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History-making Congress

We are on track to have a record breaking 112th Congress. What record are they breaking? The record for least productive Congress since WWII.

In 2012 so far, only 61 bills have become law. And in all of 2011 (right after the Republicans took control of the House) only 90 bills became law.

The previous Congress (the 111th), which Democrats controlled, passed 258 laws in 2010 and 125 in 2009, even with all the Republican filibusters in the Senate.

Not surprisingly, the approval ratings for Congress are also at historical lows. They just hit 10% according to a new Gallup poll.

UPDATE: More on why this is the worst Congress ever.



  1. Jeff wrote:

    The Republicans have always stood for small government, and in their minds, a legislature that fails to pass new laws is the best way to reduce the size of government. It doesn’t matter if new laws are needed to meet the challenges of the times. They are only interested in restricting government’s influence on our country. While level-headed people may see these statistics as a failure of congressional governance, the GOP undoubtedly sees it as a victory.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink
  2. Arthanyel wrote:

    They have passed fewer bills than the infamous “Do Nothing” Congress. Which, I suppose makes them the “Do LESS than Nothing” Congress.

    Jeff – true, but if they were really serious about reducing the size of government they would be trying to pass legislation to actually reduce it, instead of wasting 33 votes on “repealing Obamacare” in the House which have zero chance of even coming up for a vote in the Senate.

    And Paul Ryan, who has effectively sponsored NO substantive legislation in his entire career is now the poster boy for the Republicans? The man who voted for every single debacle that created our current deficit?

    Obama WANTED to run against the Congress, and now he gets to do that – well done, Republicans!

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  3. Ongoing Headache wrote:

    Jeff- I disagree. Imagine for a minute that Congress and the Senate were Republican controlled. Do you think they would have minimal laws passing….or everything under the sun that their party wants?

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink
  4. David Chess wrote:

    Still, I’m not sure that “passed many many laws” is really a good measure of the success of a Congress. A small number of good laws would be MUCH better than alot of bad ones. Is number of laws passed even vaguely related to quality of work in a legislature? I’m not convinced…

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink
  5. Don in Waco wrote:

    There are advantages to gridlock which historically have resulted in some decent legislative compromise. However, the rise of the no-compromise Republican right-wing has brought new meaning to gridlock and lack of productivity.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

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