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. Dave Hawkins

    It's better to do nothing than to do the wrong thing. Obama's agenda was/is the wrong thing. So... good Congress!

    December 26, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Michel

    Halleluiah – after Nancy McBotox and Obamacare, I want nothing ever done by Congress – ever!

    December 26, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. maruzicho

    We simply need our congress to work together and pass new laws and ideas that benefit the American people not stall or move our country backwards. We need a fair and neutral congress that work for the people and not the money. I think if this congress does not move us forward we will see many new members in the next general election. The political stall tactics are obviously at work if we cannot move the country forward for the right reasons. Where are all the values we share and talk about or is that just talk. I want a country that can walk their talk.

    December 26, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. jerryball

    Typical American logic: "Worst Ever Congress" which is loaded with the Republican majority. Poll say Americans will vote for more Republicans. First time we pull the trigger to shoot ourselves in the foot and find an empty chamber, we keep clicking the trigger until we find a chamber with the same bullet to finish the job.

    December 26, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. SteveInMN

    Given the Republic control of the House - thank GOD it was a do-nothing congress.

    December 26, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Cass Blaine

    Look on the bright side, they didn't do anything so they didn't screw us over so much

    December 26, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. singletrack74

    This is why I don't feel guilty for not voting. This country is run on greed and money. Best interests for the wealthy.

    December 26, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. jpmiller99

    I am stunned that most people think that Congress is doing a great job when they pass a lot of bills. The more bills Congress passing, the more regulation created, the poorer most of us get.

    December 26, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Bill

    Worst. Government. Ever.

    Don't try to leave the other two branches out of it.

    December 26, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. floridamom1

    Seriously? You're trying to blame the Republicans? This is a do-nothing Congress because BOTH sides are refusing to work together. And, unfortunately, Harry Reid is right there at the top as one of the biggest losers in Congress. He changes rules, refuses to hear from the other side, and works to keep any Republican idea off the table. So, working to stop this President? How about working to stop this Congress and Republicans from even offering ideas.

    December 26, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Devon

    2nd Poll: worst 2nd term ever.

    December 26, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Martha

    Agreed that Congress hasn't accomplished enough this past year. They failed miserably holding the Obama administration accountable for their many crimes.

    December 26, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. richard cooper

    Politicians are elected by the voters but when they get to Washington they are bought and sold by the lobbyists, special interest groups and pac's. Just like dead meat at the butcher shop.

    IMHO

    December 26, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. DJ

    The poorly acting congress is only the result of a totally ineffective president. They go hand in hand. "We need to change the way things are done in Washington" – BHO. Who would of realized his idea of change was to make things worse than they were before.

    December 26, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    this congress is a direct result of too much money in too few hands, which is a result of 30 years of reaganomics. get money out of politics and see what happens.

    December 26, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. are122

    Oh well, the worst ever congress was supplemented by the worst ever president.

    December 26, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Lardoggy

    The worst government ever is what it should say!

    December 26, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. m123

    Of course CNN slants against the GOP
    Both parties are worthless, but CNN loves their Obama
    Remember when presidents used to take responsibility instead of just trying to pass it off on anyone or anything other than themselves?
    What a loser president and congress and state, local and city govts.
    All pathetic

    December 26, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    floridamom1
    Seriously? You're trying to blame the Republicans? This is a do-nothing Congress because BOTH sides are refusing to work together. And, unfortunately, Harry Reid is right there at the top as one of the biggest losers in Congress. He changes rules, refuses to hear from the other side, and works to keep any Republican idea off the table. So, working to stop this President? How about working to stop this Congress and Republicans from even offering ideas.

    seriously? what new ideas? do you remember the nationally televised dem/gop roundtable on abamacare? google it and the big sucking sound lack of ideas from the gop. how about jobs, jobs, jobs? remember that lie the gop used to get elected and then pretty much spent their term working on naming post offices and killing oabamacare getting to be 40 times now at $1.5 million cost a day. and how many obama officials have been investigated vs how many banksters? who has gone after banksters? obamas justice dept. and who is sponsoring wall street regulation and who is killing it? where have you been for the last 6 years?

    December 26, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. TeeterBlotter

    I resent the notion that less legislation is a good thing. Lawmakers pass laws, laws restrict or remove freedoms.

    December 26, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. sam

    Honestly, as much as I trust the ideas of any congressman, a 'Do-Nothing Congress' is probably the best thing we could have had.

    December 26, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. jonbme

    Worst. Congress. Ever. Oh, except MY congressmen, they are great, I'll definitely vote for him next election. Right?!

    December 26, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Ritchie Miller

    I hope nobody is surprised by this. It's about the only true bipartisan effort they've been able to achieve...equal opportunity failure.

    December 26, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Carol

    I will NEVER vote republican again!

    December 26, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. valveone

    Yes seriously ! The majority of Americans blame the Republican's. They were and are held hostage by the FANATICAL GROUP called THE TEAPARTY. Now the the Republicans see the elections coming around the corner. And know the American people wont forget the destruction they have allowed to happen to the United States of America. May GOD BLESS AMERICA and PUNISH THESE TRAITORS CALLED THE TEAPARTY.

    December 26, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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