Good News: This Congress May Pass Fewer Bills Than Any Other Congress Since 1947
One political trope a lot of people on the left, and even some on the right, fall for is the idea that a “do nothing” Congress is an inherently bad thing. People bemoan the amount of time Congress spends naming post offices, and the amount of time Congress spends out of session. “Congress needs to get their work done,” is a common complaint from Presidents and challengers who aren’t yet in Congress.
This nonsense. Quantity is not better than quality, and in terms of quantity the current Congress is at historical lows.
Obviously, this Congress hasn’t finished the term yet, but they are 3/4′s of the way through and so far have passed less than half the bills the preceding Congress made law.
Again, not a perfect measure from the perspective of conservatives/libertarians, because it matters what the bills are. If this Congress passed thousands of bills, but they were all bills rolling back regulations and cutting taxes and generally shrinking government that would be a good thing. But that’s not generally what Congress does, so generally speaking the less Congress does the better.
It is interesting to notice that the number of bills passed per Congress has gone down over time. I believe (though I do not know) that this is probably attributable to the trend in passing omnibus bills stuff with laws and spending often not even relevant to the original bill as opposed to voting on issues on their own merits.Tags: congress