December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
7 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. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    So what has the GOP accomplished in the last five years except have 42 useless anti obamacare votes that they LOST and losing 24 billion dallars from our economy in 16 days????? Do you have an answer , if so , I would like to hear it!!!!!

    December 26, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. Hewpie

    How could a do-nothing Congress be the worst, when the previous Congress did something (i.e. passed Obamacare, blew 800 billion on a non-stimulus package) and it was the actual worst Congress ever. The only thing worse than doing nothing is doing something. Because everything Congress does makes your wallet a target.

    December 26, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  3. WhoKnewIt

    It would be better for the country if they all just went home and stayed away from Washington. They can take Obama with them.... They should adopt the Medical professions creed...."do no harm".

    December 26, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Soda

    Maybe its just me but do we really need that many new laws on the books each year. Are we not pigeoned held enough?

    December 26, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  5. king

    if it wasn't for the dems controlling this congress at the start of the obama presidency for the first 2 years, we would be in deep doodoo right now. the dem congress bailed the auto companies, housing, stock market, and at one point the economy left from a 9 point retraction, to a 5 percent growth, then the repubs took over and used their superior propaganda machine to stop everything in its track, allowing our country to grow at a slower rate. the dem sat up our country for success by coming out with obamacare, which is 1/6 of our economy, which has been creating jobs month after month after month, after the almost million job lost a month when obama took over. i know the repubs going to point on the debt. you have to know that Bush was the one that started 2 wars, and cut our taxes to pay for it, then started medicare part D. none of it was payed for. the wars are pushing nearly 3 trillion, the tax cut cost us nearly 5 trillioin, and medicare part D cost us over a trillion. i am not even talking about the interest. i wonder where were all these deficit hawks when bush was just spending like a junken sailor and not paying for it. owe i forgot they all said that deficit didn't matter. all of a sudden now it does. at least Obama is paying for what he spend and not leaving it on our credit card.

    December 26, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Cliff Robeson

    These BAD greedy little-minded girls and boys need a life change. Vote the bums out and show both political parties that Americans are smarter than voting for either of these two totally corrupt political parties! Otherwise accept what you sow.

    December 26, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. Jim

    Congress men don't work for the people they represent, they work for the companies and organizations who bought them.
    That' why there are gun massacres, entertainment companies that don't pay for accidents on their premises, construction of large amount of war tanks that the army no longer need, etc. Ordinary citizens are not on their agenda.

    December 26, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  8. Hohumm

    Because of Gerrymandered districts most of them will be re-elected.

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

    The do-nothing congress vote for obamacare on health and working man pays for it and yet he can't get medical attention without paying double or even have to fight for his rights to have ssi or disable worker and yet we to the poor -free medical and cash and we the people pay into the system

    December 26, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. Shame on them!!

    Reid, Pelosi, Schumer, Obama - the worst EVER to sit "at the top."

    December 26, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. Kyrle88

    Republicans and Democrats are both two sides of the same coin. It's the overall culture of politics in this country that needs to change, not simply the political party. Nothing will change until more people realize this.

    December 26, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. Nolegirl

    yep, GOP at it's finest. quit trying to blame the Dems, it is obvious who is shutting down the Government!

    December 26, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  13. Elucidated1

    The GOP metaphor for the last four years is Simpson Bowles, a rational proposal that Paul Ryan and the Republicans CO-WROTE. . .and then voted against. But at least the GOP has given gifts to the Democrats. . .thanks to Ted the cuban canadian Cruz and Rand all over the map Paul.

    December 26, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  14. Joe

    Don't even get me started about this pitiful group of legislators! Good for nothing! Laughing stock of the world! We would fire all of them in a sec. The way they string our country along with their political whims is inexcusable missing important deadlines, causing havoc! Grrrrrrrrr!!!!! they deserve NO pay for doing nothing!! Pay for Performance – or LACK of it!

    December 26, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  15. jon Rhodes

    These people understand they are unpopular as a group, but they feel they can survive as individuals, and they are right. They don't have to run all across the country, just in their district where they can shed the negative image of the total group and just collect the necessary votes and head back to Washington again. A terrible shame. The truth, but still a shame.

    December 26, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Gray

    These "people" have spent their terms hurting and dividing the country worse than any foreign nation or other domestic terrorist organization could. They live and breathe special interest and money with absolutely no regard for their general constituency. They'd all be swinging from short ropes in many other countries/time periods for the injury they've engendered upon their own country.

    TRY and EXECUTE: 2014. That should be the mid-term motto.

    December 26, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. Jeffro B Kirkus

    The Tea Party is the primary reason for the standstill in Congress, one of dozens of ways that these radicals have damaged America.

    December 26, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  18. James

    When this Congress does nothing it means they have kept screwing up the country to a minimum. That means they've done a great job! The less Congress does, the less government grows.

    December 26, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  19. janosian

    This congress has one problem. Corruption. They don't do anything without checking with their corporate backers to see if its ok with them.

    December 26, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  20. ITALIAN AT HEART

    When I think about the people who have given their lives for this country. This just makes me cry. Where are the people like Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy who wanted good things for America. I watched the John Adams movie a few months ago and you know they actually knew how to compromise!!

    December 26, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  21. Enigmatic1

    The fix is simple... eliminate the GOP all together from congress. I don't expect everyone to vote democrat because I'm not completely enthralled with them either but the GOP \ Tea Pary's time is up. We know this is a "Do nothing" congress, we just don't need another "Do Nothing" Congress ever again.

    December 26, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  22. stupify

    The greatest enemy for Americans is Washington with the White House, the Senate and the Congress. These are the terrorists who destroy the American dream, the American way of life as we have known it. The US Military is the worst killer in the world. We have to mobilize against Washington and destroy this evil Empire.

    December 26, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. marxist hunter

    and just how many more laws and regulations do we need? How about enforcing the ones we have . shutting down the govt over deathcare .gov seems like a great idea now... The Tea Party want fiscal responsibility and accountability , thus they must be destroyed .....typical Marxist and fascist tactics ......thanks mr president and your useful idiots at cnn , nbc, abc, cbs ,nyt, wp. well at least he gave a pay raise to worthless fed workers on the backs of our veterans ....what a country

    December 26, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. Bob Johnson

    2/3? What are the 1/3 seeing. Nothing can get accomplished when whatever party is in office the other party does not want them to succeed. Robert Frost the Congress and stop by the woods on a snowy evening – don't send ANY of them back, don't send ANY of them back.

    December 26, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  25. Cass Blaine

    SO change it people. OF course you won't. We keep re-electing the same thugs that continue to screw us over and over again. America gets the government it deserves

    December 26, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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