Dark days for Congress
There's general agreement that the past two years has represented the worst Congress ever. (Though the next Congress has a fighting chance to be worse.) But what does that mean, beyond the rock-bottom popularity
? Jonathan Topaz puts together a few numbers
14.5: Congress’s average approval rating in 2013-2014, according to Gallup. The average approval rating for Congress in 2013 was a record-low 14 percent, which increased 1 percentage point to 15 percent in 2014.
16: Days the government was shut down in October 2013.
40: Percentage of calendar days the House was in session over the course of the 113th Congress, less than 147 days per year, on average. The Senate was in session 141 days per year, on average, just under 39 percent of the time. [...]
234: The number of bills passed by the 113th Congress, the lowest recorded total in congressional history. The number is down 18 percent from the 112th Congress and is only about a fourth of the 906 public bills legislation passed by the 80th in 1947-48, which President Harry Truman dubbed the “Do Nothing Congress.”
So people have good reason to hate Congress. The problem with that is that getting people to hate the government is kind of a "mission accomplished" situation for Republicans, and one they'll have ample opportunity to work on over the next two years.
On the bright side, the 113th Congress had a record number of women. Although if that record number was doubled, we'd just be starting to somewhere close to equality.