Unproductive Congress skips town until November
By Andrew Taylor, AP, Sep 22, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP)—The most partisan, least productive Congress in memory has skipped out of Washington so lawmakers can make their case for voters to re-elect them.
The Senate closed the Capitol not long after sending President Barak Obama a spending bill that will make sure the government won’t shut down Oct. 1, the start of the new budget year. The measure passed early Saturday by a 62-30 vote.
Left behind for a postelection session is a pile of unfinished business on the budget and taxes, farm policy and legislation to save the Postal Service from insolvency.
It’s the earliest pre-election exit by Congress from Washington since 1960, though lawmakers will return after the Nov. 6 vote to deal with unfinished work.
The approval rating for the current Congress dropped to 13 percent in a Gallup poll this month. That was, the lowest ever for an election year. The GOP-controlled House and Democratic Senate managed to come together with Obama to enact just 173 new laws. More are coming after the election, but the current tally is roughly half the output of a typical Congress.
The lack of productivity of the 112th Congress was the result of divided government and bitter partisanship.