Worst. Congress. Ever

Tyler Durden's picture

Despite rumors of a 'deal', "The major issues that we think are necessary to jump-start the American economy continue to languish," reflects one lobbyist on what Bloomberg reports will be Congress's least productive year ever, with just 56 pieces of legislation signed into law so far. The former record low, reached in 1995, was 88 new laws. 2013 was supposed to be the year lawmakers, free of immediate election pressures, would revamp U.S. immigration policy, pass a debt-lowering budget and expedite a pair of trade deals. Instead, partisan rancor grew deeper; and to make matters worse, the politicians took plenty of time off - the House has been out 191 days, and the Senate 199 days.



Via Bloomberg,

Business Roundtable lobbyists wanted 2013 to be the year lawmakers, free of immediate election pressures, would revamp U.S. immigration policy, pass a debt-lowering budget and expedite a pair of trade deals.


Instead, Congress is on pace to have its least productive year ever, with just 56 pieces of legislation signed into law so far. The former record low, reached in 1995, was 88 new laws.




The reasons are many. Partisan rancor grew deeper as a result of the government shutdown. Elected officials in both parties fretted about primaries for party loyalists who would accuse them of abandoning party principles.




“There was a time not long ago that gridlock was seen as a positive for the economy and for industry,” Yardeni said. “Gridlock was a sign of success in our political system, because it showed the system was in balance. But now the factions are so far apart and their differences so irreconcilable that it’s creating problems for the economy.”


After three years of standoffs over the budget and the U.S. deficit, negotiators are now eying only a limited plan to ease some of the automatic cuts next year. That deal wouldn’t end uncertainty for holders of U.S. debt and for businesses, Yardeni said.




2013 is shaping up to be a year that will be remembered for roadblocks and delays in Congress, punctuated by occasional half-steps.


Scores of measures were put off, including a reauthorization of the Amtrak passenger rail system, and not a single annual appropriations bill was completed. If the annual defense authorization bill isn’t acted on this year, it will be the first time ever.




While Obama’s approval ratings are near record lows, the public’s view of Congress is at rock bottom.


A November 7-10 Gallup Poll found that Americans’ approval of the way Congress is handling its job dropped to 9 percent, the lowest in the polling firm’s 39-year history of asking the question. The poll of 1,039 U.S. adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Let The Wurlitzer Play's picture




TheTmfreak's picture

Until modern times congress didn't meet but once a year anyways, and i'm sure they passed SIGNIFICANTLY less than 56 pieces of legislation. This belief that congress should be rated based on the NUMBER of pieces of legislation, is absolutely retarded to say the least. Fuck its lets just go full on fascist dictatorship. Might as well right? Abolish congress, give full "authority" to the president, and we'll all be happier........

Motorhead's picture

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." - Tacitus

Keyser's picture

I see it as a good thing that the Congress is in gridlock. There are enough laws that encroach on the public. It matters little anyway when every alphabet soup federal agency has been creating new regulations at a record rate to make up for the lack of action by the Congress. 


NoDebt's picture

I think they Tylers' point of putting this up is to demonstrate the rather waped point of view of Bloomberg and the MSM in general.  At least, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here.

I am reassured that there are still a significant number of people whow realize that the current media meme to "just get things done" is like saying "just take all my stuff and enslave me, already."

Now, if we can REPEAL 56 pieces of legislation next year, I'll hail that as "getting something done RIGHT."

SafelyGraze's picture

new lobbying effort:

"All previous Acts are hereby rescinded. This Act takes effect immediately upon its publication as law."

PRO.223's picture

Constitional amendment that limits laws length by the percent of passage; for example if a bill passes by 51-55%, then it expires in 3 years; 56-60% then it expires in 7 years, etc. only 100% passage does not expire. Then we'll be keeping them busy debating (and improving) the laws that are going to expire, rather than constantly making new ones.

lakecity55's picture

Man, go back to Real Times, and you see Jackson, Houston, Crockett, and plenty of others going to Congress, doing their work and hauling ass home. They did not like it.

#1 Nobody goes to Congress if they want to go!

#2 Pull a voter/property owners' name from a list of random voters. He or She has to go serve 1 term and 1 term only. No felonies, and no repeats if by chance you are pulled twice.

#3 or go by Popular Acclamation: responsible, veterans, taxpayers make up a list of their own candidates and then that person runs against 1-2 others.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Agreed - the Congress that refuses to legislate, or de-legislates, is a productive Congress, productive in that it avoids more legislation that reduces productivity and quality of life of citizens.

Imminent Crucible's picture

The BEST Congress ever will pass just ONE law, that disbands both Houses and sentences 535 crooked scum to life in prison. And no parole.

bh2's picture

They should be retroactively paid inversely in proportion to the total number of laws remaining on the books at the end of each session. The fewer the remaining laws, the greater the pay.

We are not suffering from a lack of legislation. We are buried under a cumulative avalanche of laws even the Congress doesn't understand and regulatory agencies systematically bend to the political agenda of the executive.

If they continue to pass more laws, cut their pay and send them home!

limit_less's picture

Best Ever, I agree. What annoys me is the media constantly telling me black is white and vice versa. This congress debate is a case in point. The system is designed to create gridlock, talking heads want you to believe the opposite. Enough with the anti-constitution progaganda!!!


""Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of

passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people. " --Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestley, 1802.

"Whenever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force." --Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.

"It [is] inconsistent with the principles of civil liberty, and contrary to the natural rights of the other members of the society, that any body of men therein should have authority to enlarge their own powers... without restraint." --Thomas Jefferson: Virginia Allowance Bill, 1778.

"In questions of power...let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." --Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.

YEAH!!! quotes from here http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/DOCUMENTS/JEFFERSON/jeff4....
Arbysauce's picture

At least Obama is there to pick up the slack with executive orders.

darteaus's picture

Lower than the Congress that passed the War on Poverty initiatives?

wee-weed up's picture

Yes... but only a hair above the Congress that passed Obamacare!

That was the worst ever! Lower than whale shit on the bottom of the ocean!

texas sandman's picture

Now, if we could only have a "least productive" year from EPA, OSHA, IRS, etc.  

blindman's picture


takes time

Colonel Klink's picture

We need two things to help things get better.  Corporate money out of politics and term limits of 2 per position.

Ms. Erable's picture

Dafuq? I'd be all for doubling their salary in the coming year if they don't pass a single bill.

NotApplicable's picture

Statist Tyler is in da house!

BadDog's picture

When they start repealing some of the legislation they've passed, like the Patriot Act and TARP, then I might start voting again.

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

Just wait til Congress figures out how to take 450 days off per year.  Actually, might not be a bad thing...

Ham-bone's picture

The Fed has destroyed democracy and congress' role of determing how to allocate a scarce resource (taxes) among infinite needs (of course congress and the American people were complicit in this)...This was de Toqueville’s observation and warning; “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money”…&…”A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.” 

Congress spending money they don’t have the tax revenue to cover…thus Treasury issues debt for which it has no intention of ever paying back the principal, an ARM i/o payment scheme…we are now to the point where the “typical” 5% to 7% interest payments on this debt would eat nearly 50% of tax revenue…so the Fed pushes rates ever lower to reduce the interest payments…but the low payments even became too much so the Fed now buys all new and rollover debt and remits the interest payments to the Treasury…via this path the Fed can increase from its present 20% holding of 1yr and longer Treasury debt to X?.  By this means, the Congress will never be forced to do the hard work of prioritizing spending versus taxation. 

Modern day Roman senate...simply a rubber stamp to lend an air of authenticity to the charade

Ham-bone's picture

all so flipping simple...

higher taxes would slow "growth"

lower spending would slow "growth"

When money is infinite and costs nothing...the decision is EEEZZZ

So keep up the same old play of "tax less and spend more" and let the Fed pick up 100% of all the bonds, kick the 2% interest back to the Treasury...round and round we go...and pretend we're making budgetary progress.  Genius.

lakecity55's picture

Wow, I am still giddy from watching two-two communist dictators shaking hands at the Mandela Funeral Party Services in honor of Backdoor Barry!

Backdoor even Bowed for Raul! And Lower than Usual!!!

OMG I have the vapors!

Forward, Soviet!



Colonel Klink's picture

He wasn't bowing, he was bending over!  There's a difference.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

congress, if it were a branch of government, would at minimum be using all it's time in removing and jailing those in .gov such as the IRS criminals, SEC, DOJ, energy,  Fed and other depts that have broken our laws or over reached by fiat.

the oversight function of .gov is what is needed not more laws, but we all here know that, don't we?

Billy Shears's picture

the fewer laws the better!

solgundy's picture

we need a one party system...winner takes all.......& Obama should be able to keep running....

Winston Churchill's picture

We have one party rule.Maybe we could have a competent sock puppet  next time but I prefer

the gridlock of them fighting over a diminishing pie.

Ribeye's picture

how awful comrades,  

the glorius EU Politburo passes that many new laws every single day,

and its paradise here, 

All hail Barrosso the Benelvolent....



Billy Shears's picture

actually,  IMHO, Congress needs to get to work REPEALING a whole lot of laws and legislation; they can start with the Federal Reserve act.

Dull Care's picture

Statist Tyler indeed in the House. 56 is entirely too many! Why would anyone want more?


Now we just need a way to rescind Bathhouse Soetoro's executive orders.

ultraticum's picture

All the handwringing about bitter division.  Nah . . . unanimous screwing of the serfs and never standing on principle.  Unanimous.

timehill's picture

The ideal number of bills passed would be ZERO!

Rob Jones's picture

A really productive Congress would concentrate on undoing the damage of previous Congresses. Like repealing Obamacare, the income tax, eliminating the Fed and going back to a sound currency. But at least this Congress produced a bit less garbage than in previous years.

Dull Care's picture

One day, let's hope that happens. There is a bill to eliminate the 16th Amendment. Here's some more information at www.repeal16.org

Obamananke's picture

56 laws in one year still to many. We do not need any more laws or regulations. Perhaps they are running out of ideas.

StychoKiller's picture

Kinda like Hollywood with its various remakes of classic movies...

Flakmeister's picture

It was the worst because of its completely ineffective  nature not because of the number of laws it passed...

Hey, make no new law, do away with laws, but govern the country as required... 

And if you really want to change things, get two of the House, Executive and Senate first...

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Maybe they should manage laws like we manage our house:

Anything comes in, something must go out.


Any new law gets created, some other law must be either removed or consolidated.


Ex: We probably don't need laws against farting on your horse while riding on Main Street

Colonel Jessup's picture

I don't see a problem with them being out so many days. All it means is that they cannot do any major damage writing inane laws - they should stay out more often.

tvdog's picture

All those regular trips to Israel take some time from the schedule of your average Congressman.

Oldwood's picture

All the really serious back stabbing and ass fucking occurs behind closed doors, not for public consumption. When they have lots of legislation going on it makes it  easier for them to slip their little specials in without much notice. I think they know we are watching them now so it gives cause to be more cautious. The republicans are scared because people are holding them more accountable for their actions and inactions. Democrats are scared because all of the shit they've done is finally coming to light and they have no place to hide. Democrats have nothing else to do but try and manipulate the republicans into shooting themselves. They have a gun in each hand, one with blanks and the other with live rounds. The one loaded with blanks is the supposed swing voter backlash that doesn't exist and the other is the live rounds which is the conservative block just waiting for an excuse to knock them out in their primaries if they capitulate any further. They don't know which is which but the left does and they are lying their asses off to the republicans, warning them that they had better go along to get along because otherwise they will lose the "middle". like the left gives a big shit. It again demonstrates the giving nature of the democrats that they would constantly be willing to help their opponent to their own disadvantage. We shall see. Liars to the left of me and morons to the right. I wish there was a way for them to destroy each other without taking the rest of us with them. They have created a cold war mentality of Mutually Assured Destruction, where if they go they are taking the whole world with them. Too Big To Fail and Too Corrupt To Fail. It seems everyone's future (such as it is) is dependent upon the continued survival of what we all know to be absolutely corrupt systems. And all we can do is pray that no one shows up for work in congress as our only hope.

joego1's picture

If the whole federal government quit and went home we would be better off.

UGrev's picture

"If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws, then they will conclude that neither are they..." -Michael Cannon, Cato Institute