Bills Passed By The Senate Hit Fifty-Year Low

A report from the Brennan Center for Justice last month on the pressing need for filibuster reform found the number of bills passed by the Senate has hit a half-century low: 2.8 percent of all bills introduced were actually passed in the current session. The report also found that floor activity devoted to cloture votes has been 50 percent greater than at any time since World War II, illuminating how the filibuster chews up time that could be devoted to substantive policymaking. As of October 2012, Congress as a whole had enacted 196 laws, which is its lowest output since, again, World War II. Nor can the drop in output be attributed purely to a divided legislature, as party control of the House and Senate was also split from 1981 to 1987, and from 2001 to 2003.