Healthy Congress Index

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Healthy Congress Index provides Americans with crucial metrics for evaluating Congress’s ability to effectively legislate and govern. It compares results against past Congresses and will be updated on a quarterly basis. The index represents a new, long-term effort to bring accountability to Congress and answer the question: how is Congress governing?

The period covered by this installment is January 2015 through the end of September 2016 of the 114th Congress, and the numbers presented here are cumulative.


114th Congress: Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back on Regular Order
November 15, 2016

Both chambers have accrued a mixed record of progress toward a better functioning legislative process with little time remaining in the 114th Congress. With each step forward, there seem to have been as many steps back. The areas of improvement should not be discounted, however.

In terms of positive developments, the House and Senate committees are significantly more active than their recent predecessors. This finding is particularly true in the House. The Senate has also seen an improvement in the number of amendments considered on legislation. Less positively, neither chamber has improved on the number of working days in Washington. The Senate has been increasingly hamstrung by the filibuster with cloture votes on legislation at an all-time high. Finally, the House has made no noticeable progress on opening up the amendment process.

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KEYWORDS: 114TH CONGRESS, HEALTHY CONGRESS INDEX