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. abnguy

    I can not even imagine how it would be if the House had not put the brakes on this administration. I will vote for GT again as long as he tries to save the country from the far left.

    December 26, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Want to fix congress? It is really quite simple. First take the big money out of it. No more lobbyist allowed into the chamber, and offering money, or accepting it inside becomes a felony. Call it what it is. Taking a bribe. Second thing–Term Limits. No More then six years spent on the public dole.

    December 26, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. floridaman2

    Seriously? Those republicans tried to repeal the ACA 46 times so far. That's right. 46 times to get something repealed or defunded instead of improving other areas, passing bills through committee, and more. I used to vote Republican and this is it for me. They promised they would do better and the Tea Party gave me hope. I've gone third party now.

    December 26, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Doug

    Headline is misleading. Can we sue CNN? It's worse in our lifetime,not ever. Given the fist fights that happened in the 1800s and the fact one congress most of the south didn't show up I think we've had worse. But that's a close call.

    December 26, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Jdan

    Time for term limit.

    December 26, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Carol

    We need to get the millionaire baffoons OUT of congress and get average americans in that know the needs of the average amercian. Enough of this greed.

    December 26, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. don in albuquerque

    @Martha-Has President Obama been any great shakes, most of the liberals and progressives would agree he has been a disappointment on many fronts. Just as all presidents are. But "holding him accountable for his many crimes"? Are you going to hold W accountable for his many crimes? Here you go....lets try them both before some group like say the World Court and see which one spends the rest of his life in prison.

    December 26, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Jrad

    Let the finger-pointing commence.

    December 26, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. George

    To be fair, its not an entirely "do nothing" congress. Most likely each and every one of them will leave office much richer than they were when they entered.

    December 26, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Pete

    Most self serving as well.

    December 26, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. JP

    We need really smart people to solve complex problems like the economy, education, healthcare, unemployment, polution, illegal immigration, gun control, crime, radicalism, healthcare, etc. Their constant positioning and negotiation are unproductive. We need results to benefit all of us. Politicians are not the best problem solvers. Get smart folks who can achieve results. At the end of every year we need to know what has been solved and how the quality of our lives have improved.

    December 26, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Kyuu

    Don't forget. The government shutdown. That was all 100% Republican.

    December 26, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Steve Fielder

    Never have so many Republicans been paid so much to do so little.

    And no, Congressional Democrats are NOT equally to blame because Congressional Democrats aren't the ones who've been obstructing and filibustering at record levels for the past seven years....

    December 26, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Danny

    For all the terrible work they do, they sure make sure they get paid very good, while taking money from everything else.

    December 26, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. Andrew

    I don't know about you guys, but that Congress in 1871 was pretty bad. And do you remember the one in 1916? Gosh I didn't think you could put together such an ignorant group of idiots.

    December 26, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    By far! Absolute worst Congress ever! I'm a Republican, but I have to tell ya, both parties have been abysmal and both are just as guilty of inaction and lack of compromising. I despise Harry Reid and his cohort, Nancy, ugly as hell, Pelosi! Both major drain stoppers!

    December 26, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Patrish

    Thank the Tea Party for making this congress one of the most miserable to date! We need to shorted terms to get a bigger turn over for both house and senate.

    December 26, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. George

    Most likely, each and every one of them will leave their office much richer financially, than they were when they entered the office, so you can't say they did nothing.

    December 26, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Mark

    As compared to the one that passed Obama care?
    Not even close. Inaction is sometimes better.

    We needed to catch our breath from the damage dome by the near super majority Dems.

    December 26, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. GBW

    GBW comment moderation – tell me what part of the comment is not true. Republicans are calling Republicans STUPID, what part of what they did the night Obama was Inaugurated is not true. If you do not want to admit that these facts are TRUE and if you do not want to Post these facts as stated by Republicans & Democrates, then you are part of whats wrong with AMERICA

    December 26, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. um duh

    When we trust a LIAR IN CHEIF rather than doctors who studied over 8 years.....for healthcare yea we have a huge issue!!

    December 26, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. BushCheney

    We republicans are really dumb and stupid. We thought that saying No to everything Obama proposes will make us look good; well now the republican party divided and the American people are against us. What a bunch of morons we are!

    December 26, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. James

    Congress? What about a total lack of Leadership from the WH???? Both Bushes and Clinton had opposing party Congresses and where able to work out compromises.

    December 26, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Farid

    What about Obama and Kerry?
    Do nothing in foreign policy.
    Assad and Maleki are killing innocent Syrian and Iraqian in large scales with air barrel bombs and executing and Supreme leader of Iran is planning to upgrade 19000 centrifuge to increase the Uranium enrichment to the %60!!
    The nuclear organization president of Iran told in city of Isfahan today!

    December 26, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. Dustin Goldsen

    You have to wonder what is wrong with these people. Viters sent to Washington to complete one simple task which is, "Cut the spending that benefits someone else, keep the spending that benefits me".

    How much more simple can it get?

    December 26, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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