Nita Lowey is retiring at the end of this Congress. She’s the first woman to chair the powerful House Committee on Appropriations and, arguably, holds the purse strings in Washington. She and her committee have overseen negotiations with her counterparts in the Senate to keep the government funded and supply money to every other federally-funded project and entity in the United States. The standalone bills that bear her name usually have to do with money, and the President signing them is more of a routine than a special achievement.
What the rankings mean:
Number of bills sponsored:
This metric measures the number of unique bills put forward by a Representative or a Senator. A Resolution usually expresses an opinion or addresses procedure in the House or Senate and doesn’t go to the President. An Amendment is a change to the language of legislation. Everything has to be voted on.
Number of bills passed out of one chamber:
Getting a bill passed through a chamber is tough. In order to pass a bill out of a chamber, a member of Congress must build consensus among his or her colleagues.
Number of bills signed into law:
If a bill from an opposite party is signed into law by a President, the achievement is a significant victory for that Member of Congress if the bill is significant. Many non-controversial bills are signed into law as a matter of routine.
Percentage a member votes with his or her party:
Source: ProPublica. Procedural votes count toward this score and it isn’t entirely indicative of a member’s loyalty, or disloyalty, to the party.
Lugar Center Bipartisan Index Score:
The Bipartisan Index is a joint project of The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Scores above 1.0 are outstanding. Scores above .5 are very good. Scores below -.5 are poor. Scores below -1.0 are very poor.