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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s 2015 Report Card

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


These special year-end statistics cover Whitehouse’s record during the 2015 legislative year (Jan 6, 2015-Dec 31, 2015) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 9, 2016.

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 4th least often compared to Senate Democrats

Of the 240 bills that Whitehouse cosponsored, 23% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (7th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (42nd percentile); All Senators (42nd percentile).

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


 

Ranked 5th most liberal compared to All Senators

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 2015 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Whitehouse’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

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


 

Ranked the 12th bottom follower compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 2015 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Whitehouse’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (36th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (20th percentile); All Senators (33rd percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 12th lowest % of bills compared to Senate Democrats

Whitehouse tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 22% of Whitehouse’s 23 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (25th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); All Senators (29th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 14th most bills compared to All Senators

Whitehouse cosponsored 240 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 (70th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 13th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 7 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Whitehouse supported any of 19 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Whitehouse 4 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Whitehouse sponsored S. 229: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...

Whitehouse cosponsored S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Compare to all Senate Democrats (70th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (80th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 26th least often compared to All Senators (tied with 22 others)

2 of Whitehouse’s bills and resolutions in 2015 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. 229: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 2357: Foreclosure Relief and Extension for ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (30th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (25th percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Whitehouse introduced 2 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1523: A bill to amend the ...; S.Res. 189: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (64th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (43rd percentile).


 

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 (18th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 11 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. 161: Paying a Fair Share Act ...; S. 174: Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act; S. 245: Automatic IRA Act of 2015; S. 524: Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act ...; S. 580: Community Partnerships in Education Act; S. 581: Success in the Middle Act ...; S. 1087: Pets on Trains Act of ...; S. 1144: Federal Employees Sustainable Investment Act; S. 2073: A bill to designate the ...; S. 2357: Foreclosure Relief and Extension for ...; S. 2393: Foreclosure Relief and Extension for ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (66th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (65th percentile); All Senators (73rd percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Whitehouse introduced 0 bills that became law in 2015. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

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


 

Bills Introduced

Whitehouse introduced 23 bills and resolutions in 2015. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (27th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); All Senators (35th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Whitehouse’s bills and resolutions had 139 cosponsors in 2015. 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 (36th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); All Senators (45th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Whitehouse missed 0.0% of votes (0 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Whitehouse’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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 2015) 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.