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. B


    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

    Umm, Yes. In case you had not noticed, Republicans have the majority in Congress, and they do not have to, nor or they interested in compromising on anything. Not suprising though, from a resident of a state that put the perpertrator of the biggest Medicare fraud in history in their Governors mansion.

    December 26, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Carol

    I thought the same thing, until the lie about Obamacare came out loud and clear. Maybe we just thought we had the worst Congress because someone else was the worse.

    December 26, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. OK


    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.
    DId either one of those opposing parties meet on inauguration day to work out plans on how they were going to oppose virtually everything the President suppported, even if it was something they supported?

    December 26, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. cali girl

    You needed a poll to tell you that?
    This disgusting do nothing congress, would rather have the crappy congress under Bush then this one.

    December 26, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. PI

    Compromise and working together to make laws better seems to be something congressional members abhor. They do like to make sure they get the perks of no stop in pay, nice long vacations, great retirement benefits, and a nice health insurance plans which many taxpayers are sadly lacking anything close in their benefit package. Term Limits need to be voted on by the American people in the next election because politicians will never cut off the gravy train which they so greatly enjoy! Always amusing at election time how they go pander to the commoners, but quickly forget them once in office.

    December 26, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. Lindsey

    Doing nothing is better than doing bad. Obama has done bad in his five years in office! He rammed through a nearly 1 trillion dollar stimulus! He created "Government Motors". He voted to bail out the big banks! He created Obamacare! And NONE of this was supported by conservatives. I commend the US House for passing bills that the Senate and Obama rejected! This US House is the body in government that is saving our country from total disaster! The Supreme Court, Executive branch and Senate are all controlled by the Marxists!

    December 26, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. Why Bother

    The only people to blame for a do nothing congress would be our country's do nothing citizens. I would love for a congressman to say they want to run on a platform of open minded, progressive, well thought of, thoroughly researched, scientifically studied ideas but being that they represent stupid, ignorant folks who refuse to believe in science and fact based information they may have an issue winning an election in their district. We got what we asked for. When you simply vote for a D or R on a ballot and ignore the issues and have no clue of what the representative stands for we get what we deserve.

    December 26, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Maimonida

    Lazy bums who tries to educate others (sick, retired, veterans, unemployed looking for a job) how to work hard

    December 26, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. lenny

    I think maybe so much consternation has stirred with this lazy sorry republican house that we voiting americans can sweep them off the stage since they are incapable of governing

    December 26, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. tom

    Sometimes it is better to do nothing at all if the choice of doing something means spending more money that our children, Grandchildren & great grandchildren will have to pay off. The debt has doubled since Jan. 2009

    December 26, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. Milo

    I wish it was a do-nothing Congress. They passed Obamacare, among other meddling things. Pretty much whatever they pass is the legislative version of bloatware.

    And I particularly wish we would have had a do-nothing president. Electing a dog for president would be one of the best things voters could have done in 100 years.

    December 26, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. John

    Immigration?...................too busy for that one..................(leave home a week early for Christmas)

    Farm Bill?.......................too big of an issue in an election year (one week late returning from extended christmas)

    ACA adjustments?........too complicated to modify? let's wait until we win the presidency........what's next on our busy agenda????

    December 26, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. tinkerbelle

    getting paid, more money in their pockets, please people, indeed this laughable congress did ALOT!

    December 26, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. bcl1

    Interesting. Congress does nothing and the economy improves. Perhaps a do-nothing congress is a good thing. It does less damage that way.

    December 26, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  15. Ray

    why do we deep electing them, they are useless, they get this pay for life. Issa for instance personally is letting the United States Postal Service go down the drain. The congress set the service to go down the tubes in 2006 making them pre pay health insurance 70yrs in advance.

    December 26, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  16. Wifgried

    Now, if only we can get them to do less.

    December 26, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. Stryke

    Today's Congress does more harm to this nation than any foreign enemy. It should be declared such, so we can send in the SEALs and clean it out. Then vote in a fresh batch of Beltway clowns.

    December 26, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  18. Andrew

    Yet everyone reelects the same person from their own territory. Nothing will change.

    December 26, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  19. DM

    How does 73% compare to any other time in history? Your conclusion in the headline makes a sensationalist leap that more people than ever think that this Congress is the worst. But I would have to believe that at any given time since 1968 that at least a majority would have agreed to that statement. Don't get me wrong, i'm with the majority. But we don't know that it's any better or worse than the past. I'm sure that ORC will be clarifying that with another trend in the future.

    December 26, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  20. pjoe

    Think what you want, but it sure beats the Pelosi/Reid Congress.

    December 26, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  21. logic rules

    The only things done by the GOP Congress were record grandstanding, historic obstruction, and witch hunt after witch hunt, led by a former felon and current idelogue.

    December 26, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. Gwen

    Election time will come and I will be checking back. The slackers are out if I have anything to do with it.

    December 26, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  23. Hugh Jorgan

    VTBO = Vote The Bums Out

    stop whining and do something about it

    December 26, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. Haybaler

    Obama approval is not that low when you compare them to congress.

    December 26, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  25. FGW

    Oh stop distracting them from Obamacare failures..............that's all they got.

    December 26, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
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