Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and the Lugar Center recently introduced a bipartisan ranking showing how often every member of Congress has worked outside of party lines, including South Carolina lawmakers.
The purpose of the index is to bridge a gap in the information about the members of Congress and their performance. Other studies have been released with countless rankings, studies and indexes that grade members working within party lines. This index aims to indicate activity outside of party affiliation, providing more detailed, accurate information about the inner workings of Congress.
The index also includes an objective measure that demonstrates how well the members of opposite parties were able to collaborate using legislation-sponsorship data, enabling analysts to build a more objective measure of bipartisan and partisan behavior.
The voting choices of lawmakers involved contextual, as well as parliamentary circumstances, but sponsorships and co-sponsorships stand as carefully considered declarations to show where certain legislators stood with a particular issue.
A score above zero is considered bipartisan. Scores below zero show a lack of bipartisanship. As for South Carolina lawmakers, U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford (R) scored a -1.01268, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R) scored a -1.74259 and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) scored a 0.434604. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D) didn't make the list because he sponsored fewer than three qualifying bills.
Further details about the index are available in the Roll Call op-ed “Reviving the Lost Art of Bipartisanship,” which was written by Edward Montgomery, Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy dean, and former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN).
The op-ed can be found at http://www.rollcall.com/news/reviving_the_lost_art_of_bipartisanship_commentary-241877-1.html.