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. Name John Gaul

    Let's be real Congress has not accomplished a thing except sit on promises and worried about their party, they have forgotten who they represent, during the upcoming election they will promise the world. There needs to be a term limit to their butts. They give themselves raises, excuse themselves from obama care, that they shoved down our throat. We are turning into a socialist government, my way or the highway. The president is like the kid that owned the football, they all are distroying the country. I am glad I am 69, that way I will not see the mess much longer. Their latest was effecting veterans retirement pay and I am sure they will attach a raise for themselves on a little known bill they pass.
    LIMIT THEIR TERMS AND VOTE THE CLOWNS OUT.

    December 26, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Fred Flintstone

    I like this congress! They give me free stuff and I don't have to work and can sleep in till11:00 everyday. Vote them in again!

    December 26, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. David M

    They have done things alright. Just nothing good.

    December 26, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Alan Mueller

    I am proud of my TP congressman and will get him reelected but you Dims need to throw your bums out, ok?

    December 26, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Doug

    Worse since the McCarthy days. I guess 28% of the people polled were alive back then.

    December 26, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Its about time CNN expose congress particular speaking about republicans instead of disrespecting and attacking president Obama all the time.

    December 26, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. Sam

    Worse, Governing Body and a whole. All three branches both sides of the aisle..

    December 26, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. Quixote

    The really puzzling thing is that the REASON this congress is so bad is summed up in three letters.....GOP....and yet early polling shows people who correctly just said this is the worst congress EVER are contemplating making it WORSE. Stupid is as stupid does.
    Voting republicon this coming November is like having an arsonist who burned down your neighbors house, burned down your shed, and has told you poiint blank he intenda to burn down your house, and then you buying him two five gallon cans of kerosene and a carton of matches and telling him you won't be home for a few days.....then hiding by locking yourself in your attic and waiting to see what he does.

    December 26, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. Terry

    The worst government ever... this administration is tearing this country apart. I just found out the government banned Buckyballs, a highly successful company, simply because 20 children got a hold of them and swallowed some magnets. What is next? Are we going to ban toilets because little ones fall in? What about pools because sometimes they get stuck in the drain? How about this? How about we ban politicians entirely, because some of them are retarded.

    December 26, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Marie MD

    I don't believe the poll that the teaklans are leading but I do agree that with the help of the teaklans and the spineless rethugs this IS the worst congress ever!
    @Brad, are you retired? If not when you do retire guess where your monthly paycheck and medical insurance is coming from . . . . . . yep, the government.
    Do you drive? Highways are paid for(our taxes) and built and kept up by that big bad government. Teatrolls are to dumb to understand how it works.

    December 26, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Terry

    The worst government ever... this administration is tearing this country apart. I just found out the government banned Buckyballs, a highly successful company, simply because 20 children got a hold of them and swallowed some magnets. What is next? Are we going to ban toilets because little ones fall in? What about pools because sometimes they get stuck in the drain? How about this? How about we ban politicians entirely, because some of them are re t@rd ed.

    December 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. Distant_Voice

    I agree with Mark Twain: The American people are never in greater danger than when congress is in-session. A perfectly balanced congress keeps the ultra-right AND the ultra-left in check. Let's keep it that way.

    December 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Wow

    Amazing...Does CNN show Reid or Pelosi...nope they ALWAYS show Boehner...yet as of the end of October the House passed more measures than the Senate has!!!! You guys at CNN might want to try to be a little bit more unbiased...at least try!

    December 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. jinx9to88

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

    ------–

    LMAO!!! You must have been moon walking the 8 years Bush was in office cause obviously you weren't on earth during those 8 years of hell. GOP are still looking for reasons to why we invaded Iraq and Afghan. The GOP clown representative from California, congressman Mr. Issa should get a review panel to look into why the US went to war. GOP are so funny!!

    December 26, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. kdmiller

    Our Corrupt Congress is the worst, and they STABBED the Vets in the bacl

    December 26, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. Henry

    The worst government ever... this administration is tearing this country apart. I just found out the government banned Buckyballs, a highly successful company, simply because 20 children got a hold of them and swallowed some magnets. What is next? Are we going to ban toilets because little ones fall in? What about pools because sometimes they get stuck in the drain? How about this? How about we ban politicians entirely, because some of them are lacking even the most simple intelligence

    December 26, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Scott

    I see nothing wrong with a "do nothing" congress. If the congress isn't doing anything, it also isn't voting away the rights of the American citizenry.

    I worry more about a "do too much" congress.

    December 26, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. Mistro

    President Obama = empty suit

    December 26, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. Bud

    This is not a Red or Blue problem.Pointing fingers is pretty stupid. This is a money problem. Washington stopped working for the people and is now captured 100% by the Special Interest Groups.

    December 26, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. harrisonhits2

    THey are the worst because they are the most corrupt. Every member of both parties commits treason on a daily basis selling the country out to the corporations. Their only concern is to service their own enormous greed and that of their corporate owners. That/s why they do nothing for the country and the people. That's why they constantly engage in actions that weaken the country, the economy and the people. Congress is a collection of human filth that needs the traditional penalty for treason handed out to every last one of them.

    December 26, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. bill.x

    CNN showing how out of touch it is by displaying a picture of Reid, when everyone knows the self-proclaimed "No support for this President" Republicans in the House, determined they will tell the country what they want and when, and that the election didn't matter. CNN, stop kissing up to the Republicans, or be painted as Fox-Light and become totally irrelevant.

    December 26, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. Florida Man

    Its about time CNN discuss the "do nothing congress" particular speaking about republicans, instead of attacking president Obama all the time lately. President Obama should not give news station any interviews until they learn to respect him and his agenda.

    December 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Italian 11 At Heart

    If Americans really feel that way, then why do we continue to elect tea party nut cases to office. Throw these republican folks out of congress in 2014, quit stalling around....just do it, We need to end the pratice of spending 24 billion dollars to shut down the goverment for sixteen days just to show that the tea party and their elected republican minions could do it. Look how many school lunches this money would have provided, or how many unemployment checks could have been sent to those familes in need who who lost jobs.......What a waste, wake up America.

    December 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. Walrus mustache

    Vote against all incumbents. It's that easy...

    December 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  25. TYRANNASAUR

    Poll: This is a 'do-nothing' Congress..............??????????

    NOT REALLY...TO BE MORE EXACT IT'S A......

    It's a CONSERVATIVE BLOCK EVERYTHING THE PRESIDENT IS TRYING TO DO FOR THE WHITE/BLACK PEOPLE CAUSE HE'S BLACK and we'll block everything he's trying to do cause HE SHOULD KNOW HIS PLACE.

    December 26, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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