Downing was the representative for Virginia’s 1st congressional district and was a Democrat. He served from 1959 to 1976.
Downing is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the House of Representatives in 1976 positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Downing sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 1973 to Oct 1, 1976. See full analysis methodology.
Downing was the primary sponsor of 6 bills that were enacted:
- H.R. 5405 (94th): A bill to amend the Merchant Marine Act, 1920, in order to permit cargo vessels to carry more than 16 passengers when emergency situations arise.
- H.R. 358 (94th): Interim Fisheries Zone Extension and Management Act
- H.R. 16215 (93rd): A bill to amend the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, to provide more flexibility in the allocation of administrative grants to coastal States, and for other ...
- H.R. 3620 (93rd): Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Act
- H.R. 3797 (93rd): A bill to amend the emergency loan program under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.
- H.R. 2588 (93rd): Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Act
Does 6 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.
We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).
Downing sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:
Public Lands and Natural Resources (19%) Transportation and Public Works (15%) Government Operations and Politics (14%) Social Welfare (12%) Crime and Law Enforcement (12%) Armed Forces and National Security (12%) Private Legislation (9%) Health (8%)
Some of Downing’s most recently sponsored bills include...
- H.Res. 1557 (94th): A resolution to provide funds for the expenses of the investigations and ...
- H.R. 15585 (94th): A bill to permit the construction and operation of facilities other than ...
- H.R. 15233 (94th): A bill for the relief of Roswitha Haller.
- H.R. 15101 (94th): Accredited Law Schools Constituted Depositories
- H.R. 14870 (94th): A bill to establish an office of maritime affairs coordinator in the ...
- H.R. 14595 (94th): A bill to require the Secretary of the Army, acting through the ...
- H.R. 14158 (94th): Consumer Communications Reform Act
From Jan 1959 to Oct 1976, Downing missed 365 of 4,966 roll call votes, which is 7.3%. This is on par with the median of 8.7% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Oct 1976. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
- unitedstates/congress-legislators, a community project gathering congressional information
- United States Congressional Roll Call Voting Records, 1789-1990 by Howard L. Rosenthal and Keith T. Poole.
- Martis’s “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress”, via Keith Poole’s roll call votes data set, for political party affiliation for Members of Congress from 1789 through about year 2000
- GovInfo.gov, for sponsored bills