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Rep. Trey Gowdy’s 2016 Report Card

Representative from South Carolina's 4th District
Republican
Served Jan 5, 2011 – Jan 3, 2019


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

 

Introduced the fewest bills compared to South Carolina Delegation

Gowdy introduced 2 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (0th percentile); House Republicans (0th percentile); All Representatives (1st percentile).


 

Got the fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to South Carolina Delegation

Gowdy’s bills and resolutions had 52 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 South Carolina Delegation (0th percentile); House Republicans (13th percentile); All Representatives (13th percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the least often compared to South Carolina Delegation

GovTrack looked at whether Gowdy supported any of 40 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Gowdy 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (0th percentile); House Republicans (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the fewest bills compared to South Carolina Delegation (tied with 1 other)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 0 of Gowdy’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (0th percentile); House Republicans (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).

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


 

Held the 4th most committee positions compared to House Republicans (tied with 4 others)

Gowdy 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. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Gowdy’s Profile »

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (86th percentile); House Republicans (97th percentile); All Representatives (97th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 16th fewest bills compared to House Republicans (tied with 15 others)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 1 of Gowdy’s 2 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (0th percentile); House Republicans (6th percentile); All Representatives (5th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 28th fewest bills compared to All Representatives

Gowdy cosponsored 130 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 South Carolina Delegation (14th percentile); House Republicans (9th percentile); All Representatives (6th percentile).


 

Was 105th most absent in votes compared to All Representatives

Gowdy missed 4.5% of votes (60 of 1,324 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Gowdy’s Profile »

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (71st percentile); All Representatives (76th percentile).

The Speaker of the House is not included in this statistic because according to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, and the delegates from the five island territories and the District of Columbia are also not included because they were not elligible to vote in any roll call votes.


 

Laws Enacted

Gowdy 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 South Carolina Delegation (0th percentile); House Republicans (0th percentile); All Representatives (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.


 

Bills Out of Committee

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Gowdy introduced 1 bill in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.R. 1148: Michael Davis, Jr. in Honor ...

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (43rd percentile); House Republicans (13th percentile); All Representatives (26th percentile).


 

Powerful Cosponsors

2 of Gowdy’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: H.R. 1148: Michael Davis, Jr. in Honor ...; H.R. 6440: Justice for Child Victims Act ...

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (57th percentile); House Republicans (30th percentile); All Representatives (27th percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 130 bills that Gowdy cosponsored, 14% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all South Carolina Delegation (71st percentile); House Republicans (66th percentile); All Representatives (38th percentile).

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


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.