December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
12 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. Gary Sellers

    Will someone please tell me why it always has to be the Republicans that must "compromise" and the Democrats are never expected to? Reading up on this, and the numbers support it, the House has passed more legislation that has not been even considered by the Senate. At least the House is trying to do something, but the Senate refuses too!!

    December 26, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Charlie
    If someone was trying to burn down my house I would gladly become and obstructionist. When the Democrat party is trying to destroy the greatest country the world has ever seen, the GOP would be foolish to sit around and watch them do it. I'm all for a "Do Nothing Congress". They certainly Do more harm than good.

    not like 30 years of trickledownvoodooreaganomics has had anything to do with our country's current state. open your eyes you fool. get money out of politics and let the votes fall where they might.

    December 26, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. lupe

    We should have a ballot for voting people out of office.

    December 26, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Thomas

    ztarbod
    The democrats' "blame republicans for everything bad we do" has been a very effective strategy.

    ========

    The Ted Cruz Strategy ? Read Green Eggs and Ham and shut down the government ?

    Rand Cruz / Ted Paul 2014
    The names have been changed to protect the guilty

    December 26, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Doug

    The president has done everything to pit the two parties against each other and created this atmosphere of lack of cooperation. He has done less to encourage cooperation than any president in history. We need more polls about the president's (lack of) leadership.

    December 26, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Loathstheright

    More to the point, it is the "Republican DO NOTHING BUT OBSTRUCT" congress.

    December 26, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

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

    Another RWNJ projecting his own party's behavior on the Dems.

    Why? There are all sorts of fancy psychological explanations for this phenomenon, but in layman's terms, it's simply a case of not having the stones to accept your own failings.

    December 26, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. stephen douglas

    We've allowed the cowards, crooks and traitors in Washington to become career politicians interested only in self preservation of their jobs. They have only the interest of their respective parties, not the U.S. as a whole. They keep coming up with new crises in order to keep diverting attention from their real objectives, which are avoidance of taking sides on any political hot potato such as illegal alien invaders, and maintaining power in Washington.

    It also needs to be noted that politicians are elected representatives of the people, not government employees. They cannot have it both ways claiming they are entitled to the same benefits as federal employees while exempting themselves from some of the laws they establish because they are politicians. As elected representatives of the people, they live and earn an income under the exact same laws and regulations as the people, i.e., they sign onto Obama Care just like the rest of the citizens, they pay taxes and social security like the rest of us, and they work until the job is done – like the rest of us.

    December 26, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. jbell31

    I've said it before, I'll say it again. Get congress to create one amendment and get the people to get behind it, and this problem along with a great many other problems within governtment goes away.

    Amendment: Let there be no elected office filled without 51% or better of eligible voter partisipation. If the office is not filled with 3 attempts of the office, the office is then removed.

    If the good people of this contry can not be inspired to vote to begin with, maybe there is a problem within the system that could change that and the quality of people that would serve in government....

    December 26, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. sandiegowatch

    What a trash of an article......

    As far as I can tell the GOP/Conservative has been trying to perform 'DAMAGE CONTROL' the last few years in response to these idi0tic decisions being made by Obama.

    December 26, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. cp125

    ..and yet, another poll shows that most Americans will vote for this very same Congress (primarily republican). I guess they like the 'do nothings'. Good Luck to all of them, you get what you deserve.

    December 26, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Renato F. Aquino

    The postings above reflect what's wrong with America these days: partisanship and the blame game will not help us, the People. BOTH parties are guilty of ineptitude and greediness. BOTH parties put their own interests before those of the American People, effectively their bosses. the current members of congress (yes, in lower case) are only interested in prolonging their political careers and savings their butts. Let's vote them ALL out in the next election and MAYBE things will be a little better for us, the American People, not the Republicans or Democrats, who should be serving us and not the other way around.

    December 26, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. tarura

    get plenty of rest now – there will be lots of things to do about impeachment soon

    December 26, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Boring

    The President and his Senate are responsible for the shut down, they are the ones who refused to negotiate the several Bills the house passed...... the media has done a good job of distorting the facts...

    December 26, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. Ben harry

    If Obama were truly presidential or half as bright as Romney, as a businessman, he would possess the foresight to see any potential problems and address them before they become huge obstacle.

    December 26, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Bashful59

    Well, NOW, are people will to put their money where their mouth is?? Isn't this the time to just clean house and start with new people! It most certainly can't be any worse, so this is a good time for people to just shut up, quit crying and complaining, and just DO something about it!!!

    December 26, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. bill

    Great, another meaningless poll spewing data that won't be used to affect any change.
    When will we start looking at the other big problem; the system? Don't hate the player, hate the game. The system allows these jokers to do what they do.
    Sorry, but the only actual solution is to change the system away from what we've known. Until then, you can enjoy polls like this for decades to come.

    December 26, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Chris Honry

    We need to MARCH on DC and drag this congress outside, administer a good beat down and inform them they are fired, by the people, and if they return they'll get more than a beating.

    December 26, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    american worker, oversight has been busy investigating obama officials to no end while banksters that killed the economy are only pursued by obamas justice dept? duh, where you been you blind coward.

    December 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. joy

    the system is going to fail if we don't come together as a nation and respect our citizenship! It is and should always be that "free" is not free. Start setting policies for charging our newborns for their social security cards and the rest of American's as well. Start Reform. 2109 is now 96 years away from being fully implemented and it needs to get done. Please Congressional Leaders who ever you might be!! Get going with this Bill!

    December 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Joe E

    With a do-nothing President.

    December 26, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. pete veslocki

    Time for Congress and the President to refund their paychecks and resign.

    December 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. middle with class

    Government used to exist to benefit the people.

    Now it exists to benefit the government.

    December 26, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Pete

    I still don't understand why people are upset about this. The turkeys in DC have no purposes in life but reelection and spending money we don't have. Why would you want them to do more!!?? ( spend more we don't have )

    December 26, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Phil

    1. Every ballot needs to be the same format, city, state and national for any election. 2. Every ballot choice needs the 'no contest' option as a valid vote. i.e. when it's a bad choice between two candidates where you don't wan't either, say no to both.

    December 26, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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