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. Rogers Johnson

    I find it hilarious that the legislative branch has finally managed to pass a bipartisan budget when elections are so close. Politicians begin to show their true colors and work for the American People when their jobs are in jeopardy. Where is all the idealism, filibustering and threats of government shutdown now. Legislative politicians receive generous salaries which they vote on themselves, take summer vacations when the economy is in shambles and spend earmarked money for mostly worthless projects they should be wasting their state money on. Then these same politicans finally pass a budget and have the nerve to hold press conferences patting themselves on the back. I have news for your Representative "whomever"... IT’S YOUR JOB!! I am currently deployed to Afghanistan receiving a salary worth less than half of yours and I am actually expected to do my job every day. I hope every last one of you lose your position in this election. I don't care what role you played in the government shutdown or our horrible economy you are all part of the problem. We need all new representatives that remember they serve at the will of American Citizens and do not serve their personal professional agendas. I am tired of seeing self-absorbed politicians using every last photo opportunity to win political currency such as the ones at the WW II memorial during the shutdown. I can guarantee you that I am expressing a point of view that the majority of America would likely agree with. It’s time for Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz, Harry Reid, John Boehner and the rest of you to find new careers because not only is the budget bipartisan, but so is sucking at your job.

    December 26, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  2. Brian

    It IS THE worst congress ever and they still think they deserve raises and perks. They need to be broomed out and get a group who can work together to accomplish the bosses goals, namely ours and if they cannot do their jobs, fire them.

    December 26, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  3. concernedGrndma

    So who elected this 'do nothing' Congress?

    December 26, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  4. Dante

    You would have to be a idiot to reelect them..

    December 26, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  5. Absaroke

    ATTITUDE IS THE REFLECTION OF LEADERSHIP.
    The HQ of our Government is squarely centered on the Executive Branch, the President, the Commander in Chief, the head guy at the White House. The day we grow up and start electing folks according to their experienced leadership traits and not their charismatic ability to feed empty rhetoric, that will be the day that the machinery of Washington will start moving forward.
    We need a leader that leads for the Country and not for his Party. We need a leader that is elected based on his ability to do business and conduct it, not just talk about it. We simply need a leader, not someone elected out of some noble passion. We simply need someone with substance, moral fiber and fair, but strong character. Elect that type of individual, and everyone will follow, we've done it before and we can do it again.

    December 26, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  6. hardrock2nd

    Should have asked people if they knew the difference between the house and senate.. lol Most people only go on what the press tell them anyways and only retain limited information. I think you could then ask if they feel like the Executive Branch has focused on things that mattered or not or too busy to pass one issue to focus on anything else. Oh wait it is all on COngress or way maybe we can go back to just blaming Bush.

    December 26, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  7. Pat

    A do-nothing congress is a good congress. Little they do benefits Americans.

    December 26, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  8. hardrock2nd

    Blame Congress, Blame Bush... The Senate and the President have no responsibilities in running the government. Sure, most will say this is accurate. Most now can't even tell you who the Vice President is...

    December 26, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  9. bdubbs1971

    I'm shocked! Shocked and appalled! No, I'm shocked and awed!

    December 26, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  10. Name

    Must be Bush's fault.

    December 26, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  11. ImvotingforHillary

    IT all boils down to the American public electing a bunch of racist who don't want to work with a black president.

    December 26, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  12. DH

    Better they do nothing than pass bills that only make things worse. They should just stay home until after the 2014 elections.

    December 26, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  13. Kenweil

    I think America is tired of both parties being extremely partisan. I say get rid of them all especially the ones that have been there over 12 years. Get rid of the right wing and left wing element. We need "moderates" with maybe a slight lean right or left.

    December 26, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  14. MSGT B

    CNN is right, this is a do nothing Congress, well at least half of it is. The Senate is completely worthless. The house passes bills, and the senate does nothing. To bad the president was more of a do nothing President, maybe the government wouldnt be so screwed up right now if he would stop interferring. Or heres a novel idea, get some people in leadership roles that actually know what the heck they are doing.

    December 26, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  15. military

    Why would we even give them coal?

    December 26, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  16. Anonymous

    What do you mean: “do nothing”? They seem to be very good at taking tax payers money!

    December 26, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  17. Chris

    We see these polls because they are fun news for the media. However, the truth is, nothing will change. The same Republicans and Democrats will be reelected, probably with a few more extreme Republicans to boot. The Democrats will keep the Senate with the same lineup. When they return, everything will be bogged down just as it has been. Until we get campaign finance and the media under control we will keep getting the worst of each party in office with little being done.

    December 26, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  18. Fifi

    I agree with this article. I think both sides of the aisle ran for office not to help better our country, but to get their face on TV as much as they could. I would like to see these politicians trying to live in the average Jane/Joes shoes and then they and say there state is doing better. There state has more jobs, less crime. Well you all know what I mean. Let them live our lives and then go back on that HILL I"ll bet it would be different. Worst Ever.

    December 26, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  19. David Desautels

    Can we really give them coal cause that would be awesome!

    December 26, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  20. humtake

    It's all good. Once Obama gets in office, he's going to work across party lines to get both sides to work together. That's what he ran on and that's what he's going to do.

    December 26, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  21. srcactus

    Hark! Hark! LOL
    The winds of change are increasing.and that is no joke.
    The diapers in Washington do need changing, all on them!

    December 26, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  22. Bill Daniels

    This is not just a do nothing Congress. They are a self-serving, freeloading group of individuals that have no interest in acting on behalf of the public for whom they serve...Republican and Democrat.

    December 26, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  23. smith

    Worst congress and 2nd worst potus. Bad potus equals bad congress. Oh well, we can only go forward.

    December 26, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  24. George

    Americans are always negative when polled about Congress or the White House. The Democrats are no good, the Republicans are no good, the White House is no good. When Congress does a lot, they throw them out of their jobs for "shoving policies down their throats", when they don't do anything, they want to throw them out for being a "do nothing" Congress. Americans don't want a government that functions. Americans don't want a government that doesn't. They just want a government that they can be angry at, just for the sake of blaming someone for their problems. The problems isn't Congress or the White House. The problems is the voter.

    December 26, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  25. blue max

    house republicans think the country loves them which proves beyond a doubt how out of touch they really. vote the bums out!

    December 26, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37