Has the 113th Congress been working hard or hardly working? A close look at some data makes it difficult to argue it’s anything but the latter.
And with only a lame-duck session after Election Day on the books, there’s little hope of changing it.
“This has been the most do-nothingest Congress.” Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Georgia, told Roll Call.
But how little has been accomplished?
First, looking strictly at the number of pieces of legislation the 113th Congress has enacted, it will come in at the bottom, compared to the last 20 years, according to data from the Library of Congress.
While the House has put in more full work weeks than the Senate, it has done so with much less frequency than in the past.
The Washington Post analyzed data from the last 37 years and broke it down.
Since 1978, there have been 1,917 weeks; the Senate has worked Monday through Friday 601 times, compared to the House, which has accomplished that feat 362 times.
And here’s how the 113th Congress compares to the historical average:
Yes, the argument can be made that members of Congress do much more than spend time in the House and Senate chambers, so merely looking at this data doesn’t paint the total picture.
But the data also supports statements such as Johnson’s.