Poll: Only 3% of voters think Congress is very productive
August 4th, 2014
09:13 AM ET
2 months ago

Poll: Only 3% of voters think Congress is very productive

Washington (CNN) – Democrats are fond of labeling the 113th Congress "the least productive Congress in modern history."

And according to a new poll, a strong majority Americans agree with them.

Nearly three-fourths (74%) of registered voters said Congress has been "very unproductive" or "somewhat unproductive" this year, according to a poll released Sunday by NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College.

Only 19% of registered voters said Congress has been "somewhat productive," while only 3% of registered voters said the senators and House members of Capitol Hill have been "productive."

Sunday's poll is just the latest data point that shows how unpopular Congress has become.

According to Gallup, only 15% of Americans approve of Congress, while just 7% say they have "a great deal" or quite a lot" of support for the legislative body.

Another Gallup poll from 2013 also found that Americans have more faith in the ethics of car salespeople, TV reporters and lawyers than members of Congress.

Democrats, who say House Republicans are the ones blocking legislation, have hammered Congress for its lack of productivity.

"This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory," President Barack Obama said in April repeating a charge that Democrats have made a number of times.

House Republicans, however, contend that it is the Democratic Senate that's keeping Congress from getting anything done.

Last year, House Speaker John Boehner was asked about becoming the least productive Congress in history. Responding to the criticism, Boehner said Congress "ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal."

The telephone poll conducted between July 28-31 of 634 registered voters has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.9%.


Filed under: Congress • Polls
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Lizzie

    Rudy NYC, the only ones who want parts of the country to secede are liberals,

    August 4, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. CALIFORNIA

    Considering REID has well over 300 BILLS tables in the Senate what would a reasonable persons conclusion come to?

    REID is the obstructionist.

    August 4, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. rs

    Lizzie

    Rudy NYC, the only ones who want parts of the country to secede are liberals,
    ______________________
    You think Perry and Palin are Liberals?!

    August 4, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    "So what? Hamas is a terrorist organization, labelled as such by our own State Department. You got a problem with the US goal of exterminating Al Queda?"
    ==============================================
    Exterminating Hamas is Netanyahu's stated goal, not that of the United States. Neither has the U.S. ever came out and stated that they wished to "exterminate" anyone or anybody. You cannot exterminate ideas without causing genocide.
    --------–
    Genocide. Of a terrorist organization. You're un-freeking believable. Know what I say about that? First of all, learn what genocide is. Second of all, GOOD. Hamas is a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION. Their actions are violations of international law. I hope Netanyahu is wildly successful.

    August 4, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. S.B. Stein

    it would be nice if there was the understanding by all (more teapublicans than others it seems) that legislation needs to be worked out and compromised on since no one side will get all that is desired. I see too many people stating what they want and it being their final position without the concept of talking to the other side to see where they are willing to move while you move as well.

    August 4, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    The house passed 142 bills, most of which are ACA repeal and attacks on reproductive rights. The do nothing congress of the 1940s passed over 900 bills. What do we expect from an orange drunk, besides government shutdowns?

    August 4, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Lizzie – Ever hear of Rick Perry?

    August 4, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. rs

    Sniffing n Garggling Ozass in Tampa

    Yet another shining example of Obama "the Great Uniter" who was supposed to "bring about an unprecedented era of cooperation" has FAILED!!!

    A Real President would have been able to create an environment of compromise (i.e. Clinton, Reagan, etc.)
    Unfortunately we have a Community Organizer charlatan that has created a hopeless environment of divisiveness and blame.
    _______________________
    The GOP officially abandoned "compromise and cooperation" on January 9, 2009 when Boehner and McConnell met during the inaugural and created the strategy of making Obama a one-term President by doing nothing. Unfortunately, the GOP has since forgotten not only HOW TO WORK, but also WHO THEY WORK FOR.
    Here's a hint- you cannot compromise with NO!

    August 4, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. old age voter

    Harry Reid and president Barack Obama have made this the least productive Congress in modern history.

    The House passed a border reform bill on August 1st and where is the Senate and president Barack Obama; already left for vacation!

    August 4, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. rs

    jpmichigan

    What has happen to your government,t as we learn in school, how the system is supposed to work for all the people? The House debates a bill , passes it then sends it to the Senate to debate/make changes if needed, passes it, then either sends it back to the House to tweek or sends it to the President to sign or veto. Instead the House does its job, the Senate refuses to acknowledge the bill and the Presidents states he'll veto even before it passes the House. I see it as the President and Democrats stating give me exactly what I asked for without debate or forget the whole thing I'll just use Executive power of the pen and do as I want. The Senate went hope without doing anything, then want the American people to keep the Senate as is, please!!! We need a change in the Senate.
    _______________________
    You overlooked two tiny points- The House has passed the overturn of the ACA 56 times. Really? Anyone should take up that sort of radicalized idiocy? Meanwhile, Mr. McConnell has filibustered well more than 500 bills (and never mind his obstruction of federal appointees). The GOP's insistence that the Senate now needs a 60% passage vote for bills in the Senate means nothing gets done THEIR either.

    August 4, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    smith

    When the extremes of both parties take over this is what you end up with. Both sides are guilty of not being willing to work together.
    --------------------------
    That's simply not true. The Senate has passed a number of bipartisan bills ranging from immigration reform to transportation. Last spring they even passed a budget, which Cruz later filibustered when a motion was put on the floor to move to a budget conference with the House. Boehner never put a similar motion on the floor. Harry Reid has on two occasions allowed his counterpart, Mitch McConnell, to bring his own bills to the floor, which McConnell saw fit to filibuster.

    The House Republicans *never* negotiate with Democrats over anything, as seen in the latest debacle to pass a bill to fund additional resources to deal with the border crisis. House Republicans sit behind closed doors writing a bill, which usually gets put to the floor for a vote.

    August 4, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Rudy NYC

    OBAMA – THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Dean

    The House has passed 352 bills that are just sitting in the Senate with no action being taken. 'Do-nothing Congress', perhaps...'Do-nothing Senate', definately
    ++++++++++++
    Factually true and very seldom stated. The Senate refuses to even let amendments from the other party a majority of the time combined with an absent and divisive President. Democrats own two sides of the triangle now. We are in a sad state right now and will see if the November elections do anything to help. I read an interesting article that our country may eventually tear apart into two separate countries. May not be a bad thing if it can be done peacefully.
    =============================================================================
    Factually true, and way overblown and misstated. Democrats can filibuster bills, too, you know. Consider the content of those bills. About 20% of them were bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act. You also correctly point out that the majority of the time that Senate Democrats do not permit Republican amendments. I will also point out that the House Republicans exclude the Democrats 100% of the time. Republican amendments are always poison pills designed to delay or kill the bill.

    You stand there accusing Democrats of being divisive, while applauding some article promoting secession?
    ++++++++++++++
    The article just stated It could be feasible in our lifetime. It did not stipulate agreement or promote succession. In my business I look at ideas from a clinical perspective and I just found it fascinating.

    August 4, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. ILikeIke

    If you made me choose, I'd rather have more productive citizens than a more productive Congress.

    Get off the couch and do something productive people. If you haven't figured it out yet, waiting for government is foolish.

    August 4, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Lizzie

    Sniffit, we all know that ANYTHING that the republicans send to the senate is JUNK in your words, thus Harry Reid NEVER puts them up for discussion or a vote.
    ---------------------------
    It's not always Harry Reid's doing. Don't you know how the Senate works? Before a bill can even be discussed on the floor, a cloture vote must be taken. Democrats can silently filibuster motions to open discussion on the floor, too.

    The silent filibuster is killing the Senate's ability to function. The House, on the other hand, has no filibuster, which means when Senate bills do not come up for a vote in the House it is because Boehner refused to do it.

    August 4, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    You stand there accusing Democrats of being divisive, while applauding some article promoting secession?
    ++++++++++++++
    The article just stated It could be feasible in our lifetime. It did not stipulate agreement or promote succession. In my business I look at ideas from a clinical perspective and I just found it fascinating.
    ---------------------------
    I read your post and found your blatantly open hypocrisy appalling. You applauded the idea of secession. The article has nothing to do with it, not according to your most recent post. Secession is your own original thought.

    August 4, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Klutch Cargo

    Well,
    Now why are Corporations moving off shore? Overtaxed? Maybe the Political Climate in Washington? How many more Laws do you need to fix the problems? Old Chinese Proverb. DON'T DO ME ANY MORE FAVORS, I CAN'T AFFORD 'EM. Other old Chinese Proverb. IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT. Old vaudville Proverb. WITH YOUR MONEY AND MY BRAINS, WE WILL GO PLACES. Why are we still in the gutter?

    August 4, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Lizzie says:
    August 4, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am
    Rudy NYC, the only ones who want parts of the country to secede are liberals,

    You need to Google secession to see who has been talking about it since November 2008. Are you woefully misinformed or just another blatant liar? Some in the GOP have called for secession and armed revolution.

    August 4, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Rudy NYC

    smith

    When the extremes of both parties take over this is what you end up with. Both sides are guilty of not being willing to work together.
    --------–
    That's simply not true. The Senate has passed a number of bipartisan bills ranging from immigration reform to transportation. Last spring they even passed a budget, which Cruz later filibustered when a motion was put on the floor to move to a budget conference with the House. Boehner never put a similar motion on the floor. Harry Reid has on two occasions allowed his counterpart, Mitch McConnell, to bring his own bills to the floor, which McConnell saw fit to filibuster.

    The House Republicans *never* negotiate with Democrats over anything, as seen in the latest debacle to pass a bill to fund additional resources to deal with the border crisis. House Republicans sit behind closed doors writing a bill, which usually gets put to the floor for a vote.
    ++++++++++++++++
    The same thing happens in the Senate so this is all a mute point. The only ones that ever seem to capitulate are Republicans. We all know the border deal from Democrats is a farce meant to delay any real reform and further escalate political divisions.

    August 4, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "The House passed a border reform bill on August 1st and where is the Senate and president Barack Obama; already left for vacation!"

    And it was symbolic partisan garbage they were warned would not be considered by the Senate and would get veto in the extremely unlikely event it reached Obama's desk. The House GOP/Teatrolls even "had to" pull the bill from the floor and rework it to make it even more partisan because they wouldn't have gotten enough GOP/Teatroll votes to claim the majority of the majority. So they went back moved it further to the right, passed it with GOP/Teatroll votes and then skipped town to go brag to their base that they "stuck it to the Dems and Obama" by passing something so partisan and telling everyone that it's the only thing the House will consider, no compromise, no conference, pass it or get nothing, do as we say even though we're not in control of the Senate and WH.

    August 4, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Genocide. Of a terrorist organization. You're un-freeking believable. Know what I say about that? First of all, learn what genocide is. Second of all, GOOD. Hamas is a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION. Their actions are violations of international law. I hope Netanyahu is wildly successful."

    If you think there's not a strong undercurrent of demands among Israelis for genocide of the Palestinian people, then you really need to think again. The Times of Israel even had to rebuke and fire one of its writers last week for publishing an article on his blog entitled "When Genocide Is Justified." One might think, of all places and amongst all cultures on this planet, that Israel would be the last place you'd find the seeds...nay, more than the seeds at this point...of sentiment that attempts to justify genocide, but you'd be very wrong. Heck, they won't even agree to stop trying to expand into Gaza in order to get a cease fire accomplished. Why? Two words: "Manifest destiny." Israel doesn't WANT to stop expanding into Gaza and taking land that doesn't belong to them and continued flare up of violence followed by heavy handed mass murder of innocent Palestinian civilians gives them all the excuse they need for ignoring calls for them to stop.

    August 4, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    House GOP'ers openly stated their plan to oppose anything Obama wanted. It worked and everyone can see it.
    Even after the GOP stated this as their exact mission, it is laughable that people claim it is not the GOP's fault.

    August 4, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Silence DoGood

    This 3% must be happy with a broken government. Now we see how small the radical far right is.

    August 4, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. yolanda

    @Sniffit, yup, it's been all the Rep/teatrolls (using your vernacular) who have been uncooperative. The awesome display if bipartisanship put on by Pelosi, Reid, and Obama during the ACA fiasco was a shining example of bipartisanship. ...stick to DIvision 3 lacrosse.

    August 4, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. TransparencyWhereArtThou

    Congress tends to be unproductive when the pendulum is swinging.

    August 4, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Hector Slagg

    Sorry!,
    You 3 Percenters want 97 percent of the money with 3 percent of the work. Hey Google WHO DOES ALL THE WORK, by Archie Campbell. He figured it out many moon's ago!!!!

    August 4, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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