CONNECTICUT — Are members of Congress from Connecticut and others more divided and partisan than ever? They may be more united than you think, according to new rankings by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.
Former President Donald Trump drew sharp political lines with an aggressive form of populism and flair for political theater, but the working relationship between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill wasn’t nearly as harshly defined, according to Dan Diller, The Lugar Center’s policy director.
The newly released Bipartisan Index rankings for the full 116th Congress — which served during the final two years of Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency — reaffirms this. It shows the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives actually scored above the historical average when it came to working across party lines on legislation.
The index for the 116th Congress ranked 437 House members and 99 U.S. senators.
Rep. Joe Courtney was ranked the most bipartisan among U.S. representatives from Connecticut. Rep. Courtney was ranked No. 127 with a score of 0.48387.
Here’s where other Connecticut representatives ranked:
Rep. John Larson
- Rank No. 378
- Overall Score: -0.63814
Rep. Jahana Hayes
- Rank No. 408
- Overall Score: -0.86652
In the U.S. Senate, Sen. Richard Blumenthal ranked No. 76 and Sen. Chris Murphy ranked No. 92, earning scores of -0.19497 and -0.74095, respectively.
Overall, Senate Republicans scored higher than their Democratic counterparts, according to the rankings. In the House, however, Democrats outscored Republicans. All off Connecticut’s congressional delegation are Democrats.
“Although partisan combat between the parties and their leaderships reached a crescendo during the 116th Congress, individual members of Congress worked on legislation with their opposing party counterparts with surprising frequency,” Diller, The Lugar Center’s policy director, said in a news release.
“The Bipartisan Index scores show that despite the embittered partisan climate, members still sought out bipartisan partnerships in the run-up to the 2020 election — usually below the radar of the national news cycle,” he said.
To score members of Congress, The Lugar Center and the McCourt School developed a non-partisan tool that measures how often a member of Congress introduces bills that attract co-sponsors from the other party, and how often they in turn co-sponsor a bill introduced from the other side of the aisle. Both contribute equally to the member’s score.
The Index excludes non-binding resolutions and ceremonial bills.
To determine the score, members are compared to the average score of their respective political groups over a 20-year baseline period that included the 103rd through the 112th Congress (1993-2012.)
A score above 0 means a member scored better than the average of their group during that 20-year baseline period. A negative score means that a member falls below the average for that same period.
The index considers scores above 1.0 to be outstanding while scores above 0.5 are very good. Conversely, scores below -0.5 are poor while scores below -1.0 are very poor.
Both houses of Congress are scored using separate data, according to the index, which means the scores of House members are not comparable to those of senators.
Read more about the Bipartisan Index methodology.
For the eighth consecutive year, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was ranked the most bipartisan U.S. senator. Her score of 4.584 is the highest Senate score in the history of the Bipartisan Index.
Here are the top 10 senators, according to the index:
1) Susan Collins (R-Maine)
2) Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
3) Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
4) Cory Gardner (R-Colorado)
5) Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona)
6) Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia)
7) Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire)
8) Todd Young (R-Indiana)
9) Martha McSally (R-Arizona)
10) Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana)
Here are the bottom 10 senators, or those least…