December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
4 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. john

    Goes well with the worst and most corrupt President in history.

    December 26, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  2. robert

    This Communist News Network CNN has it all wrong President Obummer is so pathetic and worthless . He takes lying to a new level.

    December 26, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Nathan

    They have done nothing; except vote theirselves pay raises...............

    December 26, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. Heather

    Change would be implementing an Anti-Lifer Bill. Is it true that many of the lifers are grandfathered into a traditional healthcare plan???????

    December 26, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. george

    corruption... corruption.... corruption... none of these guys have the interest of America or Americans. they are out for themselves only.. money, sex, power and drugs.. who is behind it all? aipac and the Zionist lobby. there isn't a major scandal or fraud on a large scale without finding them behind it. check out Madoff, and/or jack Abramoff who had 30 some members of congress on his figure tips. victor ostrovsky, in his book by way of deception details the ways they corrupt the American institutions and people of power through money, sex, drugs and power. they are masters of deception, the source of corruption and evil.

    December 26, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. Brad

    The nitwit Liberals have no idea about politics. The role of Government is to be intrusive as little as possible. It's not a success to create/alter a ton of laws. There are certain things that should be looked at first.... namely the Constitution and individual freedoms.

    December 26, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  7. Lou45

    Least two thirds of the country is getting it together. now to put them on Obamacare, cut their assistances, cut their pay and cut their retirement.

    December 26, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. doncampbell101

    I love it when the "results" of a poll are announced without the QUESTIONS. How can voters know what the intent of the poll was when the facts are not presented? When you publish the "results of a poll without the questions the information is MEANINGLESS of course CNN knows that which is why they did not provide the poll details just their interpretation of the results which was all they seemingly wanted to do.

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

    the whole American government is corrupt and lazy!! they all need to be fired . they have the only job where they can do nothing but sit on there fat happy asses and collect a paycheck without getting fired!!

    December 26, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Anonymous

    The goal of the Republicans is obvious, to paralyze the government and to increase corporate power. Trailing close behind are the two faced Democrats, who also hold favor for the corporate crowd, but are more generally progressive unless it costs the corporate classes money. Over the last 20 – 30 years there has been a huge redistribution of wealth from the working classes to the upper classes. Both parties are to blame for that. Both parties deserve failing grades, although I personally think the Republicans are much worse, leaving you with only to vote for the lesser of evils. One bad, the other, insane.

    December 26, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. doncampbell101

    CNN loses credibility every time they publish their poll results without the actual questions. Looks like the questions they asked got the answers they wanted.

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

    The problem is the president and his irresponsible Democratic cronies. They have been pushing a extremists Liberal agenda and they have no sense of accountability and no willingness to respect the will of the the vast majority of the American people. Obama and the Democrats and their Liberal-Fascist supporters are the problem.

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

    for all of you winning and complaining, you have no real solution to this problem. A real leader gathers the group and convinces the majority to go along with a practical, realistic and sound goal/plan to put into place a starting WORKING BUDGET! Look of the term "WORKING BUDGET"! Clue it is the first wok you need to focus on. This is the biggest step the private sector need to address and solve major problem since our joke of a Congress can't. Most in Congress are financially illeriate and have no interest in doing this job. Why then are they being even paid?

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

    The Democratic party is working to raise hate between Americans. The Democrat party is behind the attacks on Americans who are religious. The Democrats are behind the racial incitement. The Democrats are behind using government agencies like the DoJ and IRS against the American people. The Democrats have never worked for equality only for power. The Republicans are simply incompetent. . .

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

    I wish I had a job where I could get paid $150,000.000 + for the rest of my life and all I had to do was fly to Washington a couple times a year and do nothing.

    December 26, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. Proline

    Perhaps it time for America to restructure our Gov. We can call it reform. I'm sure if our founding fathers could see us now, they would be Disappointed, This cant be what was intended for the Greatest Nation in the world.

    December 26, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. ARdude

    Corruption is NOT the problem for this congress, it's been the problem for EVERY congress since 1776. Money talks, and a lot of it talks the loudest. Voting these yahoos out won't even fix it, because the next ones in line are bought and paid for from the time they turn their names in to run.

    December 26, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. Alan

    The republicans in congress are doing as much as they can to stop the liberals from destroying this country. Remember when Obama said he loves this country? They why is it he also said he wants to fundamentally change it? He's a scumbag who hates everything about this country and wants to completely change it. Doesn't sound like he loved the country at all.

    December 26, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Shills

    When they do "DO something..." It's not good for the best interests of the people.

    December 26, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  20. Brandon

    This Congress is doing allot! The view that passing laws that have flawed basic principles is ludicrous! Stopping intellectuals that have no concept of reality is the best thing congress can do. The mind is the worst enemy that humanity can have; remember that Germany justified everything it did, just like we are doing now! The cold reality of this current administration is that they think they are right, and will do anything to implement it! It doesn't matter to them if it is not fair; the selfishness of their behaviors deserves to be met with strong opposition. It is best to stop the current direction that our Government is taking us, and redirect to more sustainable avenues.....

    December 26, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  21. beevee

    The irony is that the american public overwhelmingly thinks that this is a do nothing congress (meaning the republicans who are in the majority in the House) and yet according to CNN poll the public still wants republicans to retain power in the House in 2014 elections. Height of stupidity.

    December 26, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Solomon Walker

    I am not going to pay for coal for these people, are you?

    Or – if we must compensate them by the articles of the Constitution, let us forward a coal voucher so that they can pick up the voucher at their nearest Mom & Pop convenience store and submit it for an exchange of coal donated by private persons.

    That satisfies the law.

    December 26, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. Solomon Walker

    I am not going to pay for coal for these people, are you? I have paid enough tax dollars for 2013.

    If we must compensate the 113th Congress by the articles of the Constitution, let us forward a coal vouchers so that members of the 113th Congress can pick up the voucher at their nearest Mom & Pop convenience store and submit it for an exchange of coal donated by private persons.

    That satisfies the law.

    December 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. louenglish

    Big government progressives will never get it. We don't want the Congress to generate a bunch of new bills, laws, programs, regulations. Our Grand children are already buried in debt. Our health care system, is being destroyed. Small business entrepreneurs are choking on petty regulations.Enough already!

    December 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. Mtt Shillings

    governing is suppose to be difficult....I personally, think a do very little congress is what is best for the country. The real problems occur when either side starts passing legislation.

    December 26, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
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