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. AVSTavern

    IIt is easier for them to do nothing and complain about partisan gridlock. If they actually do something, they have to go on camera, and tell repeated lies to the American people to make them belive they are doing something positive instead of criminal.

    December 26, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. George

    And just how many more laws do we need in order to all get along. This is getting insane.

    December 26, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. sparky

    CNN – Got another heading for you: WORST. PRESIDENT. EVER.

    December 26, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC


    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."
    LOL Keep in mind that the worst legislation passed during the Bush administration was passed when the Republicans controlled the Congress. Keep in mind that while unemployment may have "averaged 5.3%", the Bush administration increased spending from one year to the next by 7-9% every budget year that he was in office. Tax cuts did not stimulate jobs growth. The spending and the explosion of the size of government did it. The Bush administration hired nearly a million workers through privatization. They do not appear on government payrolls, which means that the total number of federal employees didn't seem to increase under Bush.

    December 26, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Ignicio Smith

    Actually it sounds like Congress is doing a good job since both the extreme right and left are upset together. They must be meeting in the middle then.

    December 26, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Ron

    I'm sure every year is the worse Congress ever. 1862?

    December 26, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Jeb

    The total gridlock that we are witnessing now, began the day Republicans took control of the House of Reps.

    December 26, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Guest

    because we have a lying dictator in the White House.

    December 26, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. critical thinking

    Worst Congress Ever? Probably

    Worst President Ever? Absolutely

    December 26, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. amazed2

    This isn't democracy this is organized sabotage by the republican party. If a majority of America wanted no health care program we would be discussing President Romney right now. Romney made it very, very clear where he stood on our healthcare options. But they didn't, Romney lost, and instead of respecting our democratic voice the right has an all out assault to defend corporate profit at the expense of millions without healthcare. Congrats. to the right wing machine, I've seen poor, uninsured people speak out AGAINST Obamacare or whatever you wish to call it. The GOP is losing the demographic/statistics game and they will only be able to ride the ignorant for so much longer. Thank God.

    December 26, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Sausage Frenzy

    Sack them ALL.

    December 26, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. YeahBuddy

    90+% will be re-elected.
    Count on it.

    December 26, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Natrldiver

    This congress is the direct result of the leadership or lack thereof. If there is no one to lead them, then how can the legislative body be productive? Obama is by far the most inexperienced leader this country has ever had. Then again, that is what happens when the country elects a community organizer over a leader.

    December 26, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. sparks2000

    worst.government.ever--–news for you---many of the sitting congressmen have been sitting in that spot for a very long time--–which means,this has been the worst congress for quite some time

    December 26, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. MNClownfactory

    When the advertised mission of the majority of this congress is to stop the elected president, it is obvious it's all politics. This Congress had a perfect opportunity to pass Immigration reform they had the votes on both sides of the Isle. What does John Boehner do? He doesnt even bring it to a vote? Instead he blocks every appointment the rpesident makes with poliical wrangling, then allows the Tea Baggers to control his party agenda which turns out to try and repeal all or parts of the ACA over 25 times. Spending MILLIONS of my tax money on NOTHING. Obstructionism is the new way of the GOP when they cannot make all the rules. When they can make all the rules, its cut, cut, cut, and put everything on the credit example is the last TWO WARS....all on the credit card. One Trillion Dollars and counting with no way to pay for it....that is the legacy of the GOP controlled GOVERMENT which we are still paying for. Obama at least has reduced our debt, and helped to recover the totally ruined economy despite having almost every measure blocked. Any one that things the GOP wouldn't have bailed out the banks are drinking too much Rush L Kool Aid.

    December 26, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. pmiller1129

    Isn't there any way to dissolve the whole group and have special elections for totally new people? The fact that they do nothing and we as a people also sit by and watch while doing nothing is mind boggling. We need to take the control back, they are supposed to represent our interest and that is definitely not happing. If we cant just leave then we need to revolt. We haven't had such little control over politics since the British ruled us.

    December 26, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Denise Roper

    Hey CNN, Congress is mispelled in the "CNN Trends"bar on your homepage, showing up as "Conress.". You left out the "G" in Congress. I must agree that they are a "do nothing" Congress and you could have probably left out the entire word!

    December 26, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. PtBarnumBoy

    I am shocked!!!!!! All those teabaggers got elected and caused a big ruckus??!!!!! I am shocked!!!!

    December 26, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    if 30 years of reaganomics have not shown you that cons have no idea how to run an economy, you need help.

    December 26, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Stan

    In response to the clearly sarcastic "it's Bush's fault" yes it is Bush's fault. He and his cronies bankrupted the US with their tinkle down Reaganomics/Objectivism/Ayn Rand "philosophy" coupled with two unnecessary & illegal wars. Interesting that a deserter would also become a war criminal. Bottom line, the Republican Party has no ethics or morals and only worships the Golden Calf of money. We need to pay attention to Pope Francis instead of blowhards like Rush, Palin, Cruz, Paul, etc.

    December 26, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. C.c.

    So when can "We the People" fire these losers? They do nothing but line their own pockets at the expense of Americans who truly do serve this country, greedy, grasping, failures, they should be punished for their "crimes" against the United States.

    December 26, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Kyrle88

    Stop letting Super PACs convince you to elect yet another nutcase.

    December 26, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Mike

    Diónysos Using your logic that W's last 2 years were a Dem congress and that is what caused them to be so bad all of the bad things in BO's term can be laid at the feet of the Republicans because they run the house.

    December 26, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Mercury

    Someone needs to inform Republican voters that the object of the game is to elect those, preferably, SMARTER than you to handle the, intellectually, highly demanding responsibility of good governance.

    December 26, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. maruzicho

    We need a congress that can get along and pass new laws and ideas not stall the progress of the American people with political tactics that move us backward or stall our potential. We simply need people just to do their jobs in a neutral and fair way.

    December 26, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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