Professors Conduct Study to Determine 'Least Effective' Member of Congress

Posted: Oct 05, 2017 4:00 PM

The "do nothing" Congress now has a face. A group of professors at the Center for Effective Lawmaking conducted a study to determine which senator has had the least impact on Capitol Hill. The lucky winner? Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from Indiana.

The professors, from the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, teamed up to determine the Legislative Effectiveness Scores for each member of the Senate during the 114th Congress.

The center, which has calculated effectiveness scores for each lawmaker stretching back to 1973 and earned bipartisan praise for its research, scores members based on 15 "indicators of effectiveness" such as the number of bills that were sponsored and how far those bills progressed toward becoming law. Bills are weighted based on importance, with "commemorative" bills counting least and "significant" bills counting most. Effectiveness scores are then adjusted based on factors that impact effectiveness, such as seniority of the member and whether he or she is in the majority.

Funneling through the data, the researchers discovered that Donnelly introduced the least amount of legislation than any other Democrat. Worse, none of his bills advanced through committee.

Donnelly had about the same influence in the 113th Congress, the Free Beacon notes, coming in 55 out of 57 Democrats in terms of effectiveness.

The senator, who hails from a pro-Trump state, was also recently called out for his hypocrisy on condemning the outsourcing of jobs, while he was benefiting from a family business that relies on Mexican labor.

With that track record, it's no wonder his vulnerable seat may be up for grabs.

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