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The Numbers Don’t Lie: Women Make More Effective Legislators Than Men

“A new startup by two Harvard seniors finds that women have been considerably more likely than their male counterparts to get bills through, and to achieve that near-unicorn of modern Washington: bipartisan agreement.

Everyone knows that Congress does very, very little. The Washington Postcrunched the numbers last year and found that, mathematically, “no Congress in 40 years has been paid more to pass less legislation.” It’s also a fact that Congress is heavily male. The current, 114th Congress has a record 104 women—but that’s 104 of 535 lawmakers in all. (And somehow we’re supposed to cheer.) But what if these things are connected—that men are less likely to introduce legislation and cut deals than women? It turns out that women have been considerably more likely than their male counterparts to get bills through, and to achieve that near-unicorn of modern Washington: bipartisan agreement.

The numbers, as published Thursday by a new startup called Quorum, founded not a month ago by two Harvard seniors, seem to bear this out. Over the last seven years, in the Senate, the ‘average’ female senator has introduced 96.31 bills, while the ‘average’ male introduced 70.72. In the House, compare 29.65 for women, and 27.2 for men. And women were more likely to gain cosponsorship: In the Senate, women had an average of 9.10 cosponsors,  and men 5.94. In the House, the difference was smaller—but women still proved better, or more interested, in sponsoring together: Female Representatives averaged 16.84 cosponsors, and men 14.64.

There are effective female dealmakers from both sides, though more are Democrats, probably because there are more Democratic female members of Congress. In the Senate, Quorum’s cofounders, Alex Wirth and Jonathan Marks, told me, Dianne Feinstein has sponsored the most bills of any female senator: 300. Amy Klobuchar is next, at 215, then Kirsten Gillibrand 204, Barbara Boxer 176, and Patty Murray 126. In the House, Sheila Jackson Lee leads, with 177, then Carolyn Maloney at 163, Eleanor Norton a 136, Barbara Lee at 96, and Rosa DeLaura at 91. Boxer has had the most sponsored bills enacted—10, followed by Feinstein and Klobuchar (both 7), then Patty Murray and Lisa Murkowski. In the House, Representatives Norton and Maloney lead, and then Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Nydia Velázquez, and Ann Kirkpatrick.”

Read the full piece here

Source: Bloomberg Politics

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