The 113th Congress will not go down in the record books as the least productive federal legislature in recent history, a new study has shown.
The Pew Research Center found
that the 2013-14 Congress barely avoided the dubious distinction of being the "least productive Congress in modern history" because of a sudden spurt of activity during the lame-duck session.
During the first two years of President Barack Obama’s second term, the 113th Congress enacted a total of 296 laws, of which 84 were classified by Pew as purely ceremonial or not substantive, indicating that it had actually passed 212 meaningful laws.
But in 2011-12, the last two years of Obama’s first term, the 112th Congress passed 208 "substantive" measures, four less than the 113th.
The expiring Congress
had been on pace to be the least productive, with just 185 laws passed when it took its election break in October.
But in the lame-duck session lasting a little more than a month, Congress passed another 111 laws, more than a third of its entire legislative output.
Forty of the measures were classified by Pew as ceremonial, which included handing a gold medal to actor Jack Nicholson and giving honorary citizenship to Revolutionary War hero Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid, according to Pew.
The 71 measures in the lame-duck session classified as substantive were just 64 percent of the total, the lowest such percentage in the past eight Congresses, Pew reported.
The most productive session in recent congressional history was the 106th Congress of 1999-2000, when 463 "substantive" bills were enacted, according to Pew.
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