Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. John Curtis are among the most effective legislators in Congress, according to a new report.

The Center for Effective Lawmaking — a collaboration by the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University — releases regular scorecards on all members of Congress, based on several metrics including the number of bills sponsored, how far each bill makes it through the legislative process and how "substantial their policy proposals are."

The scores are broken down by party and chamber, to account for the differences between the House and the Senate, and between the majority and minority parties. Lawmakers are each given a score normalized to 1.0, with anything higher than that better than average, and anything lower worse than average.

Lee and Curtis, both Republicans from Utah, ranked among the top 10 in their respective caucuses during the 117th Congress, which ended Jan. 3. Lee ranked eighth among Senate Republicans with a score of 1.249 and Curtis was ninth in the House GOP with a score of 1.613.

The majority of the top House Republicans come from "at-risk" districts, meaning they won their seats with a relatively slim margin of victory. Curtis is the only Republican in the top 10 with a "safer than average seat," according to the report.

Curtis won with a 69% vote share in 2020.

According to the report, Curtis' score was boosted by having four "substantive bills" — as characterized by the researchers — pass the House, three of which became law. Lee passed five substantive bills out of the Senate, two of which became law. He also passed one "commemorative bill," according to the report.

Lee and Curtis are each considered to be exceeding expectations, meaning their scores are at least 50% better than the benchmark score, which is based on party affiliation, chamber and leadership or committee positions. Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, is the only other member of Utah's delegation to be exceeding expectations, with a score of 1.105 and a benchmark of 0.558.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, are each considered to be meeting expectations, according to the report, and Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, is below expectations, with a score of 0.132.

Owens sponsored 14 bills, none of which received any action in committee, the report stated.

Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman, co-directors of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, said their scorecards help reflect bipartisan efforts in Congress, which can sometimes go under the radar.

"Our report highlights the Democrats and Republicans who have worked hard to tackle the nation's public policy challenges," Volden said in a Vanderbilt press release. "While the 117th Congress was known for high-profile bipartisan efforts on issues from Ukraine to infrastructure to same-sex marriage, our work shows such bipartisanship extending behind the scenes."

"At a time when many politicians, journalists and members of the public are decrying the rise of polarization in American politics, combined with the events of Jan. 6 at the beginning of the 117th Congress, it is encouraging to see that there are many members of the House and Senate — in both parties — that continue to reach across the aisle and work with each other to help advance their legislative goals," Wiseman said. "Contrary to popular perception, there are serious lawmakers in Congress."

Most effective lawmakers

Here are the lists of most effective lawmakers in each caucus, according to the Center for Effective Lawmaking:

House Democrats:

  • Gerry Connolly, Virginia
  • Carolyn Maloney, New York
  • Joe Neguse, Colorado
  • Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut
  • Jason Crow, Colorado
  • Mark Takano, California
  • Peter DeFazio, Oregon
  • Hakeem Jeffries, New York
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia
  • Jerry Nadler, New York

House Republicans:

  • Don Bacon, Nebraska
  • Don Young, Alaska
  • Brad Wenstrup, Ohio
  • John Katko, New York
  • Mike Bost, Illinois
  • Michael McCaul, Texas
  • Gus Bilirakis, Florida
  • Dave Joyce, Ohio
  • John Curtis, Utah
  • Ann Wagner, Missouri

Senate Democrats:

  • Gary Peters, Michigan
  • Jon Tester, Montana
  • Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada
  • Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota
  • Bob Menendez, New Jersey
  • Dick Durbin, Illinois
  • Jacky Rosen, Nevada
  • Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire
  • Jeff Merkley, Oregon
  • Maria Cantwell, Washington

Senate Republicans:

  • John Cornyn, Texas
  • Marco Rubio, Florida
  • Rob Portman, Ohio
  • Chuck Grassley, Iowa
  • Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
  • Mike Braun, Indiana
  • Roger Wicker, Mississippi
  • Mike Lee, Utah
  • Mike Rounds, South Dakota
  • Jerry Moran, Kansas