According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, “the 112th Congress is on pace to be one of the least productive in recent memory — as measured by votes taken, bills made into laws, nominees approved.” Apparently most deals are at a standstill while closed sessions take place on handling the deficit. As far as that goes, I’ll repeat what I said on Twitter today: it’s disingenuous to pretend we can lower the deficit without touching military spending (the largest part of our budget by far) or raising taxes. Here are some numbers for comparison:
From January until the end of May, the last date for which comparable statistics are available, 16 bills had become law — compared with 50 during that period last year, or 28 in 2007, also a time of divided government.
The Senate has taken 84 “yea and nay” votes and the House 112, roughly half the number as in 2007. The Senate by the end of May had confirmed just over half the administration’s nominees; recent congresses typically have been near the end of the list by this point.
I’d like to point out that the 50 bills the House has passed this year under John Boehner is the lowest number in 15 years, following on the heels of four years of leadership by Nancy Pelosi. Say what you like about her, but she got things done.