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. SS

    The tea-party would do more to dismantle this government than Al-Qaeda would or could do. The standing mantra of the tea party is less government disruption of government and don't be fooled, in the absence of government something else will take its place.

    December 26, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. F. Lee Hall III

    Leave it up to the Tea party and the republicans to screw up anything. Someone should charge the Speaker of the House with Treason.

    December 26, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Mike Buck

    Thanks to the Take Education Away (TEA) Party

    December 26, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. DM

    Why don't we pay Congress "piece rate" - only by quality work that is completed? It would match what many constituents need to do to get paid...

    December 26, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Brian

    The "W" Bush administration was perhaps the worst time in American History for the American people. More people lost their jobs and homes during the Bush administration than ever before in American history. No one wants to go "back" to that era ... ever. But, the reality is, our elected congress people suffer almost no consequences for their actions. The Congress needs to be held accountable for its actions ... Republicans or Democrats. I have no problem voting elected representative out of office each election. The job is just "too" comfortable for any elected people. They only have incentives to NOT make changes. If they know they will lose their jobs after one term, maybe it will make a difference in how they view legislation.

    December 26, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Gabester

    Why couldn't we have Congress be limited to creating and presenting bills, but allow the actual voters (who want to participate) actually vote either For or Against directly via the internet? So instead of patch Tuesday, we have a vote Tuesday session where people vote for a bill/law for passage. On second thought never mind, that might be too efficient!

    December 26, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Joe Schmuckatelli

    This is a clear indication that it's time for modified Congressional Term Limits!

    December 26, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. oreo

    Worst. President. Ever.

    December 26, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. fred

    Yet we keep electing them. More like worst population ever.

    December 26, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    roger

    I hate to tell you people that blame either the Democrats or Republicans but not BOTH that it is the fault of BOTH parties and the current administration. Nobody wants to compromise. It's either what the party wants or nothing. What about what we want. You saw what happened when a Republican and Democrat worked together on a budget and compromised and got the job done. There was wailing on both sides. Until people can work together this country is going nowhere. Wake up people before it"s to late.

    you honestly believe this country can stand 30 more years of failed reaganomics?

    December 26, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. jdalco

    Sure they passed a budget. . . spending money we don't have. . . . they still let the illegals run all over, Obamacare is killing our job market and people. . . the only thing doing less than Congress is Obama. . . DC needs to get the boot – time to vote in new folks.

    December 26, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. JJ

    Thanks to the anti American forces that voted for a president based only on race and to see the first president of that race. You get what you voted for, Obama lemmings. The fight has been against the terrible wealth redistribution welfare program known as ObamaCare, worst legislation ever.

    Now Obama's base can have high premium, high deductible, high co-pay junk policies they can't afford. Or pay a fine. Must be some kind crap legislation when the used car salesman in the White House is selling it.

    Worst Congress ever.
    Worst president ever.
    Worst legislation ever.

    You voted for the bum, you deserve the results.

    December 26, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    Stop saying it's both parties that won't compromise. It's the Republican's fault. They want it all and and won't give an inch.

    December 26, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. ExNuke

    A do nothing Congress is exactly what the country needs. Congress has been passing law after law for 200+ years, most of which were only intended to get some politician's name a little exposure. Every law they pass that can't or won't be enforced degrades respect for the "Law" in general and creates more loop holes for those with the money to hire crony legal assistance. The only positive thing Congress can possibly do is start repealing laws.

    December 26, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Chris

    As usual, 99 percent of these bozos will get reelected anyway. Congress had a 92 percent reelection rate last year, despite all-time low ratings.
    People hate Congress but they love their own Congressmen. It's always the other guys fault.

    December 26, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. bdby

    I just love it when king Obama says he is making changes to his Obama care system. It is certainly not the American system he is talking about one which everyone abhors. He thinks he can just snap his fingers and things are supposed to change at his suggestion. I don’t see why all people are not up in arms about this capability of his. Why are we not holding him to this law the way it was written exactly to the “T”? Only then you will see the ill effects this law has on this once great land. As it is now Obama is acting like a king out of the 17th century with omnipotent powers. I think because of this the Bastille in France was over run and the leaders heads rolled in the guillotines.

    December 26, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. badnews333

    Get rid of Harry the Reed and a few others and legislation will start to move again.

    December 26, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. barryinlasvegas

    The fewer new laws they pass the better off we are. Obama and his administration are overwhelming us with thousands upon thousands of rules and regulations costing business trillions of dollars which results in fewer jobs, except for government workers who are hired to police the rules they have imposed.

    December 26, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. phil Bowman

    Worst President!!! Worst Congress!! Worst Supreme Court! In Bowling it would be called a Turkey!! Three Strikes!

    December 26, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. dapace

    While I don't see anything wrong with fewer laws being passed, this congress almost destroyed the USA's image, credit rating, and prestige.

    December 26, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Dazzy

    The problem is that 28% of the people polled think this isn't the worst...

    Did they go to fly out to various mountains and poll people that don't own tv's/internet/newspapers?

    December 26, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Mistro

    Obama – what a pitiful empty suit

    December 26, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Brian from DC

    How could the Republican Congress possibly get anything done when they turned all their energies to repealing Obamacare? And look how successful they were.

    December 26, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Diónysos

    This is no surprise, with individuals like Nancy "I'll read it after I sign it." Pelosi and Harry "I'll store these jobs bills in my desk drawer." Reid in charge.

    December 26, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Joe Ottey

    This is the Congress that will allow their 9% pay raise to go into effect. They'll tell you they won't vote for it but if they
    don't vote and say NO, It goes into effect automatically. And they cut our military retires benefits.

    December 26, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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