Non-Partisan Group Ranks Marco Rubio as Most Effective Republican Senator

marco rubio waves through a crowd

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., waves after speaking about Venezuela before the arrival of President Donald Trump during a rally in 2019 in Miami, Fl.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The non-partisan Center for Effective Lawmaking says Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was the most effective Republican senator in the 116th Congress, which ended Jan. 3, 2021.

“Although he chaired the Senate Small Business Committee, his legislative portfolio was wide-ranging,” CEL wrote in a press release issued Wednesday. 

“It included laws in areas ranging from disaster relief (establishing advanced contracts for emergency relief efforts) to foreign affairs (with the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 and the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020) to the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act.”

CEL scored Rubio, who is reportedly considering a 2024 run for president, 3.589, followed by Miss. Sen. Roger Wicker (3.558), Texas Sen. John Cornyn (2.790), Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski (2.561) and Dan Sullivan (2.418).

The group scored lawmakers on a combination of 15 metrics regarding the bills that each member of Congress sponsors, how far they move through the lawmaking process, and how substantial their policy proposals are.

Rubio authored dozens of laws from 2016-2021, including the expansion of the child tax credit, the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), numerous bills on Venezuela and China, and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Among Democrats, Mich. Sen. Gary Peters was the most effective with a 5.015 score, followed by Oregon’s Jeff Merkley (2.418), Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto (1.773), Montana’s Jon Tester (1.773) and Illinois’ Tammy Duckworth (1.530).

Peters, per CEL, “has the rare distinction of being the most effective lawmaker in the Senate, overall, despite being in the minority party.”

Peters sponsored 86 bills, 24 of which made their way out of committee to the Senate floor. Fourteen of those bills passed in the Senate and 10 became law, which exceeds the previous record of seven laws by a minority-party senator in CEL data.

CEL in its research suggests that bipartisan lawmakers are much more effective than partisan lawmakers, “even in the majority party.”

The group also listed lawmakers with the longest streak of “exceeding expectations,” with Alaska Rep. Don Young at No. 1, Washington, D.C. Delegate to the House Eleanor Norton, Texas Reps. Michael Burgess and Sheila Jackson and New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith.



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