skip to main content

Sen. Timothy Kaine’s 2016 Report Card

Junior Senator from Virginia
Democrat
Serving Jan 3, 2013 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Kaine’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 Kaine’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 influential cosponsors the least often compared to Senate Sophomores

0 of Kaine’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.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (0th percentile).


 

Ranked the 2nd bottom follower 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 Kaine’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (2nd percentile); All Senators (10th percentile).


 

Was 3rd most absent in votes compared to Senate Sophomores

Kaine missed 3.2% of votes (16 of 502 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Kaine’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (81st percentile); All Senators (75th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 3rd most often compared to Senate Sophomores

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 221 bills that Kaine cosponsored, 35% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (80th percentile); Senate Democrats (59th percentile); All Senators (77th percentile).

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


 

Got the 4th fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Democrats

Kaine’s bills and resolutions had 80 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 Sophomores (19th percentile); Senate Democrats (7th percentile); All Senators (14th percentile).


 

Introduced the 5th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

Kaine introduced 21 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (13th percentile); Senate Democrats (9th percentile); All Senators (18th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 5th least oftenn compared to Senate Sophomores

GovTrack looked at whether Kaine supported any of 22 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Kaine 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Kaine cosponsored S. 229: DISCLOSE Act of 2015; S. 366: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (25th percentile); Senate Democrats (11th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 7th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats

Kaine cosponsored 221 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 Sophomores (31st percentile); Senate Democrats (14th percentile); All Senators (35th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 12th 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. 8 of Kaine’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. 355: Teach Safe Relationships Act of ...; S. 465: Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes ...; S. 1329: A bill to remove the ...; S. 1587: Authority for the Use of ...; S. 1609: Middle School STEP Act; S. 2548: 400 Years of African-American History ...; S.Res. 239: A resolution commemorating the 75th ...; S.Con.Res. 37: A concurrent resolution recognizing the ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (31st percentile); Senate Democrats (25th percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).

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


 

Committee Positions

Kaine 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 Kaine’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (38th percentile); Senate Democrats (18th percentile); All Senators (21st percentile).


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Kaine introduced 3 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 465: Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes ...; S. 2256: Co-Prescribing Saves Lives Act of ...; S. 2548: 400 Years of African-American History ...

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (44th percentile); Senate Democrats (48th percentile); All Senators (31st percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Kaine introduced 0 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.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (0th percentile); Senate Democrats (0th percentile); All Senators (0th 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.


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

Kaine tends to gather cosponsors only on one side of the aisle. 10 of Kaine’s 21 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Sophomores (38th percentile); Senate Democrats (34th percentile); All Senators (38th 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.