The data doesn’t lie. This Republican House of Representatives passed just 22 bills that became law in 2023. In contrast, under Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi the previous House passed 85 bills in 2021, including landmark COVID-19 legislation and the infrastructure law.
In last week’s House Rules Committee hearing, Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado pointed that out, blasting Republicans for the profound waste of time they’ve been all year. “The data speaks for itself,” he said. “This will go down as the least productive Congress since 1933.”
“Think about that: the least productive Congress since the Great Depression,” he continued. ”That is what Republicans have brought the country in the form of their majority.” They’ve also brought the ridiculous and utterly baseless formal impeachment inquiry, which is what the House Rules Committee was wasting its time on when Neguse called Republicans out.
This House did manage to get the debt ceiling lifted and keep the government’s doors open. Their other accomplishments? They renamed some Veterans Affairs clinics and authorized a coin commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Marine Corps.
For some unfathomable reason, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise decided it was a good idea to broadcast that shame, sending out data sheets about the dubious accomplishments of the House this year.
There is all their shame, right there in black and white. But that’s not all: Scalise also detailed all the speaker-vote drama, including the 15 votes it took to elect Kevin McCarthy in January, and then the four votes to replace him as they churned through candidates who could not win: Reps. Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan, and Tom Emmer (who never made it to the floor) before settling on some guy named Mike Johnson. According to Scalise’s fact sheet, “The first time it took multiple ballots more than once in the same Congress and year to elect a Speaker.” That’s the first time in all of U.S. history.
Scalise actually trumpeted the dubious historical significance of all this. “During the October Speaker vote, it took the fourth longest time to elect a Speaker, 9 days,” the fact sheet continues. “During the January Speaker votes, it took the fifth longest time to elect a Speaker, 5 days.”
So what else did the Republican House do this year that Scalise didn’t want you to miss? They expelled a member (George Santos) for the first time since 2002, had four rule votes fail—”the most ever in a year”—and censured three members—”tied with the most in a year ever.” They were, by the way, all Democrats.
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