President Obama on Wednesday took a shot at what he called America’s do-nothing Congress.
“This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures, just basic activity,” he said at a Democratic fundraiser in Houston.
As this chart shows, Obama’s criticism is fair:
A few hours before the president spoke at the fundraiser, Senate Republicans blocked debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill backed by Democrats that aims to combat the wage gap between men and women. The measure failed in a 53-44 vote, falling short of the 60 votes it needed to advance.
“You would think that [equal pay], at this point, would not be a controversial proposition. And yet, the Republicans in the Senate uniformly decided to say ‘no,’” Obama said at the event.
Republicans argued legislation would encourage “frivolous” lawsuits and deprive women of workplace flexibility.
Congress has suffered from increasingly low approval ratings, especially last October during the 16-day federal shutdown. Additionally, Americans’ confidence in Congress dropped to a mere 10% last June, the lowest level not only for the government body, but for any institution on record – ever.
“But I use this as just one example of the scores of issues that are critical to advancing this country’s future in which not only is the other side blocking progress but aren’t even offering a persuasive alternative vision for how we’re going to grow the economy and make sure that anybody who works hard in this country can get ahead,” Obama said.