In 1948, President Harry Truman labeled the 80th Congress the “Do Nothing” Congress since it refused to pass most of the bills of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and the Truman administration. Instead, it focused on passing a few bills to benefit big business.
Believe it or not, the recently ended 112th Congress was worse!
Not only was the 112th unproductive. It was counter-productive. At several points in the last two years, its approval rating among voters was 10 percent. That’s right, 10 percent! That makes it even more unpopular than communism which has an approval rating of 11 percent in the US.
Among the 112th’s few accomplishments was lowering the credit rating of the US government for the first time in history. By blustering and balking at raising the debt ceiling and threatening to pay debts that Congress had already spent, it nearly collapsed the world economy. And instead of focusing on creating jobs and improving the US economy, it spent most of its time trying to discredit President Obama.
It passed no bills to build infrastructure, to increase exports, to bring jobs back home from overseas, to reform immigration, to regulate the type of military-style weapons used in the Newtown massacre, or to bring fairness to our tax codes.
Indeed, the 112th passed the fewest bills ever.
The 112th rabidly talked of lowering the deficit and reducing the national debt, but it succeeded only in kicking the can down the road for 11 months. In doing so, it created an artificial “fiscal cliff” that nearly dragged us back into recession. Teapublicans in the 112th bragged that they didn’t know the meaning of compromise. Dominated by a rabid Tea Party caucus led by likely escaped mental patient Michele Bachmann, the 112th even refused to follow its own leadership.
Incredulously, it even refused to vote for financial aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy! An inaction that prompted several of its national leaders to say that if you donate to GOP campaigns, you must be “out of your mind.”
So goodbye, 112th! You will be forgotten, but not missed.
UPDATE: Following its failure to negotiate a long-term solution for the “fiscal cliff,” Congress’ approval rate is now in the single digits. Understandably, Congress is less popular than head lice and cockroaches!