Should Congress be passing any laws? House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t think so.
Asked whether Congress has been “historically unproductive” under his leadership, the Ohio Republican declared the idea “total nonsense.”
“Now listen, we made clear when we took over, that we weren’t going to be doing commemorative legislation on the floor,” he said. “Most Americans think we have too many laws. And what they want us to do is repeal more of those.”
In polls, Americans disagree: poor productivity is a key reason they disapprove of Congress. A June Gallup poll found that ‘ineffectiveness’ and ‘partisan gridlock’ was the reason 59% of Americans disapprove of Congress’ job. Just 19% of respondents in the survey said Congress’ performance on certain issues was why they disapproved.
By the numbers, Congress really is quite unproductive: the 112th Congress, which ended in December, passed just 219 bills—the lowest number in decades. In comparison, the 111th Congress passed 383, while the 110th passed 460.
Just 18 bills have become law this year—even fewer than the 23 bills that had become law by this time in the 112th Congress.
This week, the House of Representatives voted for the 38th time to roll back aspects of Obamacare.