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.
In last year's elections, winners won by at least 10 points in all but 62 of the 435 House districts.
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.
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 the public says members of Congress should base their vote on the wishes of their district over the interest of the country.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
Veterans make up a smaller share of Congress than at any time in the past five decades.