Picture of Senator Sen. William M. Cowan [D, MA]

Senator William Cowan
Democrat of Massachusetts

Liberal Action Score: 50/100
Conservative Action Score: 0/100

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Mailing address: 365 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC
Web page and online contact form
DC Office Phone: 202-224-2742
MA Office Phone: 617-565-8519

Links to Campaign Contribution Data for William Cowan:

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That's My Congress: independent information on legislators, legislation and congressional campaigns for the 113th Congress

Democratic Senator William Cowan of Massachusetts

Sen. Cowan's Liberal Action Score: 50
The Liberal Action Score is calculated by compiling a series of measured liberal actions (both roll call voting and bill cosponsorship) in the 113th Congress and comparing William Cowan's behavior against a liberal standard:
  • Respect for constitutional protections of American civil liberty
  • Transparency and public access in government
  • Equal treatment of people under law
  • The respect and pursuit of empirical knowledge through support for science and education
  • Protection of the Earth's environmental richness
  • Strengthening of economic opportunity for all
  • Pursuit of peaceful solutions and opposition to militarism in policy
A score of 50 means that Senator Cowan has participated in 50% of our slate of liberal actions in the 113th Congress.

Liberal Actions Taken by Cowan during the 113th Congress of 2013-2014:

S. 296

S. 296, the Uniting American Families Act, would act as a relief valve from illegal immigration by creating greater avenues for legal immigration. The idea is to broaden the list of family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are allowed to enter the country and obtain their own lawful permanent resident status, including permanent same-sex partners under family-based immigration provisions.

Senator Cowan has followed the liberal course of action by cosponsoring this bill.

S. 460

The Dow Jones Industrials Average is at record high levels. That money isn't trickling down, however. For working Americans, wages have been stagnant. Corporations and wealthy Americans are hoarding their money. Low wage levels haven't brought about job growth. The Fair Minimum Wage Act is a bill that would increase the minimum wage from its current $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour over the next two years. After that point, the minimum wage would automatically increase to keep pace with inflation. Because the minimum wage is not currently indexed to inflation, the real value of the minimum wage continues to fall every month that the Congress fails to act, depriving hard-working Americans of another meager meal.

Senator Cowan has followed the liberal course of action by cosponsoring this bill.

S.Amdt. 646 to S.Con.Res. 8

Just weeks after Americans learned that they had just endured the hottest year in all of U.S. history, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse introduced legislation to address the growing crisis of climate change. His legislative amendment would have recognized that Americans are already paying the price for carbon dioxide pollution, and would have shifted the expense to those who create the lion's share of the pollution, by creating an explicit fee for carbon dioxide emissions.

Senator Cowan has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.

S. 1238

At a time when family budgets are already tight and a university education is becoming even more unaffordable, 49 members of the U.S. Senate voted to double student loan annual interest rates from 3.4% to 6.8%. This bill, S. 1238, would have kept student interest loan rates at their previous low rate -- but 49 senators voted NO, to make college loans even less affordable for those students who need them the most.

Senator Cowan has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.

Unfinished Business:
Liberal Bills Senator Cowan has failed to support through cosponsorship:

S. 332

The Climate Protection act would shift some of the tremendous economic cost of carbon dioxide to the ultimate source of that pollution - the fossil fuel industry - creating a charge of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide released, an amount to be increased to keep pace with inflation every year. The bill would also increase safeguards on the controversial practice of extraction of natural gas through horizontal fracturing – fracking, and raise 1.2 trillion dollars to pay for improved weatherization of one million homes per year, increased research and development in clean energy alternatives, public-private partnerships in efficient energy and transportation projects, and a clean energy rebate program to give American citizens a share of the carbon fee, actually putting money in Americans’ pockets to help them pay for the damage caused by climate change as a result of the burning of fossil fuels. The Climate Protection Act would thus both strengthen the American economy and take a substantial step toward confronting the growing crisis of climate change.

Senator Cowan has failed to cosponsor S. 332. After you read the text of S. 332, call Sen Cowan's office at 617-565-8519 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.

S. 791

S. 791 is accurately called the Follow the Money Act, allowing citizens the opportunity to find out who's been spending money on politicians' campaigns. It's no secret that most political campaign spending has moved to so-called independent expenditures, but the corporate and wealth-class identity of those campaigns' funders has been a secret. S. 791 would require the disclosure of those amounts on a prompt basis, unveiling the sponsorship of politicians by moneyed interests.

Senator Cowan has failed to cosponsor S. 791. After you read the text of S. 791, call Sen Cowan's office at 617-565-8519 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.

S. 375

S. 375, a bill introduced by Senator Jon Tester, would require senators to file campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, not on paper with the Senate. This may not sound like an important distinction, but the practical effect of the current system is to delay the processing of campaign contribution reports -- often until after an election is over -- and to make the discovery of unsavory campaign expenditures by reporters and citizens more difficult. Tester's bill, the continuation of a veteran effort by ex-Senator Russ Feingold in previous sessions of Congress, would increase efficiency within the government, increase transparency of information to reporters, and increase the accountability of Senators to American citizens.

Senator Cowan has failed to cosponsor S. 375. After you read the text of S. 375, call Sen Cowan's office at 617-565-8519 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.

S. 1130

The New York Times has documented a system of secret laws and secret courts, created by the White House without the knowledge or consent of the American people. A FISA court of eleven justices, all appointed by the authoritarian-leaning Chief Justice John Roberts, have been authorizing massive warrantless surveillance programs that collect information on Americans' phone calls, e-mails, text messages and similar communications. The FISA judges did not turn down a single one of the many government surveillance requests in the year 2012. The same judges have created new law, ruling that if the government has "special needs," the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution can be overruled. This law is secret -- it is literally forbidden for anyone to tell you about the law's existence (the New York Times only obtained the information through unauthorized leaks). An opportunity exists for the Senate to change this arrangement through the Ending Secret Law Act. Introduced as H.R. 2475 in the House and S. 1130 in the Senate, the Ending Secret Law Act would, if passed, require the disclosure of the secret legal opinions of the FISA court to the public, with classified secrets blacked out. That way, the American people would at least be able to know what new powers the government has assumed for itself.

Senator Cowan has failed to cosponsor S. 1130. After you read the text of S. 1130, call Sen Cowan's office at 617-565-8519 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.

Rep. William Cowan has not taken any conservative action on the That's My Congress scorecard during the 113th Congress.