Facts Team | Gary Peters ad highlights attendance and hits back at John James

The argument rests on three assertions: its record voter turnout of 99.2%, its ability to get bills passed, and Lugar Center for Effective Legislation naming him “one of the most bipartisan and effective senators.”


All three statements are true.

Peters has been in attendance at 99.2% of votes since 2015, including perfect attendance in 2019, by GovTrack. He has also passed nine bills in the Senate since the start of the 116th session in 2019, the most of any senator.

For the past two years, the Lugar Center — which was founded by former Republican Senator RIchard Lugar — has named Peters the 12th most bipartisan senator and fourth most efficient senator in the minority party.

“Gary Peters is one of the most effective and bipartisan leaders in the Senate,” campaign spokeswoman Vanessa Valdivia said in Bridge Michigan.

Some context adds nuance to the statements.

Peters’ attendance record is for Senate votes, not committee hearings, which are harder to quantify. The median lifetime attendance record of the 100 active senators is 98.3%, according to GovTrackwho notes that senators typically only miss votes “due to medical absences and major life events” such as running for president.

Peters passed nine bills in the Senate, but two became law: the Supporting Veterans in Effective Learning Act, which has increased access to apprenticeship programs, and the Protecting the US Food and Agriculture Actwhich increased the number of federal agricultural inspectors.

Two other bills had provisions enacted in another law, by GovTrack. That means four of nine Peters bills have passed both houses and have been signed into law in the past two years. Six senators exceeded that total.

James’ campaign called the announcement “a pathetic attempt to pass off a failed performance as a passing grade… His voting record is nothing short of exceptional.” As evidence, the campaign repeated that Peters had missed hearings as a House member since 2011 and a China task force from 2015 to 2019.

Bridge Michigan has already reviewed these charges and considered them misleading.

The conclusion

Peters’ announcement uses facts to back up his argument about his presence and ability to push bills through.

Claims by the James campaign that the Michigan senator is out of office are patently false.

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