Bernie Sanders is a progressive who likes to get things done and his record of legislative accomplishments in the House of Representatives and the Senate shows it. Despite being independent from both the Democratic and Republican parties, he got more done in his first eight years in the Senate than Democratic Party superstar Hillary Clinton did in her eight years there. Before the people of Vermont elected him to the Senate in 2006, Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi dubbed Sanders the “amendment king” of the House of Representatives noting:

“Since the Republicans took over Congress in 1995, no other lawmaker – not Tom DeLay, not Nancy Pelosi – has passed more roll-call amendments (amendments that actually went to a vote on the floor) than Bernie Sanders. He accomplishes this on the one hand by being relentlessly active, and on the other by using his status as an Independent to form left-right coalitions.”

The following is a list of every substantive bill and amendment Sanders sponsored from the floor of Congress that became law (substantive meaning legislation renaming post offices is not included). Many of the roll-call amendments he passed with majority approval  — like limiting the federal government’s ability to spy on people’s library records — were removed from bills when the House and Senate negotiated over the final legislative text and did not become law.

Because the list is derived from Congress’ official database of floor actions, it does not include achievements like his insertion of funding for veterans health care into an Iraq war spending bill because that occurred off of the House floor while the bill was in conference. Nor does the list include what is perhaps his most significant achievement — providing health care to an additional 10 million mostly low-income Americans by getting Senate majority leader Harry Reid to add $11 billion in funding for community health centers that provide care regardless of a person’s ability to pay to the 2010 Affordable Care Act in exchange for Sanders rallying liberal Democrats who were considering voting against the bill once conservative Democrats removed the public option.

Those who mistakenly believe that a President Sanders would be powerless in the face of a hostile Republican Congress should bear in mind that he managed to pass these bills and amendments in spite of Republican control of both the House (1995-2006) and the presidency (2001-2008). Furthermore, it was Republicans in the House and Senate who compromised with him (not the other way around) on major veterans legislation in 2014. His original bill expanding services for veterans and fixing the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) cost $17.3 billion. The price tag of the final compromise bill? $16.3 billion.

Flanked by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders and other congressional members at Wallace Theater in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, President Barack Obama signs the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 into law.

Bernie Sanders is a progressive who likes to get things done because he knows how to drive a hard bargain for veterans, working families, students, the elderly, the poor, the sick, and the middle class.

102nd Congress — 1991-1992

  • Authorize grants or contracts to operate population-based, statewide cancer registries in order to collect certain data for each form of in-situ and invasive cancer except basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Authorizes grants for planning the registries. Mandates a study on factors contributing to elevated rates of breast cancer mortality in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services, directly or through grants and contracts, or both, to provide technical assistance to the States in the establishment and operation of statewide registries. H.R.4206 (Cancer Registries Amendment Act) enacted as S. 3312 (Cancer Registries Amendment Act).

103rd Congress — 1993-1994

  • None.

104th Congress — 1995-1996

105th Congress — 1997-1998

106th Congress — 1999-2000

107th Congress — 2001-2002

108th Congress — 2003-2004

109th Congress — 2005-2006

  • None.

110th Congress — 2007-2008

111th Congress — 2009-2010

112th Congress — 2011-2012

  • None.

113th Congress — 2013-2014

114th Congress — 2015-2016