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Sen. Richard Shelby’s 2017 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 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 6, 2018.

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.

 

Held the most committee positions compared to All Senators

Shelby held a leadership position on 3 committees and 1 subcommittee, 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 Shelby’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); Senate Republicans (98th percentile); All Senators (99th percentile).


 

Got the fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Shelby’s bills and resolutions had 2 cosponsors in 2017. 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 (tied with 1 other)

Shelby cosponsored 35 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 influential cosponsors the least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

0 of Shelby’s bills and resolutions in 2017 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).


 

Got bicameral support on the fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 0 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.

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.


 

Introduced the 2nd fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

Shelby introduced 6 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); Senate Republicans (6th percentile); All Senators (4th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 9th least often compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

Of the 35 bills that Shelby cosponsored, 14% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (8th percentile); Senate Republicans (15th percentile); All Senators (8th 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 4 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Shelby introduced 4 bills in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1662: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related ...; S.Res. 62: An original resolution authorizing expenditures ...; S.Res. 97: A resolution authorizing the printing ...; S.Res. 101: A resolution providing for members ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (27th percentile); Senate Republicans (25th percentile); All Senators (39th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Shelby supported any of 8 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).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 0 of Shelby’s 6 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

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


 

Missed Votes

Shelby missed 0.9% of votes (3 of 325 votes) in 2017. View Shelby’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (44th percentile); All Senators (47th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Shelby introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2017. 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.


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 2017) 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.