We are approaching quickly 100th day of President Biden in office and that’s it for Congress passed a massive coronavirus relief package valued at $ 1.9 trillion;; helped usher in Biden’s historic cabinet selection; and approved a measure in the house that would provide a route to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including those currently temporarily protected under the Obama-era Child Arrivals Program.
To understand how much of the President’s agenda is coming through Congress and the extent to which various members of Congress support that agenda, let’s re-track the number of times Representatives and Senators approve of Biden and how that compares with our expectations for Biden’s 2020 Voting Room in the state of or Member’s district. (If this sounds familiar, we did the same for former President Trump.) We also added a number of new features to illustrate how members of Congress vote relative to one another and identify the outliers in each party. (Note: Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona may not be the only thorns on Biden’s side for years to come.)
A member of Congress’s Biden Score is just a simple percentage of the number of times a Senator or Representative endorses the President’s agenda. (We calculate this by adding the member’s votes in favor of the bills supported by Biden and the votes against the bills rejected by Biden, and then dividing that by the total number of bills that member voted on, and We know Biden’s position.) As during the Trump administration, we rely on the Office of Management and Budget.Administrative policy statementsTo determine the attitude of the administration to an invoice. For more information on the types of actions we are pursuing, please see our detailed methodology post from 2017 – these are Trump-era conventions, but the same rules still apply. As a reminder, these ratings will be updated until the 117th Congress.
It’s still early days – we only have 13 votes unrelated to Biden’s cabinet confirmation, but there are two interesting trends that we’ve noticed aside so far:
Republicans are not voting unilaterally against Biden’s agenda
After Biden was elected last year, history after this history predicted the Republicans would thwart his agenda as a Control of the Senate remained pending and this Trump held on iron grip at the party. And although the latter is still at least partially true, it is not yet entirely clear to what extent they influence the GOP’s ability to compromise. The Republicans, for example, did not completely obstruct Biden’s agenda.
For sure, No Republican in the house or Senate voted for Biden’s COVID-19 Aid Act. But in the Senate, many backed his cabinet rulings, and in the House of Representatives, Republicans and Democrats found common ground on bills like Re-authorize the law against violence against women and Providing farm workers with a path to legal immigration status.
That doesn’t mean these bills had an overwhelming bipartisan majority, but 140 different Republicans in the House voted on them at least once for something that Biden supported. And for some members who fall into this category, the choice seems to be a matter of political caution. Pennsylvania Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, New Jersey Representative Chris Smith, and Michigan Representative Fred Upton, two of which represent districts that Biden either won in 2020 or were competitive in, so far are the GOP Members who support Biden’s agenda most often.
|Representative||circle||2020 room for maneuver||Biden Score||Plus minus*|
|Brian Fitzpatrick||PA-1||D + 5.8||76.9%||-2.1|
|Chris Smith||NJ-4||R +10.5||61.5||+43.8|
|Fred Upton||MI-6||R +4.5||53.8||+20.3|
|Carlos A. Gimenez||FL-26||R +5.6||46.2||+16.4|
|John Katko||NY-24||D + 9.0||46.2||-42.3|
|Jeff Van Drew||NJ-2||R +2.9||46.2||+6.2|
|María Elvira Salazar||FL-27||D + 3.2||41.7||-26.0|
|Don Young||AK overall||R +10.1||40.0||+20.8|
|Tom Reed||NY-23||R +11.2||38.5||+21.8|
|Mike Bost||IL-12||R +14.2||33.3||+19.5|
|Adam Kinzinnger||IL-16||R +16.0||33.3||+21.6|
But not all Republicans in the House are interested in supporting Biden’s agenda. About a third of the members – 72 in total – have so far spoken out completely against everything on Biden’s agenda. This includes Biden’s coronavirus stimulus package, but also things like Extending the waiting time for background checks on weapons sales, Expansion of trade union and collective bargaining rights and a bill to reform the omnibus police, named after George Floyd. (Only a handful of Republican officials supported these measures.)
One thing we found surprising, however, is that even some of the pro-Trump House members supported at least one item on Biden’s agenda, according to our Congress and Trump tracker. Take, for example, the Louisiana representative, Steve Scalise No. 2 Republicans ended Trump’s tenure with a Trump score of 98.2 percent. He was one of 121 Republicans in the House of Representatives who approved a special waiver to allow retired Army General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense. (Austin’s appointment required this waiver because he had only retired from the military for four years instead of the seven years required by law.) Even Kevin McCarthy, minority chairman of the House of Representatives, who supported Trump’s agenda 97.3 percent of the time, supported the same waiver. Granted, this is the only Biden backed bill they endorsed. As such, both Scalise and McCarthy still rank very low when it comes to supporting Biden’s agenda with a Biden score of 7.7 percent.
In the Senate, every sitting member has endorsed Biden at least once (yes, even Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Mitch McConnell). One important restriction here, however, is that almost all previous Senate votes – with the exception of the COVID-19 aid package – were related to or related to cabinet confirmations.
The top Senate Republicans who have backed Biden’s nominations so far shouldn’t be so shocking, however, as many have long been viewed as potential Senate swing votes or are members of what is known as the G-10 – a group of 10 temperate republicans who do business who reportedly want to negotiate with Biden and other Democrats. Senator Susan Collins of Maine leads the field with a biden score of 91.3 percent. They are followed by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (90.9 percent), Ohio Senator Rob Portman (87 percent), Utah Senator Mitt Romney (87 percent) and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (78.3 percent).
|senator||Status||2020 Vote Margin||Biden Score||Plus minus*|
|Susan Collins||ME||D + 9.1||91.3%||-1.4|
|Lisa Murkowski||AK||R + 10.1||90.9||+18.9|
|Rob Portman||OH||R + 8.0||87.0||+12.3|
|Mitt Romney||UT||R + 20.5||87.0||+29.3|
|Lindsey Graham||SC||R + 11.7||78.3||+8.7|
|Shelley Moore Capito||WV||R + 38.9||77.3||+40.6|
|Richard Burr||NC||R + 1.3||75.0||-7.6|
|Chuck Grassley||IA||R + 8.2||73.9||-0.5|
|Mitch McConnell||KY||R + 25.9||73.9||+22.7|
|Mike Rounds||SD||R + 26.2||73.9||+23.0|
Of course, much of what we’re seeing among Republicans now is pretty small on a grand scale (i.e., support for cabinet nominations isn’t that surprising when Republicans don’t have enough votes to block them). Maybe we’ll get a better sense of which GOP senators are trying to work with Biden over Democrats Infrastructure proposal, but if Democrats are trying to get that off the ground above Budget adjustmentMaybe we still have no idea who these senators are since Democrats don’t need their votes. It is currently unclear how many real opportunities for bipartisanism will exist, especially if Biden tries to push it forward agree with what Republican voters wantbut not necessarily in line with the wishes of their GOP representatives.
Democrats who are not on Biden’s side are in the minority
Most Democrats now support Biden 100 percent.
The only time Senate Democrats defied the President’s agenda was 14 of them voted against granting Austin’s waiver. This was not a major focal point in the party as Austin’s confirmation was never really compromised. Instead, it mainly reflected what was happening at Congress approved a similar waiver in 2017 as many of the same Democrats expressed contradiction to make a similar exception for Trump’s former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
At this point, the two senators who arguably received the most attention as potential obstacles to the president’s agenda – Manchin and Sinema – have not yet voted against the things Biden supports. This is largely due to the fact that almost all of the Senate’s votes so far have been based on undisputed cabinet confirmations. And any controversial policy proposals that both objected to, such as raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour, were cut off from the final bill. So the two senators are still there use their power to block Legislation in a way that is not covered by our data. So we should keep an eye on these two members – and others from the moderate wing of the party – in the future, especially when it comes to their votes Biden’s infrastructure and climate proposals.
It’s similar in the House of Representatives: Representatives who do not vote 100 percent with Biden are the exception, not the rule. Even members of competitive districts Biden lost – Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne, Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright and New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim – fully support the president’s agenda.
However, there were some defectors in the lower chamber. And those members fall into two main categories: progressive Democrats who opposed support for the Austin Surrender and legislators from competitive districts.
Let’s examine the latter category first. Maine Rep. Jared Golden, who won one of the most competitive house districtshas a Biden score of just 53.8 percent – the lowest of any House Democrat. Why? Well, Biden lost his district by almost 8 points last year, and only Golden hardly wrestled his seat out of the grip of the Republicans in 2018.
So far, Golden has voted against Austin’s waiver, legislation that allows farm workers to obtain legal immigration status, extend the waiting time for background checks on federal weapons, require background checks on all arms sales, and the coronavirus stimulus package, among other things. In addition to Golden, Wisconsin Rep. Ron Kind (76.9 percent biden score), Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar (92.3 percent), and Texas Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (92.3 percent) are other members of competitive districts. Biden either lost his districts or won by less than 5 points in 2020 so we can probably expect them to continue deviating from Biden’s agenda.
Progressive Democrats have long criticized their party’s established members as too centristic and cautious, but so far the measure against which the greatest number have opposed has also been the abandonment of Austin. That being said, the most liberal Democrats – including New York MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Missouri MP Cori Bush, Massachusetts MP Ayanna Pressley, and New York MP Jamaal Bowman – have 100 percent backed Biden.
To recap, the Democrats in both chambers have largely agreed so far, with some more interesting splinters in the House of Representatives among members facing competitive re-election bids in 2022. And in the Senate, we’ll likely see more rifts among Democratic members, Biden trying to get more controversial agenda items passed. At this point, however, it is hard to know what the progressive wing will do with Biden’s later proposals, as they don’t really have the votes to bring the legislation to the ground themselves and will become their main power – much like Manchin and Sinema – when blocking invoices.
There is definitely not enough data to be able to fully predict how senators and representatives got to Biden’s presidency. But at this early stage, it is fair to say that Republicans may not be completely against compromise and that most Democrats will be in step with the President. We will continue to update our interactive program as more voices are recorded and stories are posted about the most interesting trends we see as the administration gets to work.