05.12.20

Peters Recognized by Non-Partisan Lugar Center As One of Most Bipartisan Senators

Ranked 12th-Most Bipartisan Senator, 3rd-Most Bipartisan Democrat for Work in 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) was recognized as the 12th-most bipartisan Senator — and 3rd most bipartisan Democrat — in new rankings released today by the non-partisan Lugar Center and McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University for his work in 2019. This follows Peters last year being named the 4th-most bipartisan Democrat by the Lugar Center and 4th-most effective Democratic senator in the 115th Senate (2017-2018) by the non-partisan Center for Effective Lawmaking.

“My top priority is solving problems and delivering results for Michigan and the best way to achieve that is by working in a bipartisan manner,” said Senator Peters. “From expanding access to apprenticeships for veterans to securing record funding for our Great Lakes, I’ve focused on issues critical to Michiganders. I will continue working to finding common ground in order to address issues that matter to families all across our state.”

The Lugar Center established the Bipartisan Index to measure how often Members of Congress work across party lines, including the frequency with which a member reaches across the aisle when bills are introduced. It examines the number of times a member cosponsors legislation introduced by the other party and how often a member’s own legislation attracts cosponsors from the other party. The late and former U.S. Senator Dick Lugar described the Lugar Center’s Bipartisan Index by writing in an op-ed, “The aim of the Index is to highlight members’ willingness to get results, regardless of party.”

Peters led and cosponsored many bipartisan legislative efforts that are now law. Last year he led and advanced a number of bipartisan provisions, including measures to:

Protect the Great Lakes

  • Increased Funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for First Time Since the Program Was Established Nearly a Decade Ago: As a result of Peters’ bipartisan efforts with U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), GLRI received a record $320 million, which is the first increase in GLRI funding since the program was established nearly a decade ago. The provision Peters secured was signed into law in December and built on his bipartisan measure that passed the Senate unanimously in October.
  • Funded the Great Lakes Center of Expertise for Freshwater Oil Spill Research and Response: Peters secured $1.5 million that was signed into law to establish the U.S. Coast Guard National Center of Expertise for the Great Lakes. The Center of Expertise — which is a result of a 2018 Peters provision signed into law — will examine the impacts of oil spills in freshwater environments and help develop effective responses.

Address the PFAS Crisis

  • Stopped the Future Use of PFAS Chemicals in Firefighting Foams and Training Exercises: The bipartisan national defense bill that was enacted in late December includes a provision Peters championed to prevent the Department of Defense from buying firefighting foam that contains PFAS after October 1, 2023 and from using these foams after October 1, 2024. This builds on Peters’ prior work that is now law, which urged the Department of Defense to develop fluorine-free firefighting foams.

Expand Skills Training

  • Expanded Apprenticeship Opportunities for Veterans: Peters’ bipartisan Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act was signed into law earlier this year, after passing the Senate unanimously in December. It will increase veterans’ access to financial assistance they can use in connection with an apprenticeship program. Peters introduced the legislation in early 2019 with U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) and partnered with Oakland County veteran Rick Donovan, State Legislative Officer, Polish Legion of American Veterans Department of Michigan.

Keep Our Communities and Borders Secure

  • Protect the Nation’s Food Supply and Agricultural Industries at the Border: Peters’ bipartisan bill with U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) to address the shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect the nation’s food supply and agricultural industries at the border was signed into law earlier this year after passing the Senate last October. Also, in the year-end funding bill, Peters helped secure $19.6 million to hire more than 150 agricultural inspectors at America’s airports, seaports and land ports of entry.
  • Help Faith-Based Organizations Secure Their Facilities against Terrorist Attacks: Following a surge in terrorist attacks targeting houses of worship, Peters’ bipartisan measure with Senator Portman providing additional resources to help religious and cultural institutions secure their facilities against potential terrorist attacks was signed into law after unanimously passing the Senate in December. Peters also helped secure $90 million in funding for the program in the year-end funding bill.

###