Wonkbook: Is This The Laziest Congress Ever?

Source: Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas / The Washington Post

Six months into its term, there’s little evidence that the 113th Congress will be the worst Congress ever. But they might be the laziest.

On Monday, simply by doing nothing, they allowed the interest rate on student loans to double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. That might be permissible if they were busy with more important things, like inventing a cure for cancer that’s also a source of endless clean energy. But they’re not even working this week.

The 112th Congress passed 220 laws. That’s the fewest of any Congress since we began keeping track in 1948. But the 113th Congress is on track to pass even fewer laws than that. “Just 15 bills have become law this year, compared to 23 over the same period in 2011,” writes Dashiel Bennett at the Atlantic Wire. It’s the do-nothingest Congress ever!

That doesn’t make it the worst Congress ever. In fact, it doesn’t even make it the worst Congress lately. Looking back at my 14 reasons the 112th Congress is one of the worst congresses ever, the 113th still has a ways to go. For instance, they haven’t derailed the recovery and nearly crashed the global economy, as the 112th managed to do during the debt-ceiling shenanigans of 2011. And that list doesn’t even include sequestration, which the 112th created and didn’t manage to avert. The 113th Congress has inflicted a bit of damage by doing nothing — those student loans being a great example — but the 112th Congress almost blew up the world through gridlock.

To read this article in its entirety visit The Washington Post.