December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
4 years 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. stopdrinkingthekoolaid

    if doing nothing means not spending billions of tax dollars on unneeded federal pork projects.. I'll take a do nothing congress anyday of the year. Seems like the only way some people judge congress is by how much they spend.

    December 26, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Cynthia

    I can't wait until November 2014 to vote all these congressional idiots out of office, and Govenor Rick Snyder is the main one. Maybe President Obama can get something done in his last two years in office.

    I can't wait.

    December 26, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. sofork

    Congress needs to balance the budget and curb the out of control spending–which is difficult to do since Reid, Obama and the Democrats will not allow. Other than that, I am sort of glad Congress isn't passing any other laws.

    December 26, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. tony

    The Tea Party is really smart. They must have done so much research and found out that Small government with low benefits and mostly military expense worked so well for so many hundredss of years.

    We called them "Monarchies" and "the Middle Ages". Everything the Constitution was supposed to overcome.

    December 26, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. tony

    The Tea Party is so smart. They must have done so much research and found out that Small government with low benefits and mostly military expense worked really well for their constituencies for so many hundreds of years.

    We called them "Monarchies" and "the Middle Ages". Everything the Constitution was supposed to overcome.

    December 26, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Mistro

    Soory to say but President Obama is an empty suit

    December 26, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. RCM

    Nothing will change after the 2014 elections.

    December 26, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Thomas

    @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.


    Are you saying Romney new about the 2007 -08 economic crash before it happened and did/said nothing ?
    Wasn't he running for President ?
    Did he profit on the down turn buying real-estate at the low and setting up large rental portfolios for his capital firm ?

    Mitt Romney / Donald Trump 2016
    The Third Times The Charm !

    December 26, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Ted Brooks

    To go along with…

    The. Worst. Administration. Ever.

    December 26, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Agnostickids

    Bye bye republicans in 2014!!!

    December 26, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. captcaps

    The 113th Congress ,Brought to you By The GOP ( Governmental Obstruction Party)..When will they Ever Learn ? Fellow Democrats we must vote the GOP out of office and restore Sane Government.....Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    December 26, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. soapy

    they are a bunch of spoiled brats.

    December 26, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Meghan

    My boyfriend and I were just talking about this and that big lotto jackpot that was won last week. We both said had we won that we would have kept a couple million and given the rest to the government but ONLY if all of the members of Congress quit! Too bad that didn't happen.

    December 26, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Frank

    One of the worst presidents ever as well, the emperor has no clothes.

    December 26, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. kevin

    Dear CNN Political Unit,
    Can you share with me the political persuasion of those that you polled? And to be fair, what has Obama, Harry Reid and the democratic party done in 5 yrs to create full-time jobs (75% of all jobs created in Obama's presidency are part-time), combat youth unemployment (14% for all youth & 44% for black youth), cut health insurance expenses by $2,500 per yr & family, allow me to keep my doctor, specialist and/or local hospital, and/or follow thru on any campaign promises for that matter.

    This president and his admin are the most challenged in my lifetime when it comes to telling the truth. But, no worries, CNN and other left-leaning media companies will continue to look the other way when this president lies to and misleads the American people. And forget about transparency.

    December 26, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Jan

    This is news? Seriously? Both sides of the aisle could care less about the American people as long as their own needs are met. And that's true of the person in the White House, too.

    December 26, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Joyce Anderson

    Those in the House of Reps. are stealing from the taxpayers with their "do nothing" policy and only working 1/3rd of the year. And yes, they need to do something in 2014 – help create the jobs they promised to do when they ran for election in 2012. It's now time to get to work and actually "work" instead of just putting in their time. Their schedule for 2014 is even worse than 2013 – 113 days.

    December 26, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Demigod Vadik, CA

    Republicans still think people will give them more power after being the WORST Congress EVER...

    ...2014 elections are a long way away folks...a long way away from the October 2013 Obamacare roll-out fiasco...

    December 26, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Marc

    Thanks to the Tea Partiers, GOP. The party will bite the dust within 5 years.

    December 26, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. JohnRJohnson

    Anybody who votes for a Republican in 2014 will NOT be voting for smaller government. They will be voting for NO government. And anybody who thinks NO government would be a good thing needs to go visit a few third world countries, because that's where NO government would take the United States. While our government could be more efficient, it has made us the most powerful country in human history and given us the highest standard of living for a nation of its size. The people who want to destroy the government have no concept of what that would mean for them and their family, not to mention their communities. It is a blind rage driven by misinformation and paranoia. By all means, make the government better. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    December 26, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |

    AMEN! Flush that toilet and get some CLEAN air in...

    December 26, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. mike

    Along with the worse President we've had!

    December 26, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |

    Traced directly to the Guns Over People tea potty 2010 mistake. Republicans have buyer's remorse now

    December 26, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. TKO

    This isn't about "Congress," it's about the GOP in the House–they are solely responsible for the obstruction and do-nothingness of govt right now.

    December 26, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Angel916

    @thomas Yeah that's a winning combo good luck with the new cartoon show they will be staring in. It's called "We will never be President.... Ever" . LOL Romney and Trump. That was a good one. Comedy suites you.

    December 26, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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