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. Tom

    Yeah....well thank the TEA Party for that.......... and Boehner. You want shit done, vote Democrat......Want a fair system where the middle class doesn't bear all the burden and pain, vote Democrat. You want a Government BY THE People and FOR THE People, Vote Democrats in.

    December 26, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. Jonesy

    Why is this even a headline?Tea party congressmen never meant for it to be anything other than a 'do nothing 'congress.What is shocking,to republicans ,is that democrats have given up caring what the tea people think and have decided to nuke the knuckle heads into good sense..or just watch their Egg heads explode....which ever comes first..let's Fight,say Democrats...

    December 26, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. James

    A Congress that does nothing is one that doesn't grow government. That is ALWAYS a good thing.

    December 26, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. 66Biker

    Just like when Bush was President, I think it's a good thing that this is a do nothing Congress. Can you imagine the problems there fools could cause if they actually did anything?

    December 26, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. afnmvet

    Do Nothing Congress that America is not happy with? Ya Think.

    December 26, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Thinker

    Vote them all out of office, not one incumbant should be given a second chance. Let's
    send shockwaves throughout the beltway.

    December 26, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. David

    This IS the fault of the Tea Party! I wish I had been polled... Their admitted strategy of "my way or the highway" worked really well for them but the country GREATLY suffered in the process. I had high hopes for them when they were elected as a balancing force to the Democrats. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that they would not negotiate on anything. They should all be voted out and more moderates elected that will actually work in the best interests of the country and negotiate with the democrats to move the country forward. I was shocked that Boehner finally called them out on their strategy and am glad to see that he is trying to regain control of the House. This is clearly a do nothing Congress because of them.

    December 26, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Bill

    You needed a poll for this? REALLY???

    December 26, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Quixote

    The problem with congress is summed up in three little letters. G.O.P. If you want a functional congress, a functional nation without extremist nut cases hurting our great country, and want the nation to start moving forward again, vote straight Democrat at every level of government next November. It is the ONLY way to end the tea madness that has infected the political system.

    December 26, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. YUP

    Remove the ***OBSTRUCTIONIST GOP*** from office in 2014!

    December 26, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Skeptic

    And in spite of this, most incumbents will be re-elected. Voters always want the "other guy" voted out of office, but are happy with their House and Senate members.

    December 26, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Charles

    It's because we have a do-nothing president, oh excuse me, except for one thing, Obamacare. Somebody has to lead Congress, but we have a nobody president. Worst ever, in my estimation.

    December 26, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Quixote

    And those who try to make the false equivalence argument....both parties are to blame....CLEARLY have not followed politics in the past six years. The repubs have stated repeatedly in public that obstruction is the goal, regardless of what they are obstructing. It became so routine that mcconnell temporarily threatened a filibuster against a bill he had introduced. They predicated this strategy on the cynical belief that most people do not pay attention, and therefore will blame both parties, or blame Democrats because our president is a Democrat and many Americans think that presidents have WAY mor power than they really do.

    December 26, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Robert

    What do you expect from arrogant, immoral, greedy, law breakers?

    December 26, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    so how do you balance your pride with the fact THAT they have not grown jobs jobs jobs either?

    December 26, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Grady

    Term Limits

    Do it now

    December 26, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. MiBigAl

    And the worst part of this is the 114th Congress will get the same rating, meaning it will be rated lower than the 113th.

    December 26, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. hgflyer

    Elect a Republican Senate...then we'll have a "do-nothing" President!

    December 26, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    James wrote:

    A Congress that does nothing is one that doesn't grow government. That is ALWAYS a good thing.
    ----------------------
    The facts clearly show that government always explodes in size and spending under Republican administrations. Look 'em up.

    December 26, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. RickFromTexas

    In spite of all the failed attempts to spin this back at Obama, everyone knows that these poll results are because we've never had so many militant republicans in Congress before, which looks like it's about to change in the 2014 mid-terms.

    December 26, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. aztekman

    People do not like the worthless Congress, though their congress members will get re-elected. What?
    The Congress worked much better under previous administrations.
    This administration and many congress members lead by blaming it on others (great leadership).

    December 26, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Charles

    It's because we have a do-nothing president, oh excuse me, except for one thing, Obamacare. Somebody has to lead Congress, but we have a nobody president. Worst ever, in my estimation.

    yes worst ever. so many have died in unpaid for wars and lost their jobs due to the recession that started on his watch.

    December 26, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Dave - Phx

    This is the fault of idiots who vote on ideology like one party represents our needs one way or another. The dumbing down of America continues while Fox, CNN, and MSNBC laugh and promote it all the way. Lawyers and lobbyists are the death of our country.

    December 26, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. BJNJ

    Solution is GRIP Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians

    December 26, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Paul

    Don't blame Congress – after all, the citizens of this country voted these clowns in... so we are getting what we voted for... You can poll most people who say they disapprove of Congress not passing a deficit reduction plan, but when you ask these same people if its ok for their local congressman to compromise on A, B, and C in order to get a deal done, they will scream "he better not compromise on that." Americans have become so confrontational and ideological as a whole that they get what they vote for, which is uncomprising ideologues.

    December 26, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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