December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 months ago

Poll: This is a 'do-nothing' Congress

Washington (CNN) – The worst Congress ever.

That's the verdict from two-thirds of Americans about the track record of the 113th Congress, according to a new national poll. And a CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday also indicates that nearly three-quarters of the public say that this has been a "do-nothing" Congress.

Two-thirds of those questioned said the current Congress is the worst in their lifetime, with 28% disagreeing.

"That sentiment exists among all demographic and political subgroups. Men, women, rich, poor, young, old - all think this year's Congress has been the worst they can remember," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Older Americans - who have lived through more congresses - hold more negative views of the 113th Congress than younger Americans. Republicans, Democrats and independents also agree that this has been the worst session of Congress in their lifetimes."

According to the survey, 73% say that this Congress has so far done nothing to address the country's problems, with one in four disagreeing.

Even though it did pass a budget agreement, fewer than 60 bills have been signed into law during the first year of the two-year long 113th Congress, according to CNN analysis and by other news organizations as well. Assuming lawmakers don't pick up the pace next year, and that's a safe bet as 2014 is an election year, this will become the least productive Congress in at least the last four decades.

The poll also indicates there's little optimism for the future.

"Negative attitudes extend to both sides of the aisle: 52% believe that the policies of the Democratic leaders in Congress would move the country in the wrong direction; 54% say the same about the policies of congressional Republicans," Holland said.

And 54% say the same thing about President Barack Obama's policies

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on December 16-19, with 1,035 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

soundoff (916 Responses)
  1. Rennie

    It seems CNN can conduct a poll with many people, but can't ask 1 Senator, Harry Reid, why he tables all the bills coming from the House. That's why nothing gets done. Thank you CNN for bringing us all the news and asking the most basic questions real news editors ask. Where is that sarcastic font when you need it?

    December 26, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  2. are122

    A do nothing Congress and a know nothing President.

    December 26, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  3. MattinVA

    Congress is good for nothing at this juncture. The Republican party is split and the dems vote in line with Reid who spends more time under Obama's desk than the president's feet.
    I've read people blaming the GOP for the government shutdown. I am assuming that you folks can't read past a headline. You DO know the GOP only wanted a delay for the individual mandate of Obamacare. They didn't get it, so the "shutdown" happened. So what's been up since then? Obama HIMSELF has delayed the implementation! If that isn't a giant red Vegas sign, I don't know what is.

    December 26, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  4. pablo

    Sorry bunch of thieves feathering their own nests.

    December 26, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. Joe

    How do you call people who elected the worst Congress ever?

    December 26, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  6. Erick Holmes

    The 28% that disagree are the ones probably paying the price for the Congress we now have. Put them on a budget and see how they feel after a month.

    December 26, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. Mike D.

    The biggest problem with congress is the obstructing tea republicans in office.

    December 27, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. Curtis Dunford

    Conservatives have not only destroyed our government , they have also divided our Nation . When citizens are Demonized , when the News Media is Demonized , when anyone with a different view is a commie , socialist, and conservative viewpoints are our standard , the RIGHT-WING agenda is complete . When being poor is a social crime , when having expressed your Freedom of Religion are DEMONIZED , the voice of conservatives is louder than the Morals in our hearts , America is under attack .

    December 27, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  9. sonnie3

    Dingy Harry wins the prize for the most arrogant member of Congress. He has not one ounce of compromise in him and that is how we got the obamacare fiasco. How on Gods Green Earth do people like that get voted in???

    December 27, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  10. sonnie3

    Obama showed no leadership in a compromising way. Nothing good will happen in America until he is out of office.
    He could not even run a shoe store. He has no common sense and Experience to qualify for the job he holds. so SAD

    December 27, 2013 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  11. TJeff1776

    The way I see it IS >>>The Republicans are strictly lawyers for the rich and handsomely paid especially by the health industry. The Democrats are right on target "health care wise". That's the opinion of eight out of ten of the crowd I run in. Conservative groups, to be sure, push their own hate agenda against Obama.

    December 27, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  12. DAVID

    the tea party has little or no effect on the direction of this country! you have to get amendments in any bill that you can stir the direction of the country that has a chance of passing the presidents desk and through the senate. if the tea party can't handle the reality of the voters choices for the senate and white house than they have to win the majority in the senate and win the white house. the are trying to control the whole country from a small minority spot of about 40 plus house reps. the last bill that passed the house was the budget bill they voted no as a tea party and the rest of the GOP voted yes on the bill. the real GOP sent a massage to the tea party that we are tired of dealing with you hijackers of the GOP. the tea party = irrelevant. form your own party of tea and win lots of election or sit down and shut up because your all washed up.

    December 27, 2013 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  13. Al

    The Senate side of the Congress has been in lock down. The White House has instructed Harry to sit on any and all HR bills that the Congress submits, and as a good pet, Harry has done just that. The Congress has submitted over 73 Bills for a vote to the Senate. It's all on the government website that shows what bills the Congress submitted, it even show where they are at the present time. You should ask the controlling party of the Senate why they are the do nothing part of the Congress.

    December 27, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  14. someoneelse

    Worst Congress? You need to be more specific, it is the Senate that is the Do Nothing component of Congress.

    December 27, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  15. anvolpe

    A famous man ounce said that a house divided against itself cannot stand, I wonder!

    December 27, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  16. mfh

    Its not that its a do nothing congress as it is a corrupt form of government. Our current government is not that envisioned by our founding fathers. A party system of government does not work, too many problems based on party lines. We should abolish all parties and make each candidate clearly publish and speak to each subject, then we can decide who we think best thinks like we do and vote for him or her.

    December 27, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
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