skip to main content

Rep. Sam Farr’s 2016 Report Card

Representative from California's 20th District
Democrat
Served Jan 3, 2013 – Jan 3, 2017


These special statistics cover Farr’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other representatives 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 Farr’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 5th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to California Delegation

Farr’s bills and resolutions had 48 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 California Delegation (8th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); House Democrats (11th percentile); All Representatives (11th percentile).


 

Introduced the 18th fewest bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 11 others)

Farr introduced 4 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all California Delegation (4th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (3rd percentile); House Democrats (4th percentile); All Representatives (4th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 21st fewest bills compared to House Democrats (tied with 21 others)

Farr tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 2 of Farr’s 4 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all California Delegation (15th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (11th percentile); House Democrats (10th percentile); All Representatives (12th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 39th least often compared to House Democrats

Of the 393 bills that Farr cosponsored, 23% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all California Delegation (40th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (54th percentile); House Democrats (20th percentile); All Representatives (60th percentile).

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


 

Got influential cosponsors the 44th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 31 others)

2 of Farr’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.

Those bills were: H.R. 2717: Federal Ocean Acidification Research and ...; H.J.Res. 94: Conferring honorary citizenship of the ...

Compare to all California Delegation (19th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (23rd percentile); House Democrats (24th percentile); All Representatives (27th percentile).


 

Was 60th most absent in votes compared to All Representatives (tied with 4 others)

Farr missed 6.0% of votes (79 of 1,325 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Farr’s Profile »

Compare to all California Delegation (79th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Representatives (85th percentile).

The Speaker of the House is not included in this statistic because according to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, and the delegates from the five island territories and the District of Columbia are also not included because they were not elligible to vote in any roll call votes.


 

Cosponsored the 83rd most bills compared to All Representatives

Farr cosponsored 393 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 California Delegation (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); House Democrats (60th percentile); All Representatives (81st percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Farr held a leadership position on 0 committees and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Farr’s Profile »

Compare to all California Delegation (33rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (21st percentile); House Democrats (39th percentile); All Representatives (39th percentile).


 

Working with the Senate

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 0 of Farr’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate. 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 California Delegation (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Farr 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 California Delegation (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); House Democrats (0th percentile); All Representatives (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.


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Farr introduced 1 bill in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.R. 1838: Clear Creek National Recreation Area ...

Compare to all California Delegation (33rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (30th percentile); House Democrats (43rd percentile); All Representatives (26th percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Farr supported any of 40 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Farr 3 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Farr cosponsored H.R. 430: DISCLOSE 2015 Act; H.R. 20: Government By the People Act ...; H.R. 2173: Redistricting Reform Act of 2015

Compare to all California Delegation (46th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (62nd percentile); House Democrats (36th percentile); All Representatives (67th 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.