Updated: Apr 14
This is the second of a three-part series of the Legislative Process and You – Getting Involved. In this part, we will focus on the Senators and House members of the Oklahoma delegation with emphasis on Representative Bice representing District 5. This discussion, although geared toward the Oklahoma delegation will be useful in uncovering information about any Representative or Senator in Congress.
To start, click on the Members of Congress dropdown tab under the Legislators link in GovTrack.us (http://www.govtrack.us). As noted in Part I, here is where you can find any member of Congress using either the interactive map, entering your address, by state, or by clicking on individual links to members of Congress.
Since our focus will be on the Oklahoma delegation, under ‘Or select a state” click on the drop-down box and click on “Oklahoma”. (As an alternative, one could also use the interactive map highlighting and clicking on the Congressional seat of interest.) This will bring you to the Senators tab which shows the two Senators from Oklahoma; Senator James Inhofe and Senator James Lankford. On this page, it will tell you who is the Senior Senator, when they entered Congress, and when their next election is scheduled. There are two other tabs, Representatives and Map of Congressional Districts.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into our Senators using Senator Lankford as an example. Clicking on his picture will bring up a lot of detailed information about him including a number of helpful links that are useful in understanding how this Senator is performing in Congress. I will wait until I fully explain the links as a part of the Representative Bice discussion as that explanation will apply to any Congressional member.
Before I leave the page on Senator Lankford, this would be a good time to discuss the Legislative Metrics section and associated graphical Leadership vs. Ideology map as the following description will apply to any member of Congress. It is of note that this map represents or is a relative measure of the bills, in this case, Senator Lankford has either sponsored or co-sponsored over a period in time. The horizontal Ideology scale roughly measures more liberal positions the farther left you go and more conservative positions the farther right you go. Democrats are noted by blue dots and Republicans as red dots. Senator Lankford in this case is identified by a purple triangle so their score is easily identified. Moving a mouse cursor over any dot will identify a specific member of Congress.
There is another website (https:/www.voteview.com) that does more clearly reflects the voting pattern (liberal or conservative) of each Congressional member. It also gives a percentage of attendance and party loyalty. Simply enter the last name of the member of Congress and their comparative ideology score is noted on a bar graph on the right side.
Note that Senator Lankford has a far-right ideology score meaning he tends to sponsor or co-sponsor bills representing more conservative principles. It is of interest to note that if one looks in the center of this graph there are four dots above the word Score where two blue dots are to the right of two red dots. The two blue dots (Senators Manchin and Sinema) have more conservative ideological scores than the two red dots representing Senators Collins and Murkowski.
Now let’s go into more detail and associated links for Representative Bice. Using the above links, go to the page for Representative Bice. At the top of the page, it should say, Congress/Members of Congress/Stephanie Bice with her picture and bio noted below that. Right above the bio are two tabs, Track Her in green and Contact Her. We will use the Track Her tab in part three of this series. The Contact Her tab is one of the many ways to contact Representative Bice either via phone or email.
From the Analysis Section, Representative Bice’s Ideology-Leadership score is near the center meaning the bills she has sponsored or co-sponsored are more middle of the road in ideology and her leadership rating is very low meaning she has not taken the lead in very many bills so far while in Congress. I will be able to show this as a numerical measure later.
Farther on down this page, one will find Representative Bice’s Committee Memberships, Bills Sponsored, Voting Record on key votes, and Missed Votes. An important area of evaluation of any Congressional member is the links to the right of the member’s picture. Standard links to her official website, Twitter account, and Biography are found here. The important link is OpenSecrets.
This link will provide you with all the information needed to evaluate a member’s financial picture. I actually used this link in the 2020 election to fully expose Representative Kendra Horn as part of a ten-part series I authored on Facebook before leaving that social media platform before that election. I was able to ascertain that Kendra Horn’s major financial contributors were from the abortion lobby.
On the Summary tab, Representative Bice as of 31 December 2021 has raised $1,339,442 and spent $527,778 on her 2022 re-election campaign. It also gives the top contributors, top industries that have contributed to her campaign, and how her fundraising ranks with other House members. Note that Representative Bice has raised much more than the average House member for her 2022 re-election bid. Money raised is not everything as the Elections tab shows that Kendra Horn raised $6M to candidate Bice’s only $3.6M for the 2020 election. The PAC tab shows that Representative Bice has raised $164,827 in PAC money with Business being the largest contributor. Ideological contributions only account for about a third of her PAC money where Kendra Horn had a much larger share of ideological contributions namely the abortion lobby.
The Demographics tab gives the ratio of contributing females and males for her re-election effort in 2022. The Expenditures tab provides a breakdown of her expenditures so far in her 2022 re-election bid. Of note, Representative Bice has the highest administrative cost of any of the five Oklahoma representatives with Representative Cole being a close second.
The Legislation tab is interesting in that it gives not only the number of sponsored and co-sponsored bills but also ranks the member with other members of Congress. If you remember Representative Bice’s low leadership score, this tab shows that she only sponsored 7 bills and co-sponsored 168 bills. She ranked 358 out of 447 House members with an average median of 14 bills sponsored. For co-sponsored bills, Representative Bice ranked 314 out of 447 members with an average median of 224 bills co-sponsored. Finally, this tab lists the specific bills Representative Bice sponsored. I will leave it to the reader to review these bills to see if any of them would be considered America First bills.
In part three of this series I will guide the reader with specific information on how to tailor this website so you can receive important up-to-date information on how your member (or any members) of Congress are performing right in your Inbox.