WASHINGTON D.C. – A non-partisan organization that tracks the United States Congress and federal legislation, among other metrics, has exploded the myth of Senator Angus King being a bipartisan leader and problem solver, an image King has long worked to cultivate with Mainers.
The mythology of King goes a little something like this: by serving as an “Independent”, King works “across the aisle” to persuade people from both parties to compromise and get things done for the people of Maine.
In fact, King consistently ranks in the lower half of all Senators in the rankings, in contrast with Maine’s Senator Susan Collins, who appears to be the rare U.S. Senator whose campaign rhetoric match her work in Washington.
While King languishes at 57th in bills out of committee, Collins ranks 5th, getting twenty bills out of committee to King’s five.
Angus King’s Leadership Score lags far behind Collins, with King at 96th and Collins ranked 10th.
As far as legislating with powerful cosponsors on his legislation, King again ranks low, only signing up a one member who was a chair or ranking member of the committee his bill was referred to, that earned Senator King another finish in the basement of the rankings, finding King in the 80th spot.
In contrast, Senator Susan Collins ranked 35th in that measurement.
Last, but certainly not least is a measurement of how well Senators did with writing bipartisan bills. “Working across the aisle” is an issue Senator King, like so many other politicians, touts as a strength and key focus in Washington.
But once again, King does not measure up well against his peers.
GovTrack ranks Senator King in a three-way tie for 70th in the US Senate for writing bipartisan bills. King ties with Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Thom Tillis, both well-known partisan Republican Senators with little political incentive to work with Democrats.
In contrast, Senator Susan Collins ranks 4th in writing bipartisan bills, having successfully written more than four times as many as Senator Angus King in 2019.
While some in the media, and certainly King’s political operatives, will work to perpetuate the myth of King as a bipartisan leader and bridge builder, King is not even the highest rated Senator from his own state in any of those measurements on his 2019 Report Card from GovTrack.