Is Scott Brown Really So Bipartisan? In Cosponsorships, Yes.

In this past weekend’s Boston Globe, columnist Glen Johnson quotes Senator Scott Brown’s claim to bipartisanship:

“The problem with Washington is that people down there are constantly battling. That’s not how I operate…. I’ll work with anyone to get things done. That is the type of senator I’ve been: open to good ideas, no matter who brings them forward.”

Is Scott Brown’s claim a fair one? To find out, let’s look at the Library of Congress’ data on cosponsorship of legislation. Cosponsorship is the act of one senator officially supporting another senator’s bills. If Republican Senator Scott Brown is really “open to good ideas, no matter who brings them forward,” then at least 51% of the bills he cosponsors should be Democrats’ bills, since Democrats make up 51% of the members of the Senate.

And yes, cut right to the point, Brown’s claim is a fair one. 61.7% of the bills he’s cosponsored have been written by Democrats. Senator Brown has actually overshot the mark.

And how about Scott Brown’s colleague from Massachusetts? Democratic Senator John Kerry is not nearly as bipartisan as Scott Brown. Only 19.2% of the bills he’s cosponsored have been written by Republicans, and Republicans make up 47% of the members of the Senate.

2 Comments

on “Is Scott Brown Really So Bipartisan? In Cosponsorships, Yes.
2 Comments on “Is Scott Brown Really So Bipartisan? In Cosponsorships, Yes.
  1. Pingback: Is Scott Brown Really So Bipartisan? In Voting, Yes. | That's My Congress

  2. This is an odd measurement because of two things: (1) the majority party will generally bring forth a lot more bills than the minority party. Why? Because they might actually pass. (2) the Republicans have moved significantly to the Right. For example, support for a social safety net used to represent an American consensus, and the filibuster used to only be used for exceptional bills. Now lots of Republicans oppose the social safety net altogether and they’ve turned the filibuster from something rare to something routine. This drift to right makes bipartisanship very difficult.

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