Saturday, December 31, 2011
Most of us have had the feeling Congress hasn't done much this year but bicker and not get much done. Tobin Grant has quantified their work below...
Tobin Grant, an associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University from a piece on NPR..Weekend Edition.
"Grant developed an index to measure Congress' productivity. After looking at the numbers, he says this Congress is on pace to be the least productive since the '80s — not the 1980s, but the 1880s.
Grant says he'd consider very few of the 80 bills signed into law so far this session to be major legislation.
Multiple bills continue funding that had already been ongoing. Others, he says, include "taking a bold stance in favor of 9/11 heroes and autism" with the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act and the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act. Congress also passed 10 resolutions naming post offices.
Now, this is the first of a two-year Congress, and the first year is always less productive. This one, though, has been especially unproductive.
In 2011, Congress did pass the Deficit Reduction Act, three free-trade bills and a patent-reform measure. However, much of its time was spent racing against those countdown clocks, passing short-term extensions to keep the government open for business and fighting right up to the brink over matters that in the past have been routine."
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 1:31 PM