December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
4 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. callmecrazy

    The things we need the most to get congress working for the people again is impossible to get through congress. Corporations own the government and get their way, which is bad for us. They have people on the right so afraid of socialism that they don't realize the fascist state we now live in.

    December 26, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. imaninja

    gerrymandering, lobbyism and basically only the activists voting...which led Americans to their own doom and what individuals are in congress...take a deep look at yourself america...

    December 26, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Get rid of the GOP obstructionist and it will be smooth sailing,I don't know why GOP voters would vote for GOP fools in congress who continue to take their pay and obstruct all progress for the American people and use obamacare to hide behind for their own incompetence and non perfomence. The do nothing GOP is going to get a big suprize in 2024 midterms and it won't be good. And then theirs the 24 billion dallars they flushed down the tiolet with NOTHING to show for it, thanks a lot Cruz lee Rubio and Labrador and the rest of the useless tea idiots !!!!!

    December 26, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. JPM

    That accompanies a do nothing President.

    December 26, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. N Vinny Veritas

    The 28% who disagree with the majority verdict on Congresses performance in this poll- include the same 20% – 25% of reactionary right wing radical ideologues who are at the root cause of our countries current disfunction.
    The McCarthyist, John Birch Society, militia-cult, trickle down crazies who [previously] found power... only to finally fade into the background- after negatively affecting our government and citizenry.
    Let's hope the fading begins, again... soon.

    December 26, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  6. Partisanhackshatefacts

    Our government was designed to do as LITTLE as possible....AKA 'Stay Out Of The Peoples Way"

    And these people are complaining ..:sigh:

    December 26, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Name Maximus

    Interesting but I saw a lot of bills that came out of the House of Representatives that were simply ignored by the clown Harry Reid in the Senate. I would say the Senate is the worst ever and not blame the entire congress.
    --------------------------–
    What I saw were a lot of bills that came out of the House that nothing more than "strategic votes" so that people like you can make that misleading talking point. Every bill that contained language to repeal the PP&ACA was properly ignored. The Republicans knew they would be ignored because they were told so ahead of time. Many bills were just plain stupid: i.e., re-affirming "In God We Trust"; a ban on low-energy flourescent bulbs; and many more.

    Can you even name or describe the content of any of the bills that you say were ignored? Can you tell us why they were ignored?

    December 26, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  8. Roy

    75 % middle class and poor don't like congress while 28 % wealth do like congress why is this news. It's a terrible fact but the voting public will keep voting their favorite do nothing congressman back into office.

    December 26, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  9. Kenweil

    I don't get get the posters here. You apparently didn't read the article. It says all parties plus president. Not just republicans or tea party it says all are leading us in the wrong direction.

    December 26, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  10. plain and simple

    When in doubt....do nothing! When you are certain....obstruct! When you actually want to accomplish something....how about conversion,compromise and caring enough about the American populas to run this government. If you think paying someone to do nothing or obstruct is money well spent. How can you have a problem with paying unemployment INSURANCE? Or welfare? Or subsidies to big oil? Wait that welfare is ok! Never mind!!! Hypocritical bs by right wing selfish narrow minded I got mine myself,screw everyone who is not me or directly related to me hogwash! Happy New Year. Nothing needs to change,keep everything the same....it's been great.

    December 26, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  11. UVA_Fan

    Considering the alternative of more spending by the Reid/Pelosi/Obama brain-trust, and how that brain-trust is so unwilling to negotiate, Congress did us all a huge favor by slowing their oppressive desires down a notch. The brain-trust is great for Wall Street and those who don't want jobs and horrible for the middle class and the poor that want to find better jobs in a better economy.

    December 26, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  12. Tim

    We should hold elections monthly, then we would see congress work for a change. There is no reason we can't hold elections through the internet. We can bank but we can't vote?

    December 26, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  13. EDWARD

    Thank GOD this is a do-nothing Congress. If they would have passed everything Obama wanted we be a do-nothing Nation. Why are the American People so fooled by these Obama Democrats and the Republican Establishment politicians like McCain, McConnell, and Boehner? Do they not realize and Nation and the next generation are being sold down the river into poverty?

    December 26, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Matt

    Many voters WANT their Congressional representatives to be unproductive, as long as someone with a different skin color than theirs is in the White House. That is simply a fact. That is why many of these do-nothing representatives will be re-elected! The problem is THE VOTERS who are stuck in an era gone by, but continue to vote as if it still existed. Until the voter changes, Congress will remain the same.

    December 26, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. Bryan

    After seeing how well "Obamacare" is working out, I'm quite delighted that Congress passed approximately 60 bills all year. The FEWER the BETTER.

    December 26, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  16. Kathlyn Parks

    Think where this country could be now if the tea congress gang had permitted legislation for infrastructure. How many jobs that would have meant, and the work being done while interest rates are low. But in their determination to block the president, now all that will be done later, at far higher cost. The economy is getting steadily better, but that's with one hand tied behind the president's back.

    December 26, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  17. OldWest

    CNN forgot to mention another reason for the decline of the republican controlled congress...racism

    December 26, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  18. montag

    And most, if not all, of them will be handily re-elected.

    December 26, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  19. Kris

    They're doing exactly as Boehner asked them to do the day Obama was elected.

    Obstruct.

    December 26, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  20. Steve851

    BFD, In general, the less Congress does, the better

    December 26, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  21. Jay

    Don't these repkublicans ever get it? And why should Harry Reid sign off on anything the Tea Party dumb bells, who understand little of how the economy works when millions are without jobs and struggling to meet ends. How can even half wits support these Tea Partiers?

    December 26, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  22. gary

    And ignorant and apathetic Americans will blindly yank the same lever and keep all the same fat white rich men in control ... and nothing will change until USA crumbles.

    December 26, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  23. dudley

    Better to do nothing than to do the wrong thing. We found that out with Obamacare.

    December 26, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. Dp

    This country was built upon the foundation of freedom. To measure a Congress' success or productivity by the number of bills it passes is not in-line with our country's framework. The architecture of our government was designed to slow the passage of laws and impeded rapid and uncontrolled change. I for one welcome the partisan arguing, disagreements, and stubbornness of this comgress for it validates the working system.

    December 26, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  25. gary

    And ignorant and apathetic Americans will blindly yank the same lever and keep all the same fat rich men in control ... and nothing will change until USA crumbles.

    December 26, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
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