December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
11 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. Matthew

    It's better to do nothing than to do something bad. Obamacare did something but is horrible.

    December 26, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. aj

    Don't buy in to the anti GOP and anti DEM comments! Both parties are just absolutely corrupt! We need to clean house and start over. Party loyalists are sheeples and fools!

    December 26, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. christina

    Two words: tea party.

    Don't like it? Then vote them out.

    December 26, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. aj

    Time to clean house!!!

    December 26, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Anonymous

    I don't think any of us can complain about Congressional approval. The Dem majority was elected to implement Obama policies. The Rep majority was elected in the House to stop Obama. What do we expect? The past five years have been some of the most vicious political years in my memory. I don't recall worse. It's our fault. Congress is only a reflection of our society. We've lost the ability to work together to move this country forward in a meaningful and congenial manner. We have an increasing number of poor, but it seems that there's little disgrace in accepting a handout from the government. There huge national debt, but it seems there's no disgrace in living beyond our means as a country. Until we can reduce poverty without putting ourselves deeper in the hole our future will remain uncertain if not bleak.

    December 26, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Richard L Smith

    I fail to understand this poll as a more recent CNN poll shows that 2/3's of Americans feel this is a "do nothing Congress". It is a "do nothing Congress" because it is controlled by the GOP. But, as the writer said, these polls are really meaningless (this poll, not the "do nothing poll"). "Obamacare" will be straightened out well before the midterms, the GOP knows it. The President knows it too, he is a master politician, like it or not. He is the President, like it or not.

    December 26, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Lawrence Goldstein

    Congress – what a joke. It's a shame they get paid for poor work. Sent our jobs overseas, happily employed workers in other countries, shut down our government and cost us 26 Billion on top of it all. The Tea Party with all the extra money from the Koch Brothers really put the screws to the working class Americans. All that money so the 1% will have it all. They must be proud of their accomplishments. I have my lump of fake coal. I truly hope all the Republicans get voted out of office.

    December 26, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Wade

    People here seem to be too ignorant to understand that CONGRESS is the SENATE as well as the HOUSE. Dems control the Senate and do nothing at all not even able to pass a budget for 5 years then the house is narrowly controlled by the GOP who have passed many bills that the DEMS in the Senate or Obama have KILLED.

    December 26, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Harry Pelosi

    Isn't that better than ramming a bill down American's throats, and THEN finding out what is in the bill??

    December 26, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Blackcurry

    Minuteman, sounds like a plan to me, but could we up that to 2/3rds of them?

    December 26, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. sam

    We would be 25 trillion in debt if everything Obama wants were passed. When interest rates go up and the derivative's market goes bust then it's third world for everyone!

    December 26, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Larry of Boston

    We are all grown ups.... we do not need 400 new laws a year so the government can tell us how to act.
    A do nothing Congress is a Congress that will likely do no harm.

    December 26, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Capp

    Hey Joel,
    Every congressman and woman elected has always had as their priority to stop spending, once elected, they change their tune and go on spending sprees. To benefit thier districts of course, can't stop spending in their backyards! Stop spending in someone elses backyard!

    December 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. bo

    O that wright it the President fault .

    December 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Dan

    Like you people know anything about politics; you think deficit spending is comparable to balancing a checkbook; you have an adolescent view of government and have no idea what less government would mean. You have no sense of community and think social safety nets are created because of the love of the lazy. Why should we trust you? You do not know what you are talking about and have fallen into the us vs. them trap laid out by your mouthpieces. Your sponsors want you to be distrustful of Americans, it keeps your eye off of the hand that's picking your pocket.

    December 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Just A Guy

    "Joel
    Dear Liberals, I don't think passing bills to increase spending is the answer to everything! There should be a law that the debt ceiling can not be raised again. This fake money you people pull out of the air needs to end!"

    Oh, Joel, your name should be Jon Snow. Why? Because you know nothing! It's all of congress that has their thumbs up their butts, and you still stick to the political training you've been propagated by blaming liberals, and you blame them for what? Something that makes ZERO sense! You know nothing, Jon Snow...

    December 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. rick

    Abraham Lincoln said it best. In his speech of 1858. "a house divided against itself cannot stand". The Romans did the same thing almost 2,000 years ago. Civil War, if that is what you want to call our government, will destroy this country, if it hasn't already.

    December 26, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Nathan

    Dump them all.............especially Sebilus...............

    December 26, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. John

    Is it really a bad thing that they have not passed into law MORE ill conceived laws than previous congresses?

    December 26, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. " a airborne ranger......

    I don' t under stand people get this about the President administrators are taking the US in the wrong way did u thank that when Bush were in the WHITE HOUSES!....

    December 26, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. Kathy, Glendale, AZ

    If you don't vote these fools (incumbents) OUT OF OFFICE, YOU'RE a big part of the problem. - You can't complain about them when YOU'RE the one who keeps putting them back in there.

    December 26, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. Dan

    Randy:
    You have no scope of history or knowledge beyond the last four years.

    December 26, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Franklin

    I think a good congress is one that passes no laws and blocks every initiative.

    December 26, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. Larke Marie

    It is not just the congress, we also have one of the worst presidents and administrations in modern history!

    December 26, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. tim

    Really? The worst? How did you like the 2008 Congress that bailed out the Banks and Detroit to the tune of one Trillion dollars??? I prefer congress doing NOTHING!!!

    December 26, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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