Do-Nothing Congress

December 6, 2013 by  

Do-Nothing Congress, Congress is on pace to have its least productive year in modern history, earning a “do-nothing” label and adding another unwanted statistic to a body already facing chronically low approval ratings.

Cue the blame game.

“To date, the House has passed nearly 150 bills this Congress that the United States Senate has failed to act on,” Republican Speaker John Boehner argued Wednesday. “The Senate (and) the President continue to stand in the way of the people’s priorities.”

Democrats are tossing responsibility right back in the GOP’s lap, arguing that hardline House conservatives are blocking legislative progress.

Number of laws passed so far by the 113th Congress — 56: Sound substantial? Check out the breakdown.

Bills limited to one piece of land or region — 10: These include the Denali Park Improvement Act, the Freedom to Fish Act and the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Boundary Modification Act.

Reauthorization of laws — 5: The U.S. Parole Commission, a congressional award program and a handful of other regular pieces of business were reauthorized — not exactly heavy lifting.

Keeping government running — 5: Congress repeatedly had to vote to fund government and keep the bureaucracy from hitting its self-imposed debt ceiling.

Naming things — 4: Congress voted to name a bridge, a VA building, an air traffic control tower and a section of the IRS Code.

What else did they do? Most of the others were focused and had limited impact. One dealt with how to handle organ transplants from HIV+ donors. Another delayed new pipeline safety standards.

There were a few heavy lifts: The House and Senate agreed on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, prepared for a possible pandemic flu and handled the nation’s helium reserve, pivotal in the medical world.)

Stuck in idle: Immigration; jobs and the economy; energy reform/Keystone pipeline/climate change; future Medicare insolvency; future Social Security insolvency.
Meanwhile, America’s national legislature is growing increasingly dysfunctional.

No deal, but sides said to be closer on budget deal

So far, 56 bills have been signed into law in the first session of the 113th Congress. Assuming legislators don’t pick up the pace next year — and the smart money says they won’t as the midterms draw near — this will become the least productive Congress in at least the last 40 years, according to a CNN analysis of congressional records.

Is the fact that fewer bills have become law necessarily a bad thing? That depends on your point of view. But representatives and senators on both sides of the aisle readily acknowledge that some major issues have not been addressed.

Report to Team

Please feel free to send if you have any questions regarding this post , you can contact on

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of U.S.S.POST.


Comments are closed.