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. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Traced directly to the Guns Over People tea potty mistake in 2010. Looks like buyer's remorse for Republicans.

    December 26, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  2. Charles

    So we don't like the president and like congress even less, yet we keep voting for those who want to make government bigger and more intrusive into our lives. Brilliant.

    December 26, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  3. Steve M

    CNN : if you are just figuring this out and needed a poll to tell you this , just give it up !

    December 26, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  4. Name Maximus

    Interesting but I saw a lot of bills that came out of the House of Representatives that were simply ignored by the clown Harry Reid in the Senate. I would say the Senate is the worst ever and not blame the entire congress.

    December 26, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  5. GOPH

    And why is this news?

    December 26, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  6. Alex

    Whats the point CNN? Americans are going to send these same people right back to D.C. in 2014, I personally guarantee it. Then, the real freak show begins.

    December 26, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  7. jason

    SURPRISE!!! and everybody will vote for these idiots again.

    December 26, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  8. betterdays

    Sometimes doing nothing is better than forcing "something" through just to claim achievement. I think we've seen some of that lately.

    December 26, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  9. mrmanhattan

    So The United States Citizens are finally turning against the American Taliban? About time!

    December 26, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  10. Jensenson

    I wasn't polled, but I agree most heartily with the majority here. They rake in all the money they can, get benefits most of us would be overjoyed to have at least 25% of, and as long as they're in office they figure they might as well do nothing. Nice.

    December 26, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  11. David Evan

    If you don't like what you see a) vote b) turn off your TV during political commercials and c) face down your elected officials and hold them accountable.

    December 26, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  12. Dale

    How can you say a "Do Nothing" Congress when hey give themselves a pay raise, they make sure their benefits are never cut, they enjoy spending your money and not theirs; they do plenty for themselves.

    December 26, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  13. Monty

    How can they be called a do nothing congress? They passed obamacare and almost doubled the national debt. They've managed to screw America.

    December 26, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  14. Paul Prejean

    That's not saying much given that the last congress passed laws that they didn't even read. I'd rather a congress not pass laws that they understand as opposed to passing laws that they don't read.

    December 26, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  15. GT58

    I am surprised the # isn't higher.

    December 26, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  16. Sue0319

    Why is it........That most of the time CNN does not show the break down of their "polls"? For example-how many Democrats, Republicans, and Independents were asked in the poll. Keep in mind.......Before Obama/Democrats got their "shellacking" in 2010–according to most "polls"–Democrats were polling 2-3 points ahead of the Republicans. I feel another "shellacking" coming up in the 2014 mid-term elections. This is especially true being that most Senate seats up for election/reelection are in states that supported Romney and the voters do not like Obama (he is showing an approval in the 30s in some of these states).

    December 26, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  17. rick

    LoL Boxing day GOP, get your gloves on !

    December 26, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  18. USCitizen

    Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin. The only hope for the People to take back their government is voting third party and starting term limits.

    December 26, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  19. J R Brown

    So...we have the worst Congress and the worst President at the same time.

    Good job, voters. We have exactly the government we deserve.

    December 26, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  20. G_Edwards

    Historically, the worst set-up for unemployment is a split Congress.

    A dem-controlled Congress is next worst. And the lowest rates are when the Repubs control both houses of Congress.

    .

    December 26, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  21. Thomas

    The worst Congress ever , "do-nothing" Congress , obstructionist Congress .

    Maybe since Lincoln , the Abolitionist Movement , Emancipation and pre civil war ?

    " I'd rather fight then switch " or " You've come a long way Baby "

    The House Speaker , John A. Boehner needs to stop what he's smoking .

    December 26, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  22. G_Edwards

    "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."

    And that's a bad thing because????

    .

    December 26, 2013 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  23. D

    is this improvement?

    December 26, 2013 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  24. BD70

    I don't know why this is considered breaking news. A study I watched a couple weeks back proved that this was the worst Congress EVER. Even if they tripled the bills they write in 2014 they still would be the worst ever.

    December 26, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  25. lerianis

    How do they expect Congress to do anything when various states elected Tea Party nitwits, who love to stonewall on every single thing, into Congress?
    Get rid of the Tea Party (not necessarily the Republicans) and things will get better.

    December 26, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
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