House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is not interested in creating new laws and says Congress “ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”
Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” asked Boehner on his Sunday show about the lack of legislative activity in Congress. The 113th Congress is turning out to be the least productive Congress in American history.
“Well, Bob, we should not be judged on how many new laws we create," Boehner said. "We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce. And so we don’t do commemorative bills on the floor. We don’t do all that nonsense. We deal with what the American people want us to deal with. Unpopular? Yes. Why? We’re in a divided government. We’re fighting for what we believe in. Sometimes, you know, the American people don’t like this mess.”
As of July, the 113th Congress has passed only 15 bills signed into law – the fewest ever. The 112th Congress was the most unproductive since the 1940s, but at this point last year it had 23 signed into law.
Meanwhile President Barack Obama has only vetoed two bills put before him during his presidency.
In a 2012 op-ed in the Washington Post, Thomas Mann of the left-leaning Brookings Institution and Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute said dysfunction in Congress lies on the part of the GOP.
"We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional," they wrote. "In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party."