Former Indiana Republican U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar worked with former Democratic U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia to forge the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program. The two are shown in an in-flight briefing over Siberia in 2007. (HPI Photo by Andy Fisher)
Former Indiana Republican U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar worked with former Democratic U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia to forge the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program. The two are shown in an in-flight briefing over Siberia in 2007. (HPI Photo by Andy Fisher)
By MARK SCHOEFF JR.

WASHINGTON - Most of the Indiana congressional delegation does not work much with the opposing party when introducing or supporting legislation, according to a study by former Hoosier Sen. Richard Lugar. On Tuesday, the Lugar Center and the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy launched the Bipartisan Index, which measures how often lawmakers attract members from the other side of the aisle when they write bills and how often they cross the aisle to co-sponsor measures.

In the index, lawmakers in the 113th Congress (2013-14) were compared to a 20-year baseline of data encompassing Congresses back to the 103rd in 1993. A score above "0" indicates a "Bipartisan Legislator" who is above average in working with the other party.

There weren't too many bipartisan legislators in the Hoosier delegation in the most recent Congress.

The only House member who scored above a "0" was Rep. Susan Brooks (R-5th CD), with a 0.83598. The other House members ranged from Rep. Larry Bucshon's (R-8th CD) -0.24571 to Rep. Luke Messer's (R-6th CD) -1.48456. Rep. Pete Viscloskey, D-1st CD, was not included in the index because he sponsored fewer than three qualifying bills. U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman ranked 365 with a score of -1.00515.

Rankings for the delegation included U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks at 23, Larry Bucshon at 186, Todd Young at 193, Jackie Walorski at 210, André Carson at 307, Todd Rokita at 333, Stutzman at 365 and Luke Messer at 416.

In the other chamber, Indiana fared much better. Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly achieved a score of 1.459805 to rank third among all senators in the most recent Congress. His counterpart, Republican Sen. Dan Coats, came in near the bottom at 87, with a score of -1.05653.

The index focused on legislation sponsorships and co-sponsorships because it said that is a more reliable gauge of lawmakers' positions than their votes on individual bills, which can be swayed by the political circumstances surrounding the vote. A consistently low score means a lawmaker "is viewing his or her duties through a partisan lens," Lugar wrote in an introduction to the poll. A consistently high score means that he or she focuses on problem solving and is willing to reach across the aisle.

"What we are measuring in this index is not so much the quality of legislation but rather the efforts of legislators to broaden the appeal of their sponsored legislation, to entertain a wider range of ideas and to prioritize governance over posturing," wrote Lugar, a Republican who established the Lugar Center after he left the Senate in January 2013 following a 36-year career there.

The Lugar Center/McCourt School index confirmed that partisan fissures are growing deeper in the capital. It found that bipartisanship declined sharply in both the House and Senate since 1999. The 112th and 113th Congresses had the two lowest scores among the 11 analyzed in the index.

"Bills are being written not to maximize their chances of passage, but to serve as legislative talking points," Lugar wrote in the introduction. "Taking a position is not the same thing as governing. For Congress to be successful, the parties must work together at the beginning of the legislative process."