CongressfeatureDo you want to get a bill passed? You may want to collaborate with people like Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Mike Braun (R-IN). Data collected by Leadership Connect show the members of Congress who get the most done are not those who vocalize most on mainstream or social media.

While the 117th Congress may be characterized by razor-thin margins and party infighting, lawmakers from both the House of Representatives and the Senate are still at work bringing bills to the floor and supporting key parts of President Joe Biden‘s agenda. This study aims to identify the members of Congress who are most active in sponsoring, advancing, and in some cases, passing legislation.  

In order to investigate this question, Leadership Connect (LC) generated data on all the bills that have been introduced by the House and Senate since the 117th Congress took office on Jan. 3. From this data, LC first ranks the “most active” members of each chamber, or the individuals who have sponsored the most bills. Second, LC provides a list of the few bills that have become law and matches them to the member responsible for introducing the legislation. These members are referred to as the “most effective.”

For the Senate, LC surveyed the top 10 most active members. Due to the larger size of the House, LC surveyed the top five most active members of five different caucuses. These five are: the House Democratic and Republican caucuses, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, and the Blue Dog Coalition. Since the 117th House of Representatives is narrowly controlled by Democrats, this study includes these three caucuses as they comprise the varying ideological factions within the large governing party.  

Here are some key findings that are expanded upon within this study: 

  • In the SenateMarco Rubio (R-FL)Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Ed Markey (D-MA) are the most active, in that order. Klobuchar and Markey each sponsored one bill that became law, while two of Rubio’s have only passed the Senate.  
  • The most effective Senators, or those who have sponsored the most bills that were signed into law, were Peters and Braun. 
  • In the House Democratic caucus, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC, At Large) is the most active member; two of her bills have passed the house, while none became law. Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY, 10), John Yarmuth (D-KY, 3), Peter Anthony DeFazio (D-OR, 4), and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT, 3) are the most effective members.  
  • In the House Republican caucus, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ, 5) is the most active, but only Republican Representatives Don Young (R-AK, At Large), Trent Kelly (R-MS, 1), James Comer (R-KY, 1), and Robert Latta (R-OH, 5) have each sponsored a bill that became law.  

In addition, here are some general conclusions this data can provide about the key players in the 117th Congress:  

  • While the overall number of bills that become law or even advance to another chamber is very low, there is no significant overlap between most active members of congress — those who sponsor the most bills total- and the most effective members — and those who sponsor bills that eventually get passed.  
  • In both the House and the Senate, the most active and effective members tend to be individuals with a lower media profile.  
  • Overall, the most effective Senators are slightly less partisan than the most active Senators. This is potentially due to the 60-vote threshold for passing most legislation in the Senate. 
  • In the House, there was no strong correlation between partisanship and effectiveness of members.  
  • None of top five most active members of each of the five caucuses studied have sponsored a bill that became law, with the one exception of Young of Alaska 
  • The key policy areas that the bills that became law addressed varied, but health, veterans’ affairs, and education were the most common.  

Below are various tables that sort the data compiled from the Leadership Connect product and provide a more detailed account of the findings above. 

SENATE:   

SPONSOR # Of bills introduced  Agreed to Resolution Senate Floor Actions House Consideration Bills that Became Law 
Marco Rubio (R-FL) 110 6 2 2  
Amy Jean Klobuchar (DFL-MN) 94 8 1  1 
Edward J. “Ed” Markey (D-MA) 93    1 
Michael S. “Mike” Lee (R-UT) 92   1  
Robert “Bob” Menendez (D-NJ) 72 9 3 2  
Richard J. “Dick” Durbin (D-IL) 68 3 4   
Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) 71   1  
Robert P. “Bob” Casey Jr. (D-PA) 64 4 3 1  
Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) 65 2    
Michael K. “Mike” Braun (R-IN) 43 7 7 2 2 

 

BILLS INTRODUCED IN THE SENATE THAT BECAME LAW 

BILL NAME SPONSOR KEY POLICY AREA 
Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Health 
Consider Teachers Act of 2021 Michael K. “Mike” Braun (R-IN) Education 
HAVANA Act of 2021 Susan Margaret Collins (R-ME) Government Operations 
Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2021 John R. Thune (R-SD) Veterans Affairs 
K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021 Lt Cdr Gary C. Peters (D-MI) Education 
Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act of 2021 Lt Cdr Gary C. Peters (D-MI) Economics 
A bill to amend the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act to extend the deadline for a report by the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, and for other purposes. Lisa A. Murkowski (R-AK) Native Americans 
Major Medical Facility Authorization Act of 2021 Jon Tester (D-MT) Veterans Affairs 
DUMP Opioids Act John Neely Kennedy (R-LA) Veterans Affairs 
A bill to amend title 28, United States Code, to redefine the eastern and middle judicial districts of North Carolina. Thom Roland Tillis (R-NC) Law 
A bill to provide for the availability of amounts for customer education initiatives and non-awards expenses of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program, and for other purposes. Charles E. “Chuck” Grassley (R-IA) Finance 
Juneteenth National Independence Day Act Edward J. “Ed” Markey (D-MA) Arts & Culture 
COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) Law Enforcement & Public Safety 
Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act of 2021 Margaret Wood “Maggie” Hassan (D-NH) Health 
A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the scope of new chemical exclusivity. Dr. William “Bill” Cassidy (R-LA) Health 
Senate Shared Employee Act Amy Jean Klobuchar (DFL-MN) Congressional 
FASTER Act of 2021 Timothy Eugene “Tim” Scott (R-SC) Health 
A bill to make a technical correction to the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019. Michael K. “Mike” Braun (R-IN) Social Services 

 

HOUSE DEMOCRATS: 

Sponsor # Of bills introduced Agreed to Resolution House Floor Actions Senate Consideration Became Law 
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) 61  2 2  
Joseph D. “Joe” Neguse (D-CO, 2) 48 1 2 2  
Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY, 12) 49   4  
Julia Brownley (D-CA, 26) 48   2  
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX, 18) 45 1  3  

 

HOUSE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS:  

Sponsor # Of bills introduced Agreed to Resolution House Floor Actions Senate Consideration Became Law 
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) 59  2 2  
Joseph D. “Joe” Neguse (D-CO, 2) 47 1 2 2  
Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY, 12) 46  1 2  
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX, 18) 45 1  2  
Stephen Ira “Steve” Cohen (D-TN, 9) 46     

 BIPARTISAN HOUSE PROBLEM SOLVER’S CAUCUS  

Sponsor # Of bills introduced Agreed to Resolution House Floor Actions Senate Consideration Became Law 
Deborah Insley “Debbie” Dingell (D-MI, 12) 33 2  1  
Michael John “Mike” Gallagher (R-WI, 8) 36     
Jenniffer Aydin González-Colón (NPP-PR) 34   1  
Bradley Scott “Brad” Schneider (D-IL, 10) 31  1   
James “Jimmy” Panetta (D-CA, 20) 30  1   

 

HOUSE BLUE DOG COALITION 

Sponsor # of Bills introduced House Floor Actions Senate Consideration Became Law 
Bradley Scott “Brad” Schneider (D-IL, 10) 31 1   
Michael C. “Mike” Thompson (D-CA, 5) 27 1 3  
Abigail A. Spanberger (D-VA, 7) 25  1  
Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ, 11) 21  1  
David Albert Scott (D-GA, 13) 13  1  

 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS  

Sponsor # Of bills introduced House Floor Actions Agreed to Resolution Senate Consideration Became Law 
Andy Biggs (R-AZ, 5) 48     
Donald Edwin “Don” Young (R-AK) 44 1   1 
William Gregory “Greg” Steube (R-FL, 17) 38   1  
Michael John “Mike” Gallagher (R-WI, 8) 36     
Scott Perry (R-PA, 10) 35     

 

BILLS SPONSORED IN THE HOUSE THAT BECAME LAW  

Bill Name Sponsor Key Policy Area 
To provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces. Adam Smith (D-WA, 9) Defense 
To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 500 West Main Street, Suite 102 in Tupelo, Mississippi, as the “Colonel Carlyle ‘Smitty’ Harris Post Office”. BG J. Trent Kelly (R-MS, 1) Government Operations 
PPP Extension Act of 2021 Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA, 7) Business & Commerce 
Extending Temporary Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act Christopher C. “Chris” Pappas (D-NH, 1) Law Enforcement & Public Safety 
Sgt. Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental Health Act of 2021 Cindy Axne (D-IA, 3) Veterans Affairs 
West Los Angeles VA Campus Improvement Act of 2021 Col Ted W. Lieu (D-CA, 33) Veterans Affairs 
To designate the National Pulse Memorial located at 1912 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida, 32806, and for other purposes. Darren Michael Soto (D-FL, 9) Arts & Culture 
To amend the Fentanyl Sanctions Act, to modify certain deadlines relating to the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking. David J. Trone (D-MD, 6) Health 
To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 229 Minnetonka Avenue South in Wayzata, Minnesota, as the “Jim Ramstad Post Office”. Dean Benson Phillips (DFL-MN, 3) Government Operations 
Alaska Tourism Restoration Act Donald Edwin “Don” Young (R-AK) Transportation 
TRANSPLANT Act of 2021 Doris O. Matsui (D-CA, 6) Health 
Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2021 Frank John Mrvan (D-IN, 1) Veterans Affairs 
To designate the September 11th National Memorial Trail Route, and for other purposes. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly (D-VA, 11) Natural Resources 
Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act of 2021 James R. Comer (R-KY, 1) Government Operations 
VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 Jerrold Lewis “Jerry” Nadler (D-NY, 10) Law Enforcement & Public Safety 
COVID-19 Bankruptcy Relief Extension Act of 2021 Jerrold Lewis “Jerry” Nadler (D-NY, 10) Law 
To prevent across-the-board direct spending cuts, and for other purposes. John A. Yarmuth (D-KY, 3) Health 
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 John A. Yarmuth (D-KY, 3) Economics 
SAVE LIVES Act Mark Takano (D-CA, 41) Veterans Affairs 
THRIVE Act Mike Levin (D-CA, 49) Veterans Affairs 
To award four congressional gold medals to the United States Capitol Police and those who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Nancy Patricia (D’Alesandro) Pelosi (D-CA, 12) Government Operations 
Further Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2021 Peter Anthony DeFazio (D-OR, 4) Transportation 
Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2021 Peter Anthony DeFazio (D-OR, 4) Transportation 
Emergency Repatriation Assistance for Returning Americans Act Richard E. Neal (D-MA, 1) Economics 
DEBAR Act of 2021 Robert E. “Bob” Latta (R-OH, 5) Law Enforcement & Public Safety 
Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act Rosa Luisa DeLauro (D-CT, 3) Economics 
Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 Rosa Luisa DeLauro (D-CT, 3) Congressional 
Harlem Hellfighters Congressional Gold Medal Act Thomas R. “Tom” Suozzi (D-NY, 3) Veterans Affairs 
To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1101 Charlotte Street in Georgetown, South Carolina, as the “Joseph Hayne Rainey Memorial Post Office Building”. Tom Rice (R-SC, 7) Government Operations 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Idelson

Simon Idelson

Associate Research Analyst