Congress's Productivity Is at a Record Low

In a year filled with political debate, Congress is looking at new lows in productivity.

With all this talk about government action in the news recently, it seems that it's been one of the most heated years in political history. And as heated as it may be, productive it is not — the current Congress is on track to have the lowest level of productivity in recent history.

Following the trend of the 112th Congress, which had been the most unproductive since the 1940s, the 113th Congress has an even lower level of productivity: They've only signed 15 bills into law so far, whereas the 112th had signed 23 bills into law at the same time in their term. The president's veto power can't be blamed for the small numbers, either — he's only vetoed two bills this year.

While it hasn't been a steady decline, the number of bills signed into law was at its height in the 1970s, with the number of bills reaching 70 by July 8. Now, the number is significantly smaller, but some of the bills were groundbreaking, and received heavy bipartisan support, including disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy and the Violence Against Women Act. However, with a Congress that has been lauded as "dysfunctional," there's clearly strides to be made in order to get productivity up again.

Diana Pearl

I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on,,,, and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by,, and, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at,, and