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Sen. Thomas “Tom” Harkin’s 2013 Report Card

Junior Senator from Iowa
Democrat
Served Jan 3, 1985 – Jan 3, 2015


These special year-end statistics cover Harkin’s record during the 2013 legislative year (Jan 3, 2013-Dec 26, 2013) and compare him to other senators serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Dec 1, 2014. On Dec. 1, 2014, the statistics were updated to remove Sen. Schatz from the list of Senate sophomores. Schatz only served for several days in the preceding Congress.

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 Harkin’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 least often compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs

Of the 147 bills that Harkin cosponsored, 12% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (12th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (4th percentile); All Senators (6th percentile).

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


 

Got the 3rd most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Harkin’s bills and resolutions had 384 cosponsors in 2013. 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 (95th percentile); Senate Democrats (94th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); All Senators (97th percentile).


 

Ranked the 4th top leader compared to All Senators

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 2013 is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Harkin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (95th percentile); Senate Democrats (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); All Senators (96th percentile).


 

Ranked 4th most liberal compared to Serving 10+ Years

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 2013 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Harkin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (5th percentile); Senate Democrats (15th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (5th percentile); All Senators (9th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 6th most often compared to Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (tied with 2 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Harkin supported any of 8 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Harkin 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Harkin cosponsored S. 375: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1467: FISA Court Reform Act of ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (80th percentile); Senate Democrats (58th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (77th percentile); All Senators (74th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 7th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Harkin introduced 8 bills in 2013 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 622: Animal Drug and Animal Generic ...; S. 689: Mental Health Awareness and Improvement ...; S. 959: Pharmaceutical Quality, Security, and Accountability ...; S. 1094: Strengthening America’s Schools Act of ...; S. 1284: Departments of Labor, Health and ...; S. 1302: Cooperative and Small Employer Charity ...; S. 1561: CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013; S. 1737: Minimum Wage Fairness Act

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (80th percentile); Senate Democrats (87th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (86th percentile); All Senators (90th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 9th most bills compared to All Senators (tied with 2 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 12 of Harkin’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. 168: Fair Pay Act of 2013; S. 410: Wall Street Trading and Speculators ...; S. 460: Fair Minimum Wage Act of ...; S. 475: Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act; S. 531: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans ...; S. 544: Rebuild American Manufacturing Act of ...; S. 567: Strengthening Social Security Act of ...; S. 631: Healthy Families Act; S. 1033: FIT Kids Act; S. 1391: A bill to amend the ...; S. 1534: Freedom and Mobility in Consumer ...; S.Res. 128: A resolution expressing the sense ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (88th percentile); Senate Democrats (85th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (86th percentile); All Senators (89th percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 11th lowest % of bills compared to Senate Democrats

Harkin tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 23% of Harkin’s 40 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2013.

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (33rd percentile); Senate Democrats (23rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); All Senators (33rd percentile).

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


 

Introduced the 14th most bills compared to All Senators

Harkin introduced 40 bills and resolutions in 2013. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (78th percentile); Senate Democrats (77th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (79th percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 16th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 9 others)

4 of Harkin’s bills and resolutions in 2013 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. 309: A bill to award a ...; S. 689: Mental Health Awareness and Improvement ...; S. 959: Pharmaceutical Quality, Security, and Accountability ...; S. 1561: CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (71st percentile); Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (68th percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Harkin introduced 1 bill that became law in 2013. 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. 622: Animal Drug and Animal Generic ...

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (73rd percentile); Senate Democrats (85th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (75th percentile); All Senators (86th percentile).

We only count enacted bills (and joint resolutions) that the legislator was the primary sponsor of. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, such as through companion bills or incorporation into larger bills, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively.


 

Missed Votes

Harkin missed 2.4% of votes (7 of 291 votes) in 2013. View Harkin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Cmte. Chairs/RkMembs (54th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (57th percentile); All Senators (61st percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Harkin cosponsored 147 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 (61st percentile); Senate Democrats (60th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); All Senators (63rd percentile).


 

Committee Positions

Harkin 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 Harkin’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Democrats (62nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (38th percentile); All Senators (64th 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 2013) was the 113th Congress (freshmen) or 112th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.