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Sen. William Proxmire

Former Senator for Wisconsin

Proxmire was a senator from Wisconsin and was a Democrat. He served from 1957 to 1988.

Photo of Sen. William Proxmire [D-WI, 1957-1988]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Proxmire is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 1988 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 Proxmire sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 26, 1983 to Oct 22, 1988. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Proxmire was the primary sponsor of 36 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 36 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

Proxmire sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (22%) Finance and Financial Sector (19%) Armed Forces and National Security (13%) Environmental Protection (11%) Economics and Public Finance (11%) International Affairs (11%) Health (8%) Foreign Trade and International Finance (6%)

Recent Bills

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

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Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Aug 1957 to Oct 1988, Proxmire missed 16 of 12,127 roll call votes, which is 0.1%. This is better than the median of 5.9% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Oct 1988. 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: