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Sen. Tom Cotton’s 2020 Report Card

Junior Senator from Arkansas
Republican
Serving Jan 6, 2015 – Jan 3, 2027


These statistics cover Cotton’s record during the 116th Congress (Jan 3, 2019-Jan 3, 2021) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 30, 2021.

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 Cotton’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 bicameral support on the 2nd most bills compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 30 of Cotton’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. 176: Estate Tax Rate Reduction Act; S. 645: A bill to amend title …; S. 646: Full Military Honors Act of …; S. 952: Cellphone Jamming Reform Act of …; S. 1016: Stephen Hacala Poppy Seed Safety …; S. 1103: Reforming American Immigration for a …; S. 1383: A bill to amend the …; S. 1433: New START Treaty Improvement Act …; S. 1547: Restoring the Armed Career Criminal …; S. 1684: No Leniency for Terrorists Act …; S. 2494: Fallen Heroes Family Travel Act …; S. 3031: Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation …; S. 3153: A bill to prohibit the …; S. 3469: NETWORKS Act; S. 3537: Protecting Our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain …; S. 3600: Li Wenliang Global Public Health …; S. 3641: A bill to designate the …; S. 3661: Danger Pay for U.S. Marshals …; S. 3796: No Bailouts for Illegal Aliens …; S. 3920: SECURE CAMPUS Act of 2020; S. 4056: Restore Integrity of Special Prosecutors …; S. 4292: Saving American History Act of …; S. 4483: Campus Free Speech Restoration Act; S. 4609: China Trade Relations Act of …; S. 4661: A bill to authorize the …; S. 4843: Chinese Communist Party Influence Transparency …; S.Res. 115: A resolution recognizing the REALTORS …; S.Res. 195: A resolution opposing the lifting …; S.Res. 613: A resolution calling for justice …; S.Con.Res. 21: A concurrent resolution strongly condemning …

Compare to all Senate Republicans (94th percentile); All Senators (85th percentile).

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


 

Ranked 6th most politically right compared to All Senators

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 116th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Cotton’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (88th percentile); All Senators (94th percentile).


 

Introduced the 8th most bills compared to Senate Republicans

Cotton introduced 79 bills and resolutions in the 116th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (85th percentile); All Senators (73rd percentile).


 

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

Of the 268 bills that Cotton cosponsored, 18% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (12th percentile); All Senators (8th percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 12th least often compared to Senate Republicans (tied with 4 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Cotton introduced 7 bills in the 116th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 440: Preserving Access to Cost Effective …; S. 3523: Coronavirus Unemployment Insurance Expansion Act; S. 4661: A bill to authorize the …; S.Res. 93: A resolution expressing support for …; S.Res. 331: A resolution instructing the managers …; S.Res. 394: A resolution honoring the members …; S.Res. 497: A resolution commemorating the life …

Compare to all Senate Republicans (21st percentile); All Senators (23rd percentile).


 

Was 26th most present in votes compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)

Cotton missed 1.0% of votes (7 of 720 votes) in the 116th Congress. View Cotton’s Profile »

Compare to all All Senators (25th percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Cotton introduced 2 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 116th 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. 3523: Coronavirus Unemployment Insurance Expansion Act; S. 4661: A bill to authorize the …

Compare to all Senate Republicans (13th percentile); All Senators (14th 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.


 

Powerful Cosponsors

6 of Cotton’s bills and resolutions in the 116th 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. 878: Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019; S. 1547: Restoring the Armed Career Criminal …; S. 3031: Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation …; S. 4965: Public Servant Protection Act of …; S.Res. 497: A resolution commemorating the life …; S.Res. 613: A resolution calling for justice …

Compare to all Senate Republicans (54th percentile); All Senators (48th percentile).


 

Writing Bipartisan Bills

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 24 of Cotton’s 79 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Cotton caucused with in the 116th Congress.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (54th percentile); All Senators (49th percentile).

Cosponsors who caucused with neither the Democratic nor Republican party do not count toward this statistic.


 

Committee Positions

Cotton 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 Cotton’s Profile »

Compare to all Senate Republicans (19th percentile); All Senators (19th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Cotton cosponsored 268 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 Republicans (60th percentile); All Senators (32nd percentile).


 

Cosponsors

Cotton’s bills and resolutions had 287 cosponsors in the 116th 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 Republicans (52nd percentile); All Senators (39th percentile).


 

Leadership Score

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 116th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Cotton’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Senate Republicans (44th percentile); All Senators (33rd percentile).


Additional Notes

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 116th Congress) was the 116th Congress (freshmen) or 115th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.