The United States Senate is the highest chamber of the legislative branch. Made up of 100 lawmakers – two from each state – the senate body’s constitutional powers include oversight over the federal budget, approving or rejecting presidential appointments, conducting impeachment trials, and passing laws. 

While meaningful legislative action within the Senate requires collective action, individual lawmakers also wield considerable power. Any sitting U.S. senator – regardless of tenure, committee assignments, or leadership roles – can unilaterally propose new legislation by sponsoring a bill. 

Bills that originate in the Senate may be for the benefit of certain constituencies or the country at large. And even though most senate bills do not become law, some senators appear far more willing to make the effort to draft and introduce bills than others. 

Using historical records from the federal government’s congressional database, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 40 U.S. senators who are doing the most. Senators are ranked on an equally-weighted index composed of the number of bills they sponsored between January 2019 and October 2023 and the number of those bills that became law. Only the 81 senators who have been in office since 2019 or earlier were considered. 

Of the 40 senators on this list, 21 are members of the Democratic Party and 19 are Republicans, and the vast majority have been in office for over a decade. 

Most senators on this list have sponsored over 300 bills since 2019, including four senators who have sponsored over 500, and one with over 1,000 bills to his name. With one exception, every senator on this list has sponsored at least one bill since 2019 that became law. 

Half of these senators have the additional responsibilities of either chairing or sitting as ranking members in a nonpartisan committee, often an indication of seniority and areas of expertise. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat representing Minnesota, not only chairs three committees outside of her party’s conference, but also ranks highly on this list, having sponsored 492 bills since 2019, including seven that ultimately became law. (Here is a look at the senators doing the most to regulate guns.)

Of course, each senator on this list must win reelection to remain in power, and voter sentiment is influenced by any number of factors unrelated to bill proposals. Based on a survey conducted by public opinion research company Morning Consult in the second quarter of 2023, 18 of the senators on this list had approval ratings below 50%. 

These senators include Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey whose approval rating stood at just 41% prior to his being charged with accepting bribes from a foreign government. Menendez is one of eight senators on this list who are up for reelection in 2024, should they choose to run, and approval ratings below 50%. (Here is a look at the least popular senators in America.)

  1. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana (R)

Source: Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images
· Total bills sponsored, Jan. 2019 – Oct. 2023: 389
· Sponsored bills that became law, Jan. 2019 – Oct. 2023: 5
· Committee leadership role(s): Ranking member of the Special Committee on Aging
· Job performance rating: 46% approve, 34% disapprove
· Current term ends: Jan. 3, 2025
· In office since: 2019