Congress Will Get Even Less Productive If Republicans Win Back The House

by | Jul 23, 2022 | Politics

The smart money in Washington is on Republicans to take control of the House of Representatives after this fall’s elections and on 2023 and 2024 seeing joyless political trench warfare with little to show for it.But how bad will that gridlock actually be? If history is any guide, it will mean only about half as many laws will get passed in the first year of the new regime compared to the previous year. AdvertisementSince 1955, when Democrats took the House in the first midterm election of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency, the number of laws enacted in the House after the party opposite the one holding the White House takes control — Democrats taking it with a Republican president or vice versa — has fallen by 52.4% the following year, according to an analysis by HuffPost.That drop-off in lawmaking productivity gets even worse when looking at the more modern era of the House, counting just the flips since Newt Gingrich led the GOP to a win in 1994. Since then, the drop-off in the first year of the House being flipped is 60.3%.To be fair, not everyone agrees that lawmakers making more laws means more productivity. Famously, former House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said that was exactly the wrong way to look at it when he was asked in 2013.“We should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws …

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