Congress ends least-productive year in recent history
Congress enacted 57 laws — just 49 of them substantive — in the first session of its two-year term, the smallest first-year legislative output in nearly two decades.
Only 1 in 7 House districts were competitive in 2012
In last year’s elections, winners won by at least 10 points in all but 62 of the 435 House districts.
Trust in Government Nears Record Low
Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.
The tough job of being House speaker
During their terms as Speaker of the House, both Republican leader John Boehner and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi experienced similar trajectories in their favorability ratings.
A majority of Americans want their lawmakers to put district wishes over national interests
A majority of the public says members of Congress should base their vote on the wishes of their district over the interest of the country.
More Concern About the Debt Limit, But Skepticism Persists
Public concern over breaching the debt limit deadline has risen only slightly from a week ago. Among those who see no dire economic consequences from missing the Thursday deadline, most say there is no need to raise the debt limit at all.
Public Anger at Government Rises
Overall, 26% of Americans say they are angry at the federal government, while 51% feel frustrated. Just 17% say they are basically content with the government. Anger is most palpable among conservative Republicans.
Lessons from the last government shutdown
The 1995-1996 government shutdowns didn’t help the GOP’s image, but the party had lost support among the public well before they happened.
Can presidential speeches change minds? The evidence suggest not
The presidency may well be a “bully pulpit,” in Theodore Roosevelt’s original sense, a position that commands attention. But as President Barack Obama prepares to address the nation Tuesday in support of taking military action against Syria, there’s little evidence (at least in recent times) that presidential speeches are very effective at moving the needle […]
Most members of Congress have little direct military experience
Veterans make up a smaller share of Congress than at any time in the past five decades.