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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s 2014 Report Card

Junior Senator from Rhode Island
Democrat
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Whitehouse’s record during the 113th Congress (Jan 3, 2013-Jan 2, 2015) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 12, 2015. Although Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA1], Rep. Thomas Massie [R-KY4], Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10], and Sen. Brian Schatz [D-HI] served in the 112th Congress, they took office within the last two months of the 112th Congress and here are grouped with other freshmen for the 113th Congress.

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 Whitehouse’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.

 

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

Of the 334 bills that Whitehouse cosponsored, 14% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

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

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


 

Ranked 2nd most liberal compared to Serving 10+ Years

Our unique ideology analysis assigns a score to Members of Congress according to their legislative behavior by how similar the pattern of bills and resolutions they cosponsor are to other Members of Congress.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 113th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Whitehouse’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (6th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (2nd percentile); All Senators (3rd percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 4th most bills compared to Serving 10+ Years

Whitehouse cosponsored 334 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 Democrats (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (90th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 8th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 8 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Whitehouse supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Whitehouse 3 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Whitehouse cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 994: DATA Act; S. 1467: FISA Court Reform Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (74th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); All Senators (84th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 9th least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 6 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Whitehouse introduced 2 bills in the 113th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1675: Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety ...; S. 2042: Clean Estuaries Act of 2014

Compare to all Senate Democrats (15th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (22nd percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Whitehouse introduced 1 bill that became law in the 113th 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. 3008: Foreclosure Relief and Extension for ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (32nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (24th percentile); All Senators (32nd 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.


 

Committee Positions

Whitehouse held a leadership position on 0 committees and 2 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. View Whitehouse’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (25th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (6th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Leadership Score

Our unique leadership analysis looks at who is cosponsoring whose bills. A higher score shows a greater ability to get cosponsors on bills.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 113th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Whitehouse’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (49th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (56th percentile); All Senators (65th percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 9 of Whitehouse’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. 321: Paying a Fair Share Act ...; S. 561: Offshoring Prevention Act; S. 708: Success in the Middle Act ...; S. 780: PARTS Act; S. 1202: SAFE Act; S. 1710: Pets on Trains Act of ...; S. 1746: Federal Employees Responsible Investment Act; S. 2090: Responsible Electronics Recycling Act; S. 2471: Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (52nd percentile).

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


 

Missed Votes

Whitehouse missed 1.2% of votes (8 of 657 votes) in the 113th Congress. View Whitehouse’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).


 

Bills Introduced

Whitehouse introduced 37 bills and resolutions in the 113th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (38th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (50th percentile); All Senators (57th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Whitehouse tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 32% of Whitehouse’s 37 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 113th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (51st percentile); Senate Democrats (43rd percentile); All Senators (53rd percentile).

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


 

Cosponsors

Whitehouse’s bills and resolutions had 233 cosponsors in the 113th 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 Democrats (47th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (44th percentile); All Senators (56th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

6 of Whitehouse’s bills and resolutions in the 113th 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: S. 646: National Endowment for the Oceans ...; S. 2042: Clean Estuaries Act of 2014; S. 2516: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 2839: Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act ...; S. 2999: Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention ...; S.Res. 546: A resolution congratulating Indonesia’s President-elect ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (57th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (61st percentile); All Senators (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 113th Congress) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.