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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just How Unproductive Was Congress In 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."



  1. The gridlock in Congress is more about making Obama a one term president than it is about doing the right thing for the American Public. I think the Speaker of the House is trying but right wing nut jobs like Congressman Eric Cantor and Sen. Mitch McConnell state publicly their number one job is to make Obama a one term president is a slap in the face to all Americans suffering with this economy, unemployment and imploding values of their homes and retirements.

  2. We need to get get Nancy Pelosi back in there as Speaker. As the old saying goes, leave it to a woman and she will get things done.

  3. Exactly why I will no longer be voting Republican. The right wing nut jobs aka "Libertarians" have taken over. Lets watch as the Libertarian minority single handedly destroys the Republican party.


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