Research and polling suggests that public confidence in Congress is currently at an all-time low. This polling cuts across partisan lines, as both Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem to be exposed to this low confidence. There are many reasons why this is the case. The most prominent reason, however, is that the public perceives Congress as being unable to come together to pass meaningful legislation.
There are many reasons why the confidence in Congress is at an all-time low. One of the variables has to do with Congress’s willingness to engage more in obstruction than in proactive lawmaking. Rather than coming up with new ideas, Congress seems concerned only with tearing down old ideas, the most obvious of which is the Affordable Care Act.
In addition, the economy’s slow recovery is a variable that influences Congressional confidence rates. No matter what is actually taking place during the sessions, the public views the state of the economy as evidence that Congress is unable to pass meaningful legislation. If this variable was altered, there would be a chance that people would begin to trust in Congress once again.
Lastly, the many reports of Congress members engaging in unsavory activity has had an influence on the polling data. One Congress person, for instance, threatened to throw a reporter off of the balcony of the Capitol in the minutes as the State of the Union address. Likewise, many have spoken out in very crass terms about women’s issues (Goodwin, 2013). As the public has seen these things, the public has become convinced that Congress members do not have the capacity to get into the Congressional chamber and make laws that can positive impact the country.
- Goodwin, M. (2013). Law’s Limits: Regulating Statutory Rape Law. Wisconsin Law Review, 13-23.