The ‘less-than-less-than-do-nothing’ 113th Congress


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The 112th Tea-Publican controlled Congress (2011-2012) was worse than the "do nothing" Republican 80th Congress, securing the title of the "less-than-do-nothing" Congress. So what did voters do? They rewarded these do-nothing slackers by sending them back to Congress.

And what do you get when you reward do-nothing slackers? The 113th Tea-Publican controlled Congress (2013-2014) is historically the "Worst, Congress. Ever." — it is now the "less-than-less-than-do-nothing" Congress. Why are we paying these people? Steve Benen reports, Giving new meaning to 'Do-Nothing' Congress:

[T]he grand total of bills signed into law in the 113th Congress [is] … 58. As Billy House noted this morning, that’s not an especially impressive number.

If you thought Congress hit rock-bottom in terms of how many laws they enacted last session, check out the current House and Senate.

Congress will close the year with 58 public bills (the congressional term for measures with broad impact) enacted into law, assuming that President Obama signs the budget deal as promised. They may add a few to that in the last few days of the year. But it won’t change substantially.

That’s the lowest one-year output since at least 1947, and only the tiniest fraction of the 6,366 bills introduced by lawmakers, according to House and Senate records.

The historic metrics are rather striking: 2013 was the least productive for any Congress since clerks on the Hill started keeping track, and this Congress is on track to pass fewer laws than any modern Congress.


Indeed, it’s really not a close contest. The above chart is admittedly misleading since the 113th Congress is only half complete and I’m comparing it against two-year totals, but note that if lawmakers are as productive in 2014 as they’ve been in 2013, they’ll demolish the record for inaction. If lawmakers suddenly turn things around and double their efficacy – if, in other words, they show a 200% year-to-year increase in the number of bills passed into law – this will still be the last productive on record by a considerable margin.

In fairness, plenty of political scientists will tell you that a straight-up count of successful bill signings isn’t the ideal metric for evaluating a Congress. It’s a fair point – quality tends to matter more than quantity, and if a Congress passes worthwhile legislation, that arguably matters more than the raw totals.

But in the current case, this caveat doesn’t help the current crop of lawmakers – they haven’t been passing good bills, either. On the contrary, the most notable legislative development of 2013 was the Republicans’ decision to shut down the government for reasons they still can’t explain. Meanwhile, routine bills that are ordinarily passed with minimal fuss, such as the farm bill, have languished.

For his part, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said this year that the best way to evaluate Congress isn’t by legislation it passes, but rather, Congress “ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”

But even on this metric, if we accept the Speaker’s standards at face value, this Congress is still laughable since it hasn’t repealed any laws, either.

It is long past time that voters stop rewarding such utter incomptence and dereliction of duty from these do-nothing slackers. This country has major issues that need to be addressed, and these anti-government Tea-Publican insurrectionists have no interest in addressing these problems. Some observers say this is the 'post-policy nihilism' of the GOP, and others say Tea-Publicans are Extremists, Not “Nihilists”. Either way, the GOP is a political party that does propaganda, not public policy. The GOP has no interest in sound governance.

You would not hire someone to run your business if they promised to destroy your business. Why would you hire someone who promised to destroy your government? And if you do, how reckless and irresponsible are you?

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.