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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s 2019 Report Card

Junior Senator from Rhode Island
Democrat
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2025


These year-end statistics cover Whitehouse’s record during the 2019 legislative year (Jan 3, 2019-Dec 31, 2019) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 18, 2020.

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.

 

Got their bills out of committee the 7th least often compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Whitehouse introduced 4 bills in 2019 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 1679: SEA FUEL Act of 2019; S. 2300: Clean Industrial Technology Act of ...; S.Res. 230: A resolution recognizing the significant ...; S.Res. 305: A resolution designating the week ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (14th percentile); Senate Democrats (27th percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Ranked 14th 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 2019 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Whitehouse’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); Senate Democrats (27th percentile); All Senators (13th percentile).


 

Was 18th most absent in votes compared to All Senators

Whitehouse missed 5.6% of votes (24 of 428 votes) in 2019. View Whitehouse’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (76th percentile); All Senators (82nd percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 22nd most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 17 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. 232: Conflicts from Political Fundraising Act ...; S. 403: IMAGINE Act; S. 779: Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act; S. 780: No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing ...; S. 856: Retain Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence ...; S. 933: BLUE GLOBE Act; S. 1033: Consumer Health Options and Insurance ...; S. 1147: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 1296: New England Coastal Protection Act; S. 1411: AMICUS Act; S. 1704: Success in the Middle Act ...; S. 1915: Security from Political Interference in ...; S. 1923: Guaranteed 3 Percent COLA for ...; S. 2300: Clean Industrial Technology Act of ...; S. 2632: Judicial Travel Accountability Act; S. 2926: AMIGOS Act; S.Res. 230: A resolution recognizing the significant ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (69th percentile); Senate Democrats (53rd percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).

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


 

Cosponsored the 24th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 1 other)

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 Serving 10+ Years (74th percentile); Senate Democrats (47th percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 25th least often compared to All Senators

Of the 334 bills that Whitehouse cosponsored, 21% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (29th percentile); Senate Democrats (24th percentile); All Senators (24th percentile).

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


 

Laws Enacted

Whitehouse introduced 1 bill that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2019. 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. 1679: SEA FUEL Act of 2019

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); Senate Democrats (20th percentile); All Senators (20th 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 Introduced

Whitehouse introduced 37 bills and resolutions in 2019. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (52nd percentile); Senate Democrats (40th percentile); All Senators (58th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

6 of Whitehouse’s bills and resolutions in 2019 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. 259: Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act of 2019; S. 1147: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 1482: Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment ...; S. 1679: SEA FUEL Act of 2019; S. 1889: TITLE Act; S. 2300: Clean Industrial Technology Act of ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (62nd percentile); Senate Democrats (56th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 14 of Whitehouse’s 37 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Whitehouse caucused with in 2019.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (36th percentile); Senate Democrats (29th percentile); All Senators (40th percentile).

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


 

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 Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); Senate Democrats (18th percentile); All Senators (20th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Whitehouse’s bills and resolutions had 269 cosponsors in 2019. 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 (50th percentile); Senate Democrats (44th percentile); All Senators (66th 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 2019 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Whitehouse’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (36th percentile); Senate Democrats (44th percentile); All Senators (52nd 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 2019) 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.