With Veterans Day falling on Tuesday last week there were only three days during which cosponsors were added to bills. Between 12 November and 14 November there were 628 cosponsors added to 247 different bills. The biggest cosponsor getter was Rep. David Joyce’s (R-OH)H.Res. 755, supporting the goals and ideals of American Education Week, not be confused with H.R. 755, a top 25 list member.
Congress is back in session and cosponsors are being added to bills again for the first time since September. Through Friday, 14 November, there was no change in the membership of the top 25 most-cosponsored bills in the US House, but there was some minor reshuffling of the order within the top 25. H.R. 2366 jumped into a four-way tie for 13th place with 301 cosponsors by merely adding one cosponsor. H.R. 1563 jumped three spots from 25th to 22nd by adding 20 new cosponsors. This prompted H.Res. 434, H.R. 543, and H.R. 721 to all fall one spot.
Previously, I posted a list of those Representatives in each party that were least likely to cosponsor bills authored by a member of an opposing party. This led me to ask: Has the level of bipartisan cooperation changed over time as demonstrated by Representatives partnering with members of the opposing party to promote specific legislation?
The data arguably supports the popular belief that Congress has become more polarized since the 1980s.
I generally scoff at those who would say that we are more polarized as a nation now that at any time in our history. I think that ignores the troubled first century of our nation’s existence. Unlike the antebellum years, Representatives do not go armed to the Floor in fear of violence from their colleagues, and no one has been caned on the Floor in living memory. Click here to see more charts and data…
What can legislative cosponsorship data show us about the willingness of members to work across the aisle in Congress? How bipartisan are various Representatives?
Looking at the cosponsorship data to date in the 113th Congress, those Representatives least likely to cosponsor bills authored by Democrats also tend to be names prominently associated with Tea Party or conservative politics. Likewise, some Democrats from more conservative, rural, or Republican-leaning districts co-sponsor more Republican bills than Democratic bills.