This Congress Has Passed Less Than 2% Of Proposed Laws
The headline for this USA Today article is, “This Congress could be least productive since 1947.” That sounds like a bad thing, but frankly, this sounds like a feature of this Congress rather than a bug.
Just 61 bills have become law to date in 2012 out of 3,914 bills that have been introduced by lawmakers, or less than 2% of all proposed laws, according to a USA TODAY analysis of records since 1947 kept by the U.S. House Clerk’s office.
In 2011, after Republicans took control of the U.S. House, Congress passed just 90 bills into law. The only other year in which Congress failed to pass at least 125 laws was 1995.
These statistics make the 112th Congress, covering 2011-12, the least productive two-year gathering on Capitol Hill since the end of World War II. Not even the 80th Congress, which President Truman called the “do-nothing Congress” in 1948, passed as few laws as the current one, records show.
Proponents of limited government such as myself generally like to see gridlock in Washington DC. We believe the government should do less, not more, and while gridlock doesn’t mean the government is shrinking (some the nation’s biggest problem spending areas, like entitlements, are on cruise control anyway) it does at least mean the rate of growth is slower.
Besides, our government was intended to work slowly and with broad consensus. It seems we are far too concerned with short-circuiting the slow-moving process for short-term political gain. I don’t think that’s at all healthy for the country. And after more than two centuries of federal Congress passing far more laws than they repeal, year after year, how much more do we need the federal government to do?
The only problem, as I already mentioned, that a gridlocked Congress can’t address spending on entitlements and the like which is automated. Meaning that gridlock alone won’t help America. We need a principled majority that can downsize the federal government back into something we can at least afford.Tags: gridlock, washington dc