Editor's note: this post was published on December 20, 2016. For a more updated version that details bipartisanship and productivity trends in Congress including 2017, visit our most recent report. For weekly reports on congressional productivity, visit Quorum's Weekly Congressional Productivity Index.
WASHINGTON— The 114th Congress came to a close earlier this month. Congressional productivity during the last two years increased from the 113th Congress, but still lagged behind historical averages.
Members of Congress introduced a total of 10,078 bills in the 114th Congress and sent 329 of those to President Obama. While this represents a marked increase from the 113th Congress’ 8,911 introduced bills and 282 bills sent to the President, it was still the fourth worst number of bills sent to the President out of the last 14 congresses and below the historical average of 396.
- The 112th Congress sent 272 bills to President Obama, the smallest amount in the last 14 congresses. The 113th Congress ranks the second worst with 282 bills sent to the President. The 104th Congress ranks third for the worst number of bills sent to the President with 326 bills.
- The 110th and 111th Congresses introduced the greatest amount of legislation of the last 14 congresses, with 11,081 and 10,629 bills respectively.
Methodology Note: Quorum used the number of bills sent to the President as the measure of congressional productivity. The other commonly used metric to measure congressional productivity is the number of bills sent to and enacted by the President. To date President Obama has yet to take action on 13 pieces of legislation from the 114th Congress. Even without a final decision from the President on those 13 pieces of legislation, the 114th Congress has still enacted more legislation than both the 112th and 113th Congresses. The only thing that would differ from the number of bills sent to the President versus the bills sent and enacted by the President is whether the 114th Congress ends up as the third or fourth least productive congress in the last 25 years.
The House of Representatives almost set a 25-year record in the number of bills considered on the floor and passed by the chamber at 782 and 773 respectively. Both numbers were above historical averages (649 and 626) and place the House second in recent history for the number of bills considered and passed.
- The 114th House surpassed the 111th House which considered 739 bills on the floor and passed 722 bills through the chamber.
- The 110th House holds the record for most number of bills considered on the floor and passed by the chamber at 967 and 943 respectively.
Passing just 29% of House Bills sent to the chamber, the U.S. Senate set a new record for the lowest percentage of House bills passed by the Senate. The 113th Senate passed 36% of House Bills while the previous lowest record was 34% in the 110th Congress at the end of the Bush Administration.