Tim Walz Achieves 4th Highest Bipartisan Rating

Lugar Center study examined 538 Members of Congress
Mar 31 2016
Lugar Center study examined 538 Members of Congress

Tim Walz achieved the 4th-highest bipartisanship rating out of 538 members of Congress on the recently published Bipartisan Index from the Lugar Center and Georgetown University School of Public Policy.

Below is a portion of Senator Lugar's Introduction to the Bipartisan Index:

The Bipartisan Index is intended to fill a hole in the information available to the public about the performance of Members of Congress. There are innumerable studies, rankings, and indexes that grade members according to a partisan, parochial, or special- interest standard.

We sought to develop an objective measure of how well members of opposite parties work with one another using bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship data. We gravitated toward bill sponsorships and co-sponsorships for two reasons. First, they allowed us to construct a highly objective measure of partisan and bipartisan behavior. Second, sponsorship and co-sponsorship behavior is especially revealing of partisan tendencies. Members’ voting decisions are often contextual and can be influenced by parliamentary circumstances. Sponsorships and co-sponsorships, in contrast, exist as very carefully considered declarations of where a legislator stands on an issue....

[A] consistently high score is a strong indication that a legislator is prioritizing problem solving and open to working with the other party when possible.

What we are measuring in this Index is not so much the quality of legislation but rather the efforts of legislators to broaden the appeal of their sponsored legislation, to entertain a wider range of ideas, and to prioritize governance over posturing....

For Congress to be successful, the parties must work together at the beginning of the legislative process.

The Founders of our Republic were realists who understood the power of factionalism, parochialism, and personal ambition. They understood that good intentions would not always prevail. Accordingly, they designed a system to check abuse and prevent power from accumulating in a few hands. But they knew that the efficient operation of such a Republic would require a great deal of cooperation. They knew that it would require most elected officials to have a dedication to governance, and they trusted that leaders would arise in every era to make their vision work.

In this spirit, we encourage members of Congress to more frequently open themselves to the possibility that colleagues from the opposite party may have good ideas that are deserving of consideration.

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