Senate rules promote compromise and contemplative action, meaning bills are usually fully supported by the time they reach the Senate floor for a vote. To dig deeper into the true actions of Senators on conservation issues, we are now bringing you votes from Senate committee meetings. We have also added extra points to Senators’ scores for introducing conservation-friendly bills, with a penalty for those Senators introducing bills against conservation.
Read more about how we score the Senate
The Senate prides itself on its ability to compromise and in fact Senate rules prevent most contested bills from reaching the floor. Since floor votes provide an incomplete picture, we applied a 90% scale to floor votes and provided a way for Senators to earn an additional 10% through committee votes and bill sponsorship. Almost all the bills monitored by the conservation community were either in Agriculture & Natural Resources, Medical Affairs or Judiciary Committee. We scored votes in these committees on bills prioritized by the Common Agenda, and since Committee meetings often conflict, we allowed one missed vote to be excused. The 41 Senators serving on these Committees therefore received an adjusted up or down percentage “bump” based on a sliding scale. We plan to refine this process in the future.
Committee Vote Scale:
0-25% = -5%
26-50% = -3%
51-75% = +3%
76-100% = +5%
See below for more information about each committee, and how each committee voted on conservation issues.