America likes to have fun hating Congress, those do-nothing/do-too-much jerks on Capitol Hill (which one depends on your perspective). A solid 82 percent of the country disapproves of the job Congress is doing, when it does it.
The 112th Congress, you might remember, was the least productive in modern times. The 113th, the one that concluded in 2014, did more, but only slightly. With the shift in management that followed last year's election, we wondered if Congress would shift in one direction or the other, getting even less done with Republicans leading Congress and a lame-duck Democrat in the White House, or dedicating itself anew to the betterment of the body politic.
Weirdly enough, it was the latter, sort of.
After the first year of this 114th Congress, more bills have been enacted than in the 112th or 113th, according to data compiled by GovTrack.us. So far, the 114th is tracking more closely with the more-productive 110th and 111th.
Of course, on the scale of Congresses going back to the 1970s, the 114th Congress still trails. It had the sixth-least-productive first year of any Congress since the 93rd (which was one of the most productive).
Most legislation in a Congress is passed at the tail end of the two years, often in the weeks after the last election. (Weird, right?) So it's hard to say how productive this Congress will be overall.
In January, we pointed out that the 114th was off to a fast start, enacting its first legislation within a week of coming into session. This is not a blistering pace, but at least it's a pace.
Not that this will make everyone happy.