The current U.S. Congress, facing a backlog of unfinished business and sliding approval ratings, is on pace to clear fewer bills than its predecessor -- which had the least number of measures signed into the law since modern record keeping began in the 1940s.
Since the 113th Congress convened in January, the Senate has been in session 80 days and the House 84 days. Lawmakers passed 15 bills that were then signed by the president. That’s eight fewer than in the first six months of the last Congress and 19 fewer than in the same stretch of the 111th Congress.
“The 113th Congress is on track to be even less productive than the historic 112th Congress,” said Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “The problem arises from a Republican House unwilling and unable to engage in the normal process of negotiation and compromise with the president, and their continued willingness to live with a destructive sequester.”
Left undone have been major pieces of legislation including a budget agreement and a farm and food-aid policy bill. Lawmakers missed a July 1 deadline to prevent subsidized Stafford student loans from doubling to 6.8 percent. While the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill and farm legislation, the House hasn’t charted a way forward on either issue.
Just a reminder: we've had divided governments before, and more was achieved. This bunch of GOP representatives is among the worst in U.S. history.