Congress Passes Fewer than 1% of Bills Introduced in 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013
(book by Tony Fucile)

When 2013 began, members of Congress must have intended to have a productive year. After all, they introduced 6,366 pieces of legislation.


But 12 months later, with the session almost over, lawmakers managed to pass less than 1% of these bills. As of December 21, the House and Senate had approved only 58 measures. This output was the lowest for a single year since 1947.


“It certainly feeds into the narrative that people find congenial—which is that Congress is not doing its job,” Ross Baker, a Rutgers University political scientist, told National Journal.


Some have argued that Congress should be judged by other things than the number of bills it approves. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said during the summer that the best way to evaluate Congress was by “how many laws we repeal.”


Well, if that’s the metric, Congress 2013 did an even worse job because lawmakers repealed zero laws.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Congress Has Lowest Output Since 1947 (by Billy House, National Journal)

Giving New Meaning to ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress (by Steven Benen, MSNBC)

Congress has Passed Barely One Law a Week in 2013 (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Congress on Track to Set Do-Nothing Record (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)



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