Ranked 5th-Most Bipartisan Senator, 3rd-Most Bipartisan Democrat for His Work in 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) was recognized as the 5th-most bipartisan Senator — and 3rd-most bipartisan Democrat — in new rankings released by the non-partisan Lugar Center and McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University for his work in 2021. This follows Peters’ recognition as the #1 most effective Senator in the 116th Congress by the non-partisan Center for Effective Lawmaking. Peters earned the effectiveness recognition based on his ability to enact and advance bipartisan legislation – despite the fact that he was serving in only his first term and was in the minority party at the time.
“Michiganders expect me to work across the aisle to get things done, and my top priority has been finding common ground to solve problems and deliver results for the people I represent. The best way to achieve that goal is by working with members of both parties, and I’m proud of my bipartisan record,” said Senator Peters. “Our nation faces enormous challenges that require both commonsense and innovative solutions. That is why I will continue working with all of my colleagues to improve the lives of people in Michigan and across the nation.”
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 and Bolster Disaster Response and Preparedness
· Passed Bipartisan Legislation Into Law to Address Shoreline Erosion and Address Rising Water Levels: To protect communities against severe weather events, Peters passed his bipartisan STORM Act into law and successfully secured $500 million to jump start the program through the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law.
· Pushed Legislation to Help Retain Disaster Response Workers: The Senate has passed Peters' bipartisan bill to protect Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Reservists from losing their full-time employment when they are called up to assist communities with disaster response. This will help FEMA can recruit and retain Reservists to strengthen the federal response to disasters.
· Led Landmark Reforms to Enhance Cybersecurity for Essential Networks: The President has signed into law Peters’ landmark legislation to require critical infrastructure owners and operators to report to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) if they experience a substantial cyber-attack or if they make a ransomware payment. As a part of the bipartisan infrastructure law, Peters secured provisions to strengthen online defenses including $100 million to help victims of a serious attack recover quickly, $21 million to support the National Cyber Director’s mission, $1 billion to help state and local governments protect their networks. An additional provision secured by Peters will help safeguard our nation’s public water information technology systems from attacks.
· Pushed Reforms to Bolster Federal Agency Cybersecurity: Peters has also authored and passed significant, bipartisan reforms out of the Senate to require civilian federal agencies to report to CISA if they experience a substantial cyber-attack and ensure federal agencies can quickly and securely adopt cloud-based technologies that improve government operations and efficiency.
· Passed Bipartisan Bill into Law to Help Protect K-12 School Systems from Cyber-Attacks: The bill helps educational institutions bolster their cybersecurity protections by instructing the CISA to examine the risks and challenges that schools face in securing their systems. Using their findings, CISA is charged with creating cybersecurity recommendations and other voluntary resources for schools to use when implementing their cybersecurity solutions.
Postal Service Reform
· Passed Historic Bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act Into Law: The President signed into law Peters’ historic, bipartisan legislation to set the United States Postal Service on a more sustainable financial footing and support the goal of providing long-term reliable service across the country. The law, which passed the House with 342 votes and the Senate with 79 votes, makes the first major reforms to the Postal Service in more than 15 years.
Support First Responders
· Passed Legislation to Protect Firefighters from PFAS Exposure: Emergency responders are frequently exposed to harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams and personal protective equipment as they work to keep communities safe. Peters’ bipartisan legislation to protect firefighters and other first responders from these toxic substances has passed the Senate.
Save Taxpayer Dollars and Improve Government Efficiency
· Increased Transparency of How Government Spends Taxpayer Dollars: Peters’ bipartisan bill to require federal agencies to publish easily understandable justifications for their budget requests on a single, central website each year has been signed into law.
· Wrote a Law to Expand Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses: A bipartisan bill written by Peters to encourage innovation in contracting and expand opportunities for small businesses to work with the federal government has been signed into law.
· Passed Bill to Ensure Public Buildings Utilize Energy-Efficient Lighting: Peters’ bipartisan legislation that would help save taxpayer dollars by directing the General Services Administration (GSA) to install the most life-cycle cost effective and energy-efficient lighting in public buildings has passed the Senate.
· Pushed to Create Leasing Program for Underutilized Space Held by Federal Agencies: A bipartisan bill led by Peters to create a program that allows federal agencies to lease underutilized properties with approval from the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), and to use the rent payments to help fund capital projects and facilities maintenance has advanced in the Senate.
Invest in Domestic Manufacturing
· Pushed to Bolster American Semiconductor Production and Supply Chains: Peters’ bipartisan Investing in Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing Act would ensure that federal incentives to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing include U.S. suppliers that produce the materials and manufacturing equipment that enable semiconductor manufacturing – strengthening the supply chain for semiconductors and bolstering Michigan manufacturers. Peters also helped pass a bipartisan economic competitiveness bill out of the Senate to strengthen manufacturing and boost economic competitiveness on the global stage, including to lessen our dependence on countries like China. He has now been selected to negotiate the final economic competitiveness bill in Congress so that it can be sent to the President’s desk for signature.
· Passed a Bill to Decrease U.S. Reliance On Foreign Sources For Medical Equipment: Peters secured a provision in the bipartisan infrastructure law to strengthen efforts to onshore production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States by requiring federal agencies to issue long-term contracts for American-made PPE.