The 118th Congress May Be the Least Productive in Recent History

( — According to data from Quorum, an analytics organization, the 118th Congress may be the least productive congressional assembly in recent history. The 118th Congress has enacted the least legislation in its first year compared to any of the 17 previous congressional bodies. Since the 118th Congress began its first year, it only enacted a few dozen laws, while the 117th Congress passed over 300 laws during its first year.

The lack of policy is due to several critical factors, including bipartisanship and infighting within both major political parties. The Republican Party is especially prone to infighting due to Donald Trump’s influence within the House of Representatives. Republicans also voted to remove Kevin McCarthy from his role as Speaker of the House, causing a three-week legislative freeze while the House attempted to find a replacement. Republicans and Democrats also fail to support legislation from the other party due to the increasing bipartisanship since President Biden took office in 2021.

The 118th Congress passed 20 bills in both chambers throughout its first year, with four more requiring President Biden’s signature before they could pass into law. The congressional body set a new record for the least productive congressional assembly, surpassing the 104th, 112th, and 113th Congresses. The Republicans controlled Congress during these terms, under former President Bill Clinton and former President Barack Obama, respectively. During these terms, Congress passed over 70 laws within its first year, highlighting the drastic decrease in productivity within the 118th Congress.

Another issue with the legislation passed by the 118th Congress is the lack of politically motivated policies within each bill. Most bills enacted into law since the 118th Congress began aren’t controversial, as they typically focus on Veterans Affairs or celebrating the nation’s armed forces. Other bills passed by the congressional body include multiple required bills that raised the nation’s debt ceiling and provided allocations for government funds necessary to keep Congress operational.

The 118th Congress’s productivity is a massive decrease from the last congressional assembly, the 117th Congress. The previous congressional body passed the most legislation since Obama left the White House, including acts focused on infrastructure and the now-infamous Inflation Reduction Act. The 117th Congress’s unusual productivity is likely due to the Democrats controlling the Senate and the House of Representatives and President Biden’s affiliation with the Democratic Party.

Copyright 2023,