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. jpmichigan

    Both parties are guilty. The House passes bills, the Senate refuses to acknowledge. The Senates passes bill and Senate regulations , so to have total control of the Senate by Democrats. The President is just as much at fault for he is the top spoke person of the Democratic Part on the Hill, so if his agenda is not followed he to promised veto and he uses to much executive power. This is not the government that I learned about and have seen practiced in my 72 years as a American. The OATH taken by all to protect the Constitution is a joke.

    December 26, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  2. Gerad

    To much partisan politics instead of what is best for the country! When I see and hear partisan politics they are choosing to be a politician rather than an American. One last note, all those that delayed the budget and got the Credit rating downgraded should be voted out of office.

    December 26, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  3. Tony Bartlett

    With Obama as the President, "do nothing" is the best we can hope for from the legislative branch. The last the really "did something" they gave us Obamacare and tax increases!

    December 26, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. frank

    and as long as Americans continue to vote Dems/liberals into will not only be do nothing but hurt the nation

    December 26, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "And 54% say the same thing about President Barack Obama's policies."
    I'd bet you $10,000 that less than one in ten can actually name or describe something other than health care reform.

    December 26, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  6. Scott

    A do nothing congress with a "I didn't know" president. Heaven help us...

    December 26, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  7. Anonymous

    I'm glad that this is a "do nothing congress" because unfortunately when they've done "something" (OBAMA CARE) it stinks!!!!!!.

    December 26, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  8. ChinaWinsWeBicker

    The more we bicker is the faster we'll lose.

    December 26, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  9. janie batt

    Doing "nothing" is better than 'OBAMACARE!"

    December 26, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  10. Bob H

    This is checks and balances in action .. It's working as intended.

    December 26, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  11. rick s

    Maybe people will remember this come election day.

    December 26, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  12. Oscar

    I agree, so sad. No congress at all.

    December 26, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  13. steve coster

    All you people calling for a revolution need to call a little LOUDER!!!

    December 26, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  14. J. Mann

    To say this is a "DO NOTHING CONGRESS" is an understatement!!!

    December 26, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  15. myway

    That shouldn't be a surprise. GOP members of congress announced long ago their primary goal is to obstruct the administration's agenda. They succeeded.

    December 26, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  16. sammy750

    The holiday gift and good will from the Republicans is STARVE you workers Get a 2 or 3rd job if you want food.

    December 26, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. watash60

    Cannot give them coal – obama is against coal – until he changes his mind again

    December 26, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  18. chet

    They should not even get a lump of coal – actually the EPA has banned coal. Thanks to the radical stance from BOTH SIDES – nothing will get done. They all need to go to the center and get something done for the population of America.
    Thanks to Obama for his decisiveness I don't think anything more will get accomplished.

    December 26, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  19. Workhard03

    It is hard to imagine it being worse in this country than it is right now but can you imagine if Barrack had control of the house again just like the first two years of his first term. Think of the mess he created when he had that power. You can only imagine the size of the governement and spending that would have been. Wow. This congress stinks but I'm glad Barrack doesn't have full control.

    December 26, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. jdk47

    Explain to me again how failing to enact more economy-killing regulations and never-ending streams of laws that control our life is a bad thing? A "do-nothing congress" is the best type of congress. Less is better.

    December 26, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  21. caesarbc

    Don't pay them.

    December 26, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  22. JCD

    This is a do something congress. They argue, grich, and gripe at each other. Both sides are getting ready for the next election by thinking their party has all the answers. Compromise is not a dirty word. Work together for the good of the country, it isn't that hard you just have to have that as a goal.

    December 26, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  23. Harry Cline

    You get what you pay for as they say.
    If you are in politics at any level your a border line crooked to begin with and only need a shove in that direction to be knee deep in corruption.

    That line about wanting to make a difference is naivety at best.

    December 26, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. Gaff

    See what happens when slanderous attacks across the aisle is your only means of success? You can only drag the other side of the aisle down for so long before the ship sinks with you on it.

    December 26, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  25. hkirwin

    Better to do nothing then something bad. Just look at the things they agreed with Obama on.

    December 26, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
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