Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bills Introduced to Congress by Presidential Candidates

The visual above shows the total number of bills submitted to congress by current presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton has submitted the most bills, but only 3 out of 353 passed. Of the five candidates, Clinton also submitted the most bills per year during her congressional career- about 44 per year (353/8). Jon Kasich submitted the least number of bills per year- 68 during his 18 years, or less than four per year. He also had the most success passing his bills.

The legislative record of the democratic candidates is similar to the of Barack Obama- he was successful with two of his 275 bills.

Reading the text of the successful bills is just as embarrassing as the totals. Bernie Sanders has passed three bills, two of which renamed post-offices. His other bill is more serious- it ties increases in veterans benefits to cost of living adjustments for social security. Hillary renamed a post office, named a highway, and changed the designation of the Kate Mullany House in Troy NY from a historic landmark to a historic site.

On the republican side, Ted Cruz's one successful bill prevents people who previously committed terrorism against the United States from entering the country as a members of the United Nations. Marco Rubio's one law is more endearing, but also low impact- it declares it is US policy to encourage other countries to have birth registries, particularly for girls. This policy was advocated for by the United Nations Foundation (don't tell Cruz).

John Kasich has passed by far the most impactful legislation; as chairman of the the house budget he successfully introduced welfare reform in 1996, tax reform in 1997, and the balanced budget act in 1997.

The filters at the bottom can reveal additional information. For example, try searching "terrorism" to see who introduced the most bills on the subject. Or add resolutions to the type filter to see even more attempted legislation. (The default view only includes bills. Resolutions are usually less impactful, and most types are not intended to become law.)

The data above comes from, was extracted with, and visualized with Tableau. Follow me on twitter to see similar posts.


  1. Thanks for this: even your brief text introduction shows that the numbers don't tell the whole story, given the trivial nature of some of these bills. Sanders, at least, appears to have made a difference with that veterans bill you mention.

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