Congress Works A Lot But Passes Very Little

07/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What has Congress been up to? Not much, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Taxpayers for Common Sense. The group crunched some numbers and found that the 110th Congress has enacted fewer laws-260 to date-than the ten prior sessions of Congress covering a twenty year span.

At first glance, the number seems unusually low, especially compared to the 100th Congress, with 713 laws enacted, or the 106th Congress, with 580 laws enacted, but the number is not so odd when put up against the 104th Congress--which was marked by a Republican take-over of the House after Democrats had controlled the chamber for more than four decades.

At this same point in the 104th Congress, 293 laws--the second lowest number-had been enacted.

The anecdotal evidence would suggest that Congresses immediately following a flip in partisan control make for unproductive law-making. Democrats took control of the House last November following 12 years under a Republican House majority, although Democrats have set a new low bar for enacting laws with the 110th Congress.

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