December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
8 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. Chad Smith

    Before everyone gets all indignant, blaming one party over the other, please understand that the therm "CONGRESS" refers to both the House of Representatives and the Senate. So when we say do nothing, that means Harry Reid and his Senate as well as the Republican controlled house. Its called our "bi-cameral legislature, and has been that way since the Constitution was written.

    December 26, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  2. Him

    It is a "do nothing government" ... big picture.

    December 26, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  3. Jonny

    All of them, worthless piggies.

    December 26, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  4. Grace

    I would like to say that even though I'm an Independent who leans Left, I am quite proud of our Senator Susan Collins from ME...who is definitely not a do nothing. She and Senator Snowe (now retired) are the only Republicans I have ever voted for.

    December 26, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  5. louis

    Congress is scared to take up anything since Citizens United passed through the Supreme Court.

    December 26, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  6. GreatName

    Congress is all fat sleepy people.
    Oh yeah, I apologize right now, but fat is fat, sry dudes.

    December 26, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  7. Wes

    Nice of CNN to omit the executive branch from this poll.

    December 26, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  8. ThisIsNot4U2

    That's because it's full of teabilly-backed politicians who harbor and INTENSE hatred for our President. Nothing more.

    December 26, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  9. Ken Bradshaw

    Let's make it a combined Legislative/Executive failure. You also have a recalcitrant president who is both pushing a extreme socialist agenda and is largely disconnected from his duties, with his own sense of privilege.

    December 26, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  10. Jhedilla

    This is the most obstructive and divisive congress in memory. Republicans are good at vacations and wasting time, space and money of the American people. Democrats can not seem to find any way to work with Republicans. Total Fail while real Americans suffer on the brink of poverty.

    December 26, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  11. jj

    Not news. This is common knowledge. The future of this country and the well-being of its citizens must never be entrusted to repukeblican traitors.

    December 26, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  12. Rob

    Since post WW2 definitively, however the worst must go to the congress who brought us the civil war, second worst, the ones who brought us the depression, third worst must be the Nancy lead democratic majority house who rammed the Affordable Health Care Act down our throats. Hopefully the good people of America will use our power to send the current batch of idiots a very strong message. If you vote for the incumbent YOU are the problem!

    December 26, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  13. Jan

    They suck and Im ashamed of Americans that keep electing dumb fools into office which we pay tax dollars for.

    December 26, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  14. BobAD

    Congress needs to get back to serving the people and away serving the Super PAC's, the Supreme Court hasn't given the vote YET.

    December 26, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  15. gee

    Must be a slow news day at CNN. Most have know this fact for many months.

    December 26, 2013 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  16. Preston

    Blame the Obstructionist Republicans that want our President to fail and are willing to take the whole country with them!

    December 26, 2013 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  17. Smellferd

    Do nothing is good. At least they have been delightfully gridlocked. There is such an intellectual void on both sides of the isle you really DONT want them doing anything. When they are productive, you get bills like the ACA as well as the lukewarm efforts to oppose it (as it was most of the same people sans tea party at that time as well). We need a good purge of the incumbents in 2014 before any more damage is done.

    December 26, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  18. HB

    We have gridlock, and with Obama in office, gridlock is a good thing.

    December 26, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  19. mickeygib

    The message here is do not vote for any Republican candidates. A vote for a Republican is a vote for obstructionism.

    December 26, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  20. Fed Up

    How come the majority of Americans believe these so called leaders agree that this Congress is a bunch of do nothings and the do nothings continue to do nothing? Besides voting all of them out and hope the newly elected officials are better what can be done. I believe that politicians in general are all a bunch of do nothings both now and in the future. Unless we limit their benefits, pay, political donations and more things will never change. They have lost fact of the average working men and women in this countries struggles and every day needs. Our elected officials used to be looked up to and called Statesman, now they are a bunch of corrupt, money hungry greedy people. Anyone have any ideas to change the course of history?

    December 26, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  21. Art

    But yet the cast majority of incumbents of this do nothing house and senate will be reelected in next election. You get what you vote for!!

    December 26, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  22. US Citizen

    I'm SHOCKED!

    December 26, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  23. Steve

    This poll must be Captain Obvious's Christmas present to America.

    December 26, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  24. Sam

    If we don't vote them out, we will be the do-nothing public.

    December 26, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  25. Buchanan

    I hardly think that most Americans have any idea how the past Congresses of most of the last 237 years have performed and then can accurately compare it to this one, except to opine that this one is awful.

    December 26, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
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