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Sen. Thomas Carper’s 2015 Report Card

Senior Senator from Delaware
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2001 – Jan 3, 2025


These year-end statistics cover Carper’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 Carper’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 2nd most often compared to Senate Democrats

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Carper introduced 11 bills in 2015 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 558: Presidential Library Donation Reform Act ...; S. 614: Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act ...; S. 861: Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare ...; S. 1073: Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased ...; S. 1172: Edward “Ted” Kaufman and Michael ...; S. 1350: Surface Transportation Extension Act of ...; S. 1362: A bill to amend title ...; S. 1616: Saving Federal Dollars Through Better ...; S. 1868: Quarterly Financial Reporting Reauthorization Act ...; S. 1869: A bill to improve Federal ...; S. 2133: Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (80th percentile); Senate Democrats (95th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 2nd fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

Carper cosponsored 96 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (5th percentile); Senate Democrats (2nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (7th percentile); All Senators (6th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 3rd most often compared to Senate Democrats

8 of Carper’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. 558: Presidential Library Donation Reform Act ...; S. 614: Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act ...; S. 1073: Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased ...; S. 1172: Edward “Ted” Kaufman and Michael ...; S. 1616: Saving Federal Dollars Through Better ...; S. 1664: Military and Veterans Education Protection ...; S. 1869: A bill to improve Federal ...; S. 2133: Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (88th percentile); Senate Democrats (93rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (90th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 4th highest % of bills compared to Senate Democrats

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 48% of Carper’s 23 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2015.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (86th percentile); Senate Democrats (91st percentile); Serving 10+ Years (88th percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 6th most conservative compared to Senate Democrats

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 Carper’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (43rd percentile); Senate Democrats (86th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (48th percentile); All Senators (40th percentile).


 

Ranked the 7th top leader compared to Senate Democrats

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 Carper’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (68th percentile); Senate Democrats (84th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); All Senators (78th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 9th most often compared to All Senators

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 96 bills that Carper cosponsored, 45% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (90th percentile); Senate Democrats (82nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); All Senators (91st percentile).

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


 

Got bicameral support on the 9th fewest bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 5 of Carper’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. 921: Delaware River Basin Conservation Act ...; S. 1509: Treat and Reduce Obesity Act ...; S. 1664: Military and Veterans Education Protection ...; S. 1688: New Columbia Admission Act; S.Res. 191: A resolution relative to the ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (20th percentile); Senate Democrats (25th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).

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


 

Supported government transparency the 8th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Carper supported any of 19 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Carper 5 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Carper sponsored S. 558: Presidential Library Donation Reform Act ...

Carper cosponsored S. 229: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting ...; S. 579: Inspector General Empowerment Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (85th percentile); Senate Democrats (84th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); All Senators (88th percentile).


 

Got the 10th most cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Democrats

Carper’s bills and resolutions had 227 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 Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (58th percentile); Senate Democrats (77th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (65th percentile); All Senators (74th percentile).


 

Introduced the 10th fewest bills compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

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

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (23rd percentile); Senate Democrats (27th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); All Senators (35th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Carper introduced 2 bills that became law in 2015. 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. 614: Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act ...; S. 1362: A bill to amend title ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (73rd percentile); Senate Democrats (82nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); All Senators (83rd 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

Carper 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 Carper’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (59th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Carper missed 1.2% of votes (4 of 339 votes) in 2015. View Carper’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (45th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (46th percentile); All Senators (50th 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.