Stefanik’s bipartisan index rating falls to lowest so far

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was the 165th most bipartisan member of Congress last year, according to an index report released Tuesday by the Lugar Center, a nonpartisan policy think tank in D.C.

The center is a project within the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy, founded by former U.S. Sen. Richard G. Luger, a Republican from Indiana. Each year, the center releases a bipartisanship index that tracks the number of bipartisan bills that members of the House and Senate support each year with sponsorships and cosponsorships.

The report released Tuesday only tracks the actions taken in 2023, but the center also puts out a list that accounts for the entire Congressional term the year after that term ends.

According to previous bipartisanship indexes undertaken by the Lugar Center, Rep. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, has stepped back from the bipartisan approach she’s taken in previous terms. Her rating for 2023, while among the top 38% of members this year, is far down the list compared to previous years. In her first term in Congress, 2015-16, Stefanik was the 31st most bipartisan member of the House. The next term, 2017-18, she was the 19th. In 2019-20, Stefanik was the 13th most bipartisan member of Congress, an achievement she lauded at the time.

“I am honored to be ranked in the top 3% most bipartisan members of Congress by the Lugar Center,” Stefanik wrote in a prepared statement issued in May 2021, announcing the ranking.

But her ranking for the term she was serving when she delivered that statement was much lower — in 2021-2022, the first term where she served as a member of House GOP leadership as the House Republican Conference Chair, Stefanik’s rating dropped to the 100th most bipartisan member.

And for 2023, that number has dropped even further to 165th — making her the second least bipartisan sitting member of New York’s Republican delegation in the House. Only Rep. Brandon M. Williams, R-Syracuse, ranks lower, although now-removed former Congressman George A.D. Santos ranked 418th.

In a statement shared with the Watertown Times on Tuesday, Stefanik’s spokesperson and advisor Alex DeGrasse blamed the Democratic members of the House for a failure to foster bipartisanship in the Republican-controlled chamber.

“Congresswoman Stefanik is proud to have delivered a strong record of bipartisan results for north country and upstate hardworking families, small businesses, farms, seniors and veterans,” he said via text message. “It is a disgrace that Democrats are so far left and radical that they refuse to work with Republicans on securing the border, reining in Biden’s out of control inflation, unleashing American energy independence and supporting Israel.”

DeGrasse went on to say he expects Democrats broadly and locally to get “walloped,” in the next election, when he said he expects former president Donald J. Trump to take the White House.

While Stefanik’s bipartisan rankings have been a smooth graph line of increases to 2020, then a steep decline, Rep. Claudia Tenney’s rankings are more stable and less easy to graph.

Tenney was first elected to the House for the 2017-18 term, when she was given a ranking of 99th most bipartisan member of Congress. She lost her bid for reelection and didn’t vote in the 2019-20 term, but returned to Congress for the 2021-22 term, when she was given a ranking of 184th most bipartisan member, and in 2023 put at the 135th spot. That puts her in the top 31% of members for supporting bipartisan legislation.

A spokesperson for Tenney declined to comment on the bipartisanship index or the Congresswoman’s score for 2023 when reached for comment Tuesday.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today