December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 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. Diónysos

    Brian... "The "W" Bush administration was perhaps the worst time in American History for the American people."

    Keep in mind that the democrats controlled Congress, during the last 2 years of his administration. It was during the last 2 years that everything went in the toilet.

    The unemployment rate averaged 5.3% during that "worst time."

    The unemployment rate average is 8.7%, under BO.

    December 26, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. RettasVegas

    I blame the GOP for the majority of gridlock in the Congress, they have tried everything they could to discredit Obama, they even shut down Govt., knowing it would not keep the ACA from the people, they hurt millions by that and many other blunders ALL in pursuit of hurting Obama, knowing EVERYTIME, they did that the majority of American's were hurt in the crossfire, they were stupid and short sighted, now they have to face the voter's in 2014 & 2016,!
    The tail waggin the dog, everytime the nation needed them to DO THEIR JOBS, they all just said "No!", now we the voter's get to just say "Hell, no!" to them!
    It's going to be a very Happy 2015, once we get the Party of "No!" out of Congress!
    I was a republican voter (23 yrs.), now I'm a proud Independent!
    I will never vote the party, I vote the person!

    December 26, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. cneder

    The worst congress ever was the Demoncratic controlled congress that gave us OWEbamacare!

    December 26, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Spirit of America

    If "Con" is the opposite of "Pro", what's the opposite of "Progress"? Right, that's why it is time for a Third American Revolution.

    December 26, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Elliott Carlin

    we don't need a 3rd party, we need about 4 or 5.

    December 26, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Charles Favreau

    As the poll numbers for the Obama presidency reach new lows, lets agree that no president can override a Congress with sufficient members DEDICATED AND MANDATED to frustrate his policies. This was the #1 priority of one of our political parties (See )

    I ask you, how could anything have been done well under those conditions?

    December 26, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Paul Script

    But there's a reason for this: IT'S BUSH'S FAULT!!!

    December 26, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. ChrisM

    Americans, you can Thank the Tea People who voted for these Obstructionist like Cruz, et al, that brought legislation to a stand still since 2010. Dont forget America, these tea people ran on jobs, jobs, jobs in 2010. Not ONE piece of legislation out of the house for jobs. The tea party people have ruined the once great republican party

    December 26, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Paul Script

    Wasn't Obama rated the most liberal member of the Senate? So, why should anybody expect anything other than a counterweight Congress? It's surprising it's not even MORE of a counterweight.

    December 26, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Frank

    Worst Congress ever is a great match for the president who happens to be in way over his head and needs 3 or 4 more terms to learn leadership.

    Who voted for that guy in the white house, anyway? The takers who expect the government to pay for every thing; section 8, food stamps, welfare, ObamaCare, EBT, cash for clunkers, free phones paid for by productive, hard working taxpayers.

    December 26, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. JB

    The Congress has been the worst Congress for over 10 years. Vote them out...all of them.
    No career politicians.
    Put new people in office for 2 terms minimum then they must go.
    When they leave they get Obama care. If they are useless then no pension.

    Fix the the country's infrastructure through a Federal Conservation and Infrastructure Corp.
    Fix the trade deficit with China.
    Fix the economy.

    December 26, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. icu

    people like ted cruz should vote out of office,, all he is looking for is to assembly America.. Tea party individual don't understand what this country was found on....Freedom..kick those tea party out and let America shine again

    December 26, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Brad

    They don't have to do anything. They are set up with salary's, benefits and all the other perks. Damn sure is not Obama care!

    December 26, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Ancient Texan

    We have more than enough laws already. Sending pols to DC just to make more un-needed laws is senseless. Now if you really want to point out "worst ever", I'll agree; Obama fits that description to the nth degree.

    December 26, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. BRB

    Dock their pay for all the days they did not show up for work. The founding fathers did not foresee our country being run by a housefull of attorneys who can't get a job, show up for work, or get anything done while they enjoy their free hair styling and lunches off my dime.

    December 26, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Foster149

    I agree with those who've responded by saying this is the Worst. Citizenry. Ever. I point my finger at the 24 hour news media as the engine driving our growing cultural insanity. We've attempted to create a modern Tower of Babel, and now we're watching it split apart into factions, ideologies and self interest. This is what goes out into our culture, and we are quickly being driven mad.

    December 26, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Ancient Texan

    Brian–WRONG, wrong, wrong. Go read a history book. BTW The economy was very good under Bush prior to Pelosi and Reid contaminating the congress.

    December 26, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. The Dead Critic

    BEST Congress ever? The Continental Congress of our birth. WOW, been a LONG time since anything got done boys and girls.....

    December 26, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Scott

    Congress passed HJR 59.

    It's the President that is golfing, NOT signing.

    December 26, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. dewww

    Perhaps we're the worst public ever! We want all the services, but we don't want to pay anything more. We never want the government to tell us what to do, but we're the first to ask why the government is allowing our neighbor to do something.

    December 26, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Loe

    Bye-bye, Libs. RIP 2014

    December 26, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. D

    What surprises me is that CNN needed to conduct a poll in order to determine that our congress is the worst ever.

    December 26, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Dan

    We need a 3 party system one of which works for the middle class. I'm not talking tea party. We need something in place so when one side or the other throws a tantrum and does nothing. Two other parties can get things done while the third starts brushing up on their resume.

    December 26, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Kiefer'sNewAssistant

    Yes, that sums it up well.

    December 26, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. sammiclark

    Considering the gop said their ONLY goal is to make the President a failure they proved they did NOT care about the country! They wanted him to fail which the same as the country failing. They won't stop either, failure is ALL they want!!!!!

    December 26, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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