Center for Effective Lawmaking

Glossary

ABC
Number of bills that were sponsored by a particular member of the House of Representatives (or Senate) that received “Action beyond Committee,” meaning that the bill has reached the floor of the House of Representatives (or Senate).

Above Expectations
A Representative’s (or Senator’s) Legislative Effectiveness Score is denoted as being “Above Expectations” if the ratio of her Legislative Effectiveness Score to her Benchmark Score is greater than 1.50.

AIC
Number of bills that were sponsored by a particular member of the House of Representatives (or Senate) that received “Action in Committee,” such as being the focus of committee markup, the subject of a committee hearing, and/or receiving a vote in committee or subcommittee.

Below Expectations
A Representative’s (or Senator’s) Legislative Effectiveness Score is denoted as being “Below Expectations” if the ratio of her Legislative Effectiveness Score to her Benchmark Score is lower than 0.50.

Benchmark Score
The Benchmark Score for a member of the House of Representatives (or Senate) is the expected Legislative Effectiveness Score for a Representative (or Senator) in a given Congress who is of the same political party, has served the same number of terms in Congress, and matches the given Representative’s (or Senator’s) Committee or Subcommittee Chairmanship status.

BILL
Number of bills (H.R. or S.) that were sponsored by a particular member of the House of Representatives (or Senate).

Commemorative (C) Bills
A bill is denoted as “Commemorative” if the substance of the legislation satisfies one of several criteria deeming it as commemorative or symbolic in purpose, such as the naming and/or renaming of public buildings, the minting of commemorative coins and medals, and related matters.

LAW
Number of bills that were sponsored by a particular member of the House of Representatives (or Senate) that became law.

Meets Expectations
A Representative’s (or Senator’s) Legislative Effectiveness Score is denoted as “Meets Expectations” if the ratio of her Legislative Effectiveness Score to her Benchmark Score is between .50 and 1.50.

PASS
Number of bills that were sponsored by a particular member of the House of Representatives (or Senate) that passed the House of Representatives (or Senate).

Scorecard
The LES Scorecard details the 15 indicators used to construct the member’s Legislative Effectiveness Score, based on sponsored bill types and their progression through the legislative process.

Substantive (S) Bills
A bill is denoted as “Substantive” if it is neither Commemorative nor Substantive and Significant, according to our coding protocol; or, if it would have been denoted as Commemorative, but it was mentioned in an end-of-the-year write-up in the Congressional Quarterly Almanac that corresponds to the relevant Congress.

Substantive and Significant (SS) Bills
Any bill that was introduced into the 93rd – 113th Congress was denoted as “Substantive and Significant” if the bill is mentioned in an end-of-the-year write-up in the Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Almanac that corresponds to the relevant Congress. To produce more timely scores, for bills that were introduced into the 114th Congress (and for subsequent Congresses), a bill was denoted as “Substantive and Significant” if it was mentioned on two or more occasions in the stories published in Congressional Quarterly Weekly/CQ Magazine during that Congress. Comparison of Legislative Effectiveness Scores for the 113th Congress that were calculated based on these different coding protocols (CQ Almanac vs. CQ Magazine) reveal that the two sets of scores are positively correlated at 0.98.

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