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. Oscar Pitchfork

    The sad thing is that after years of Republican obstructionism, stonewalling and filibustering, the majority of Americans (sadly to say) still believe the Do-Nothing Congress is a 50-50 fault split.

    December 26, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Stanley

    Yes, this has ben the worse congress in years. This congress has done nothing but fight against each other. The GOP
    has done everything they could thing of to erase what the President has done or tried to do. The GOP refuse to accept
    'the fact that the President won the second election. McConnel need to go back to Kentucky and start farming, from the
    first election (08), he wanted to make sure that the Presedent was not elected again but he failed and he has failed
    throughout his tenure. Get over it!!! and do something for the country.

    December 26, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. gstlab3

    abolish the banking, corporate and special interest elections we have now and have it replaced with a lottery like jury duty and the Draft and Selective Service.,
    Everyone is equal and has a stake in the political economic game that way.

    December 26, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. streak

    Mr. Reid: Please stroke out.

    December 26, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. nyy80401

    The article is an experiment in hypocrisy? Presenting statistics already available, from a variety of sources, is not reporting, rather, repeating. Pot, meet kettle.

    December 26, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Scott

    I am more afraid of this Congress doing anything with Reid Pelosi and Obama in office. As long as that trio is around, I am all for a do nothing Congress.

    December 26, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "There are no moderates in the democrat party. That will be their doom."

    Right, because it was extremist to enact legislation based on ideas the GOP had proposed, supported and argued for previously and which one of them, who they chose to run as their POTUS candidate, had already implemented in a state. Totally extremist to want to spend money on schools, education, children, helping the poor and sick and elderly, etc., and not at all extremist to protect hundreds of billions of subsidies that go to industries that have reported record profits throughout the Great Recession or to protect inequitable tax benefits, loopholes and deductions that only inure to the extremely wealthy or a corporate tax system that allows corporations to pay $0.00 or 0% in taxes while they lobby the gov't with billions of dollars and spend billions on advertising deliberately designed to misinform the public, etc.

    December 26, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. nelbert

    Obama’s rating worse than Bush’s, worst since Nixon
    Reid has lowest approval rating among congressional leaders
    77% of Americans distrust mainstream media

    December 26, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Thomas

    Time to impeach Obama He is an illegal.

    December 26, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Robert

    Get money out of politics and stupid people out of the voting booths and maybe things will change.

    December 26, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Reddog9500

    What America needs to do is dissolve this Congress and start fresh. Every damn one of them needs to go. But, of course we all know that isn't going to happen.

    December 26, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. me

    and yet, 98% will be reelected next year.

    RE-ELECT NOBODY IN 2014!!!!!

    December 26, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Tom999

    Fire Congress for NON-PERFORMANCE/DERELICTION OF DUTIES and DEPORT them as UNDESIRABLES.

    December 26, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. mikes

    "Do nothing Congress." You say that as if it's a bad thing. When Congress does something, they tend to screw it up. Not every problem is something which the Government is responsible for addressing, in fact, most aren't.

    December 26, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Jeannie Ramberg

    Not sure I want these idiots to DO anything..they screw up everything they touch. But really...all they do anymore is oppose what the other side wants to get done, therefore its just their battles to stay in power..Screw the people that they are supposed to repesent!

    December 26, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Josh in Tampa

    If passing more regulations or arbitrary laws is the measure of a “do something” congress, then I’m glad they did nothing. One thing we don’t need is more regulation and more arbitrary laws (just for the sake of doing “something”)

    December 26, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. PandoraDoggle

    I wish fewer Americans would expect Congress to address all of our problems.

    December 26, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Macdoodle

    Dear Santa, Please help to dump extremist CORPORATE TEA as they are trying to turn USA 2 class and blocking progress and recovery to do it. Then GOPs and Dems can have the usual arguments on what is best for all USA people. Thank you. PS :Please help me fight Veterans admin failures to prevent homelessness for older disabled vets and the horrible results for me.

    December 26, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Siestasis

    I was filling up my car before Christmas and the young ;man at the next pump said out of the blue" know what I am giving the country for Christmas, voting against every da*n incumbant. I had just said good morning and hoped he would have a nice Christmas and that was his reply. This was in South Carolina. Wow. We need real term limits. Too many elected officials think of getting re-elected before they think of what is good for the country.

    December 26, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. kyledurfee

    Is the average American really qualified to evaluate congresses? Especially to make a best/worst judgment in no more time than it takes to answer one word to an interviewer?

    December 26, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @Tom999: "Fire Congress for NON-PERFORMANCE/DERELICTION OF DUTIES and DEPORT them as UNDESIRABLES."

    Sounds like the perfect plan for the GOP/Tea Party majority in the House and the obstructionist GOP Senators.

    December 26, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    If you want a Congress that will actually do something, then vote out the GOP/tea party majority in the House and the obstructionist GOP Senators.

    FIFY

    December 26, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. kyledurfee

    Is the average American really qualified and knowledgeable enough to make this judgment? Especially to make a best/worst judgment across all congresses in the short amount of time it takes to answer one question to an interviewer?

    December 26, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. person

    It's almost like this is some sort of game, and we're too stupid to realize we're being duped...

    December 26, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Lynn

    A republican controlled do nothing congress .

    December 26, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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