This Congress Is Least Productive on Record

Another new low for unloved 112th Congress

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2012 2:34 AM CDT | Updated Aug 15, 2012 4:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Harry Truman called the 80th Congress "do-nothing" in 1948, but they look like massive overachievers compared to today's crop of lawmakers, a USA Today analysis finds. The 112th Congress has passed just 61 bills out of 3,914 into law this year, putting it on course to be the most unproductive since year-end records began in 1947. Only 90 bills became law last year. One post-World War II year, 1995, had an even lower total than 2011, but the Republican-controlled Congress managed to produce 245 laws the following year with a Democratic president.

After two years marked by partisanship and failure to agree on issues including debt reduction and drought relief, the 112th Congress will conclude after Election Day and most people will be happy to see it go, according to the latest Gallup poll. The poll found that just 10% of Americans think members of Congress are doing a good job, tying a record low set in February of this year. The highest approval rating this Congress has received came in May 2011, when it reached the dizzying heights of 24% approval, notes Politico.

The freshmen class of House members of the 112th Congress pose for a group photo in November 2010.
The freshmen class of House members of the 112th Congress pose for a group photo in November 2010.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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