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Former Representative for Louisiana’s 2nd District

Jefferson was the representative for Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district and was a Democrat. He served from 1991 to 2008.


In 2009 Jefferson was convicted of bribery. In 2012, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison. In 2017, 7 of the 10 indictments were dismissed and he was released from prison.

2009 Convicted.
2012 Sentenced to 13 years in prison.
2017 Seven of the 10 indictments were dismissed and he was released from prison.
Photo of Rep. William Jefferson [D-LA2, 1991-2008]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Jefferson is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the House of Representatives in 2008 positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Jefferson sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Jefferson was the primary sponsor of 2 bills that were enacted:

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We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Jefferson sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Emergency Management (20%) Government Operations and Politics (17%) Economics and Public Finance (15%) Social Welfare (11%) Health (10%) Taxation (9%) Commerce (9%) Finance and Financial Sector (9%)

Recent Bills

Some of Jefferson’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Jefferson’s Vote Vote Description
Nay H.R. 1424 (110th): Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007
Oct 3, 2008. Passed 263/171.
This bill became the vehicle for passage of economic stimulus relief during the 2008 financial crisis as well as other unrelated provisions. It was the Senate's October 2008 plan, and it became law. The bill contains sections for: * Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ...
Nay H.R. 6251 (110th): Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act
Jun 26, 2008. Failed 223/195.
Aye H.Res. 801 (110th): Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3688) to implement the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.
Nov 7, 2007. Passed 349/55.
Yea H.R. 1830 (110th): To extend the authorities of the Andean Trade Preference Act until February 29, 2008.
Jun 27, 2007. Passed 365/59.

Missed Votes

From Jan 1991 to Dec 2008, Jefferson missed 1,199 of 11,102 roll call votes, which is 10.8%. This is much worse than the median of 3.1% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Dec 2008. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: