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Sen. Thomas Carper’s 2016 Report Card

Senior Senator from Delaware
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2001 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Carper’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other senators 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 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.

 

Wrote the most laws compared to Senate Democrats

Carper introduced 9 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. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: S. 614: Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act ...; S. 861: PRIME Act of 2015; S. 921: Delaware River Basin Conservation Act ...; S. 1172: Edward “Ted” Kaufman and Michael ...; S. 1362: A bill to amend title ...; S. 1868: Quarterly Financial Reporting Reauthorization Act ...; S. 1869: Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of ...; S. 2133: Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics ...; S. 2509: Federal Property Management Reform Act ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (98th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (95th 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.


 

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 16 bills in the 114th Congress 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: PRIME Act of 2015; S. 921: Delaware River Basin Conservation Act ...; 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: Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of ...; S. 2133: Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics ...; S. 2509: Federal Property Management Reform Act ...; S. 2522: A bill to amend the ...; S. 2816: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of ...; S. 2834: Getting Results through Enhanced Accountability ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (95th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); All Senators (91st percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 2nd fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

Carper cosponsored 179 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 (2nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (17th percentile); All Senators (15th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 3rd most often compared to Serving 10+ Years

GovTrack looked at whether Carper supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Carper 7 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: DISCLOSE Act of 2015; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 579: Inspector General Empowerment Act of ...; S. 1538: Fair Elections Now Act

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).


 

Ranked 7th 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 the 114th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Carper’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (84th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); All Senators (38th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 8th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

11 of Carper’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: 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: Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of ...; S. 2133: Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics ...; S. 2509: Federal Property Management Reform Act ...; S. 2816: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of ...; S. 2834: Getting Results through Enhanced Accountability ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (89th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); All Senators (89th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 10th 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 179 bills that Carper cosponsored, 44% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (80th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); All Senators (90th 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 10th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 7 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. 2816: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of ...; S. 2834: Getting Results through Enhanced Accountability ...; S.Res. 191: A resolution relative to the ...

Compare to all Senate Democrats (20th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (23rd percentile); All Senators (26th percentile).

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


 

Ranked the 11th 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 the 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Carper’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (60th percentile); All Senators (68th percentile).


 

Introduced the 12th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)

Carper introduced 31 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (25th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); All Senators (34th percentile).


 

Missed Votes

Carper missed 2.6% of votes (13 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Carper’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (60th percentile); All Senators (64th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 16 of Carper’s 31 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Democrats (64th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (53rd percentile); All Senators (65th percentile).


 

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 (36th percentile); All Senators (66th percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Carper’s bills and resolutions had 256 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 Senate Democrats (55th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (51st percentile); All Senators (60th 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.