Sanders’s vs Clinton’s Senate Records

All links below are to search results on congress.gov.

Bernie Sanders sponsored or co-sponsored 6,251 pieces of legislation during his time in Congress (Senate: 2007-present, or nine years; House: 1991-2006, or 15 years). Of these, he was the primary author of, or sponsored, 781 bills. Three of the bills he sponsored became law (two having to do with post offices and one with veterans’ cost of living adjustments). If we include his contributions as a co-sponsor of legislation (5,470), 207 of his bills have become law.

Hillary Clinton sponsored 713 pieces of legislation during her time in the Senate (2001-2009, or eight years), and co-sponsored* 2,677 pieces of legislation, of which 74 became law. Of the three on which she was the primary author, three became law (two having to do with post offices and one with naming a highway).

Quite a bit is unobjectionable on both sides, so I think we need to  understand that when people say that Sanders and Clinton have voted the same way 93% of the time, that number includes a lot of votes on roads and post-offices that no one on either side of the aisle would object to. They’re politically neutral and don’t mean much in terms of choosing between the candidates.

Sanders has 24 years experience as a member of Congress while Clinton has eight years experience, so I think there’s no question about who is more experienced in elected office. Clinton also has four years experience (2009-2013) as President Obama’s Secretary of State, which brings her total experience in Washington to 12 years, exactly half of Sanders’s time.

More importantly, I think you will find more legislation on Sanders’s side that is aggressively on the side of campaign finance reform, and I think there’s no question that Sanders has been able to get more done (over 200 of his sponsored or co-sponsored bills have become law) because he has been much more effective at working with his fellow Congresspersons through his extensive activity co-sponsoring bills.

You might find it interesting to click the links and browse through the legislation each have worked to pass through Congress.

*Corrected from a previous version of this page.

Author: James Rovira

Dr. James Rovira is higher education professional with twenty years experience in the field in teaching, administration, and advising roles. He is also an interdisciplinary scholar and writer whose works include fiction, poetry, and scholarship exploring the intersections of literature and philosophy, literature and psychology, literary theory, and music and literature.. His books include Women in Rock/Women in Romanticism (in development), David Bowie and Romanticism (forthcoming 2022), Writing for College and Beyond (a first-year composition textbook (Lulu 2019)), Reading as Democracy in Crisis: Interpretation, Theory, History (Lexington Books 2019), Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington Books, 2018); Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2010). See his website at jamesrovira.com for details.

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