senators

Shelby introduced 8 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

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


 

Got the fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Shelby’s bills and resolutions had 11 cosponsors in the 114th 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 (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the fewest bills compared to All Senators

Shelby cosponsored 74 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 (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the fewest bills compared to All Senators (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: SMART Act

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

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 2nd 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. 1 of Shelby’s 8 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); All Senators (1st percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 3rd least often compared to Serving 10+ Years

Of the 74 bills that Shelby cosponsored, 14% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); Senate Republicans (9th percentile); All Senators (5th 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 9th least often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 6 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Shelby introduced 3 bills in the 114th Congress 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 ...; S. 2837: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); Senate Republicans (15th percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).


 

Was 19th most absent in votes compared to All Senators

Shelby missed 4.0% of votes (20 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Shelby’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); All Senators (81st percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Shelby supported any of 22 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 Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); Senate Republicans (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

0 of Shelby’s bills and resolutions in the 114th 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.

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


 

Laws Enacted

Shelby introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th Congress. 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 Republicans (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.


 

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 Serving 10+ Years (36th percentile); Senate Republicans (72nd 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 the 114th Congress) 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.