IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

With one foot out the door, Congress leaves bills in limbo

With just 15 in-session days left in 2013, it looks as though members of Congress will cap the year off with very little legislative accomplishments.
John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a new conference in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013.

With eight weeks and just 15 in-session days left on the 2013 Congressional calendar, it looks as though members of the House and Senate will cap the year off with very little (if any) legislative accomplishments.

Looking into the House congressional calendar, the committee hearings and floor votes regarding President Obama’s admittedly erroneous statement: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” will take up a great deal of time and attention before the end of the year.

Things look rather different in the Senate where the legislative body recently passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and will continue to hold hearings and floor votes on the President’s appointments, including the nomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s successor, Janet Yellen.

Stripping out ceremonial bills like naming post offices or authorizing commemorative coins, the Pew Research Center says the 113th Congress is on track to be one of the least productive ever.  That title is held by the 112th congress which only passed 208 substantive laws during their term.

With each chamber’s divergent views on what to tackle in the remaining 15 days, Members of Congress seem well poised to return back to their districts without a single legislative breakthrough. They will be leaving a laundry list of critically important bills on the table including immigration reform, broad budget agreement, a farm reauthorization bill and the re-examination of the Voting Rights Act.