Clinton and Sanders at the debate in January. (REUTERS/Randall Hill)

For all of their comments about having been colleagues in the Senate, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton spent about as little time there together as is possible. Clinton was first elected in 2000, leaving at the beginning of 2009 when she was appointed secretary of state. Sanders won election to the senate in 2007 — right as Clinton started her first bid for the presidency.

During 2007 and 2008, as she was in her first protracted battle for the nomination, Clinton missed nearly a third of the votes the Senate took.


As has been noted elsewhere (including by us), when Sanders and Clinton were both there and were both voting, they generally concurred with one another. According to data from Govtrack, the two voted the same way on legislation about 93 percent of the time.


The two disagreed 31 times, on votes ranging from the final approval of bills to motions to cut off filibuster. They’re indicated on the chart below, and listed at the bottom of this article.


(Split votes by a party are those in which neither Yea nor Nay got at least 60 percent of the vote.)

Among the most significant disagreements was on the “Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007” — the legislative vehicle for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. Sanders was one of 25 senators to oppose the measure, bucking the majority of both the Democratic and Republican caucuses.

Of course, Sanders wasn’t a Democrat until he decided to run for president. It’s not a surprise, then, that Sanders went against the party majority three times as often as did Clinton.


“I have said many times, you know, sometimes in these campaigns, things get a little bit out of hand,” Sanders said during the most recent debate. “I happen to respect the secretary very much, I hope it’s mutual. And on our worst days, I think it is fair to say we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate.”

Not a shocking statement. After all, the two agree more than 90 percent of the time.


The times the two disagreed:

  • Feb. 8, 2007: On the Nomination PN177: Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., in the Army, to be General. Clinton, Nay. Sanders, Yea.
  • Mar. 6, 2007: On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 335 to S.Amdt. 275 to S. 4 (Improving America’s Security Act of 2007). Clinton, Nay. Sanders, Yea.
  • Mar. 6, 2007: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 333 to S.Amdt. 275 to S. 4 (Improving America’s Security Act of 2007). Clinton, Nay. Sanders, Yea.
  • Mar. 6, 2007: On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 338 to S.Amdt. 275 to S. 4 (Improving America’s Security Act of 2007). Clinton, Nay. Sanders, Yea.
  • Mar. 15, 2007: S.Con.Res. 20 (110th): A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that no funds should be cut off or reduced ... Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Apr. 25, 2007: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 921 to S. 761 (No short title on file). Clinton, Nay. Sanders, Yea.
  • May. 7, 2007: On the Cloture Motion S. 1082. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • May. 9, 2007: S. 1082 (110th): Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • May. 16, 2007: On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 1135 to H.R. 1495 (Water Resources Development Act of 2007). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jun. 6, 2007: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1267 to S.Amdt. 1150 to S. 1348 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007). Clinton, Nay. Sanders, Yea.
  • Jun. 7, 2007: On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 1150 to S. 1348 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jun. 7, 2007: On the Cloture Motion S. 1348. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jun. 7, 2007: On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 1150 to S. 1348 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jun. 19, 2007: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1614 to S.Amdt. 1502 to H.R. 6 (CLEAN Energy Act of 2007). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jun. 20, 2007: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1800 to S.Amdt. 1704 to S.Amdt. 1502 to H.R. 6. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jun. 20, 2007: On the Motion (Motion to Waive C.B.A. re: Inhofe Amdt. No. 1666). Clinton, Nay. Sanders, Yea.
  • Jun. 26, 2007: On the Cloture Motion S. 1639. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jun. 27, 2007: On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1934 to S. 1639 (No short title on file). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jun. 28, 2007: On the Cloture Motion S. 1639. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jul. 12, 2007: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2024 to S.Amdt. 2011 to H.R. 1585 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jul. 19, 2007: On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Collins Amdt. No. 2340). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jul. 19, 2007: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2351 to S.Amdt. 2327 to H.R. 2669 (College Cost Reduction Act of 2007). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Sep. 26, 2007: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3017 to S.Amdt. 2011 to H.R. 1585 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Mar. 13, 2008: On the Motion (Motion to Waive C.B.A. DeMint Amdt No. 4347). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Mar. 13, 2008: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4196 to S.Con.Res. 70 (No short title on file). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Sep. 17, 2008: S. 3001 (110th): Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Sep. 23, 2008: On the Motion (Motion to Waive C.B.A. Baucus Amdt. No.5635). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Oct. 1, 2008: On the Amendment S.Amdt. 5685 to H.R. 1424 (A bill to provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes.). Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Oct. 1, 2008: H.R. 7081 (110th): United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Oct. 1, 2008: H.R. 1424 (110th): Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007. Clinton, Yea. Sanders, Nay.
  • Jan. 15, 2009: S.J.Res. 5 (111th): A joint resolution relating to the disapproval of obligations under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Clinton, Nay. Sanders, Yea.