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Report: Current Congress on Track to Pass Fewest Laws of Any Congress in Decades

This session has been marked with chaos and bitter political attacks by the House Republican majority.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson listen during remarks at a Capitol Menorah lighting ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Building on December 12, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

The current Congress has passed the least laws of any other congressional session in modern history in its first year of operation, a new analysis finds.

The 118th Congress, marked so far by utter chaos in the GOP-controlled House, has only passed 20 bills that were signed into law by President Joe Biden, according to data from data analytics company Quorum and reported by Axios. By contrast, the analysis finds, other historically unproductive sessions that occurred when Republicans controlled one or both chambers, under Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, passed between 70 and 73 laws in their first year.

This makes the 118th Congress the least productive in its first year since at least the 101st Congress in 1989 and 1990 when President George H.W. Bush was president — in which lawmakers passed over 400 laws, according to the Axios analysis. Most congressional sessions since then have passed between 300 and 450 laws in both years in office. A separate HuffPost analysis last month found that the 118th Congress is on track to be the least productive since the Great Depression.

Thus far, this session has been marked with chaos and bitter political attacks by House Republicans, likely fueling the low count of bills passed.

This year, the GOP has spent several weeks of the session fighting over who they should nominate for speaker of the House, with the furthest right parts of the chamber calling the shots. Of the major bills that have cleared both chambers so far, more Democrats voted “yes” than Republicans, according to another recent Axios analysis of Quorum data. And, rather than addressing the historic wealth gap in the U.S., the health care crisis, or the myriad other glaring issues Americans are facing, Republicans have fought tooth and nail to censure several progressive Democratic members.

Now, Republicans are setting their sights on an impeachment inquiry against Biden, in what many have noted is revenge for President Donald Trump’s two impeachments, despite even many Republicans admitting that there is no evidence to impeach the Democrat.

Meanwhile, of the bills that the House has passed so far, a significant portion have been pro-Israel resolutions, The Intercept’s Prem Thakker noted on social media this week. This year, the House has passed a resolution affirming the U.S.’s support for Israel amid its genocidal siege of Gaza; another November resolution supposedly affirming the “right” of Israel to exist; $14.3 billion in military funding to support Israel’s violent siege; and a resolution denying Israel’s apartheid of Palestinians in retaliation against Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) in July.

According to the Axios analysis, many of the bills that have passed into law were “uncontroversial” — and rather inconsequential — measures on issues that typically have bipartisan support, like a law to mint a coin to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Marine Corps.

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