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Study: Klobuchar most effective Democratic senator

WASHINGTON — A new study rated Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as the most effective Democratic senator of the 115th Congress.

The biennial study, published by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, gives U.S. Legislators Legislative Effectiveness Scores based on “fifteen metrics regarding the bills that members of Congress sponsor, how far they move through the lawmaking process, and how important their policy proposals are,” the study said.

Klobuchar was ranked fifth overall in the Senate for the 2017-2018 session, with a Legislative Effectiveness Score, or LES, of 2.816. Minority-party senators received an average LES of 0.804.

“Senator Klobuchar is the only minority-party senator to break the overall top five list since 2002, and is only the second minority-party senator to do so since Senator John McCain,” Vanderbilt University said in their announcement of the study.

Rounding out the top five Senate lawmakers were Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, with the top score of 3.601; Orrin Hatch, of Utah, with an LES of 3.22; John Thune, of South Dakota, with a score of 3.169; and John Cornyn, of Texas, with an LES of 3.136. The study gave majority party senators an average LES of 1.168.

Klobuchar’s score resulted from the numerous bills she proposed and saw passed during the 115th Congress.

“Sen. Klobuchar put forward 69 pieces of legislation,” the study said, “eight of which passed the Senate and four of which became law.”

On average, minority-party senators propose 42 bills, with two passing the Senate and less than one becoming law, according to the study.

Minnesota’s most effective House member in the 115th Congress was Republican Erik Paulsen, the study said. Paulsen represented the 3rd District, which includes the western portion of the Twin Cities area. He was the 42nd most effective Republican representative with an LES of 2.14. Majority-party representatives received an average LES of 1.347.

Then-Rep. Tim Walz, however, ranked higher among House Democrats at seventh, despite receiving a lower score than Paulsen of 1.725. The study gave minority-party representatives an average LES of 0.586. Walz represented the 1st District, which extends across southern Minnesota.