New data compiled by Govtrack.us shows that the 113th Congress, which will conclude at the end of the year, is on track to become the least productive in modern history.
The statistics show that the number of laws enacted by this Congress will land at 203 at the end of the year, the lowest in recent history. The previous Congress enacted 284 laws, and prior to that the least productive Congress in terms of this number was the 104th, which concluded in 1996 with 337 laws enacted.
Unfortunately for the 113th Congress, their approval rating hasn’t quite compensated for the lack in productivity in the last two years. The Washington Post reported that in early November of 2013, the approval rating for Congress hit a new low of 9%. Since then that number has slowly increased, rising to 20% at the end of October this year before falling to 15% in November. The rating for November of last year is the lowest in the last 40 years.
While the Washington Post points out that the “decrease in productivity and the decrease in popularity are not necessarily linked,” the possible correlation certainly cannot be denied.
The divide in the House and the Senate has seemingly contributed to their productivity in the past two years. Whether or not these numbers will improve with the incoming Congress remains to be seen, but a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate has many optimistic that more will get done in the coming two years.