Conservatives have repeatedly criticized the Democratic-led Congress for not passing enough legislation. “I don’t think they’ve gotten anything done,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said in March. In July, he added that “Congressional Democrats” have “failed to deliver on any of their promises and have almost no accomplishments of which to speak.”
But a new Politico analysis finds that this 110th Congress has had more roll call votes this year than any other Congress in history, almost doubling the number under the previous Congress overseen by Boehner and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL):
The House last week held its 943rd roll call vote of the year, breaking the previous record of 942 votes, a mark set in 1978. The vote was on a procedural motion related to a mortgage foreclosure bill. When the House adjourned on Oct. 4 for the long weekend, the chamber had reached 948 roll call votes, putting Democrats on pace to easily eclipse 1,000 votes on the House floor in 2007.
Last year, the Republican controlled House held 543 votes, and for historical comparison, the last time there was a shift in power in Congress, Republicans held 885 roll call votes in 1995. The Senate, which has held 363 votes this year, isn’t on pace to break any records, but has already surpassed the 2006 Senate mark of 279 votes.
Much of the lack of progress can be traced back to obstructionism by conservatives. Approximately “1 in 6 roll-call votes in the Senate this year have been cloture votes,” noted a July McClatchy report. “If this pace of blocking legislation continues, this 110th Congress will be on track to roughly triple the previous record number of cloture votes.”
It’s interesting that Boehner is criticizing the 110th Congress as doing nothing. After all, the House, under his leadership, met for just 101 days during the second session of the 109th Congress, setting the record “for the fewest days in session in one year since the end of World War II.”