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Sen. William Cohen

Former Senator for Maine

Cohen was a senator from Maine and was a Republican. He served from 1979 to 1996.

He was previously the representative for Maine’s 2nd congressional district as a Republican from 1973 to 1978.

Photo of Sen. William Cohen [R-ME, 1979-1996]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Cohen is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 1996 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 Cohen sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 4, 1991 to Oct 3, 1996. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Cohen was the primary sponsor of 15 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 15 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).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Cohen sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (19%) Health (14%) Finance and Financial Sector (13%) Crime and Law Enforcement (13%) Commerce (11%) Social Welfare (10%) Law (10%) Economics and Public Finance (9%)

Recent Bills

Some of Cohen’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Feb 1979 to Oct 1996, Cohen missed 269 of 7,052 roll call votes, which is 3.8%. This is on par with the median of 2.6% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Oct 1996. 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.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: