December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
12 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. FRED

    The only way to fix this mess is to not re-elect ANY of these criminal jerks! Obviously, not one of them can do anything right! This congress is the fault of ALL Americans for continuing to re-elect them! They are all paid off by the corporations! The constitution might as well read "of the corporations, for the corporations, by the corporations"!

    December 26, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. Elucidated1

    Uh, why is this a surprise? There were more than one Republican who in 2009 said "we are going to shut this government down" and they did. How? Well, the GOP House did not bring out any significant legislation in four years. The Republican Senate made sure Senators were hamstrung by breaking the all time Congressional record for filibusters!
    No matter which way this is spun, it is very clear that the GOP has been exposed in 113 Congress as the most vindictive and best at obstructionism in US history and their record speaks for itself.

    December 26, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. Larry

    The worst Congress, for sure. But what the most depressing part is that they don't seem to care! Time passes but they don't change anything. They have no fear, and know that they will retire with a nice pension from those they don't serve. Lie, spin; hurt people, spin; self-serve, spin. They are seldom held responsible for anything by their Gerrymandered, low-information constituents. As the Greatest country becomes less and less great there are no recalls and no organized protests. There is not a good outlook for the future I think.

    December 26, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Worst Congress EVER!!! We've been saying it all along so this poll is no shocker. Significant change is coming 11/4/14.

    December 26, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Name john vandra

    When are you people going to stop wasting your time with this insanity.
    These politicians are most of them high paid idiots that like to lie.

    December 26, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. Mark

    President Obama is really doing is best at this time.... People arround world pls, stop talking and do more for community. President Obama can not do everything by himself.......

    December 26, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  7. clarinet

    Glad Congress did nothing. Last time they did something we got Obamacare shoved down our throats.

    December 26, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. EJ

    Reid and Pelosi are the worst offenders of all – get rid of them. How they keep getting re-elected is a mystery to me. They haven't done anything in years – rhey won't even consider listening to any other opinions. Their "it's my way or the highway" attitude is the reason we're in this mess – along with the current faux commander in chief. Get rid of all of them. Can anyone say TERM LIMITS!!!!??????

    December 26, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. David

    Why is it when I said this years ago, I was called stupid? I guess I had to wait for CNN to agree.

    December 26, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  10. hopefull81

    well i bflieve in the people I only hope for a new Era that is excited to teach the children to change their ways in order to live by a new world order we are going to have to start doing our part in the world by mandating the countys and controlling how and where we can be of use to our planet. or we can just do nothing and blame the ones in office and thats how we can all fall short as a people we have to do it for the people by laws that favor agriculture in hopes to rate the order of a better life for our legacy. or we can sit on our cuts and complain about how bad things are and watch them get worse rate the h2o the planet offers our resources we need to wake up america

    December 26, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  11. Elucidated1

    If you read the right wing blogs like Breitbart, Townhall, Heritage, Fox, you would think that the Democrats are the worst human beings on earth, they hate America, and 2014 will prove it to everyone when the GOP retakes the Senate. One tiny problem though. No one on those sites can names "all" of the states where Democrats lose and Republicans will suddenly win. Even Mitch McConnell is not a shoe in anymore.

    December 26, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. middle america man

    The only things my Republican rep can be counted on to do is vote with the Tea Party, and get drunk and swim naked in the Sea of Galilee while on a junket (yes, it happened.) Need to send him home.

    December 26, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. Rs

    You Can either remove the GOP who obstruct everything and creating nothing of value, or remove the ability of the Koch brothers to buy all of them off.
    The GOP are nothing more than cheap wh0res doing the bidding of big business without care of how it impacts their voters.

    December 26, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. Guest

    I think it's a case of unrealistic expectations. What do you want them to do? Pass laws for the sake of passing laws? They can't fix the economy. We live in a global economy now and every 1st world nation is feeling it and will continue to feel it until standard of livings equalize.

    The best you can expect of them is to do nothing and keep taxes low.

    December 26, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  15. paulanderson2

    There is an 85% to 90% the incumbents will win re-election. Polls are populated by those who dont vote on a regular basis anyway. And for those who do, they blame the whole Congress but dont want to send unknowns there.....

    December 26, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  16. WV Gleeman

    What will the conservatives do if they ever get a POTUS in the white house? Who's fault with everything be then? Not that it's likely given the candidates we see today that will be allowed to run by the crazies.

    December 26, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  17. Pablo

    What a great job. Get your name known, have people give you money, show up to a very part-time job sometimes, be wined and dined by people you don't know, then quit and be in line for a big money job working to represent whatever industry you just oversaw. Occasionally go on national or local TV and spout whatever drivel was put in you head by the daily talking points memo. While in office, no need to do a darn thing except say no, or point fingers. Man, that's living!

    December 26, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  18. Reasonable

    The most troubling thing is the right allows itself to be ruled by the far right Tea Party conservatives who represent only a small, uneducated faction of this nation, to the detriment of the American people. If this continues, all of the admirable qualities of republican policy will be lost in the white noise of ignorance: true fiscal conservatism, reasonable (I.e., lower taxes), a global military presence, etc.

    Guess what? I am a republican who would rather see a moderate Dem in office than a crazy conservative. (I voted for McCain despite Palin, and abstained in 2012.)

    December 26, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  19. carl

    They had three choices. Do something good. Do nothing. Do something harmful. They made the right choice.

    December 26, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. smith

    @Rudy-Good morning, hope you enjoyed your holiday. I agree with you most people prob. can`t name other policies besides the ACA. However, in 2013 taxes went up 2% for private sector employee`s and with the ACA folks are feeling it in the pocket book. Mess with people`s money (no matter what economic class)and we have disgruntled citizens.

    December 26, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  21. ken mertz

    Let us not forget.....that the SENATE run by HARRY REID is also part of congress.

    December 26, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  22. 老屄壳子闭嘴

    the pickups by wall street have done all the right things for wall street

    December 26, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  23. Rachel

    A do nothing congress is a result of poor leadership in the white house. Enough said.

    December 26, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  24. james

    It's more like the worst president in history and his puppet democrats vote them all out

    December 26, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  25. wayne

    i consider this one of the best congresses ever ... doing nothing is really a good thing .. maybe they should become part-time like many state legislators and take part-time pay ... stop with the free haircuts/free healthcare/free parking/free gym/free etc ....

    December 26, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
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