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Sen. Richard Shelby’s 2020 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Shelby’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.

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 Serving 10+ Years

Shelby introduced 8 bills and resolutions in the 116th Congress. View Bills »

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the least often compared to Serving 10+ Years

0 of Shelby’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.

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


 

Got bicameral support on the fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

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.Res. 456: A resolution recognizing and celebrating …

Compare to all 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.


 

Cosponsored the fewest bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Shelby cosponsored 43 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 Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (1st percentile).


 

Got the fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Shelby’s bills and resolutions had 2 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 Republicans (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (1st percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 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. 2 of Shelby’s 8 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Shelby caucused with in the 116th Congress.

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

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 3rd least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 2 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Shelby introduced 4 bills in the 116th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1900: Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian …; S. 2474: Department of Defense Appropriations Act, …; S.Res. 456: A resolution recognizing and celebrating …; S.Con.Res. 4: A concurrent resolution providing for …

Compare to all Senate Republicans (8th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); All Senators (7th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 11th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years

Of the 43 bills that Shelby cosponsored, 21% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (21st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (19th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).

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


 

Was 12th most present in votes compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 2 others)

Shelby missed 0.8% of votes (6 of 720 votes) in the 116th Congress. View Shelby’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); All Senators (22nd percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Shelby introduced 2 bills 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. 1900: Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian …; S. 2474: Department of Defense Appropriations Act, …

Compare to all Senate Republicans (13th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); All Senators (14th 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 Senate Republicans (67th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (64th 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.