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 June 2016 of the 114th Congress, and the numbers presented here are cumulative.


114th Congress Hitting the Mark on Some Improvements, Missing Others
August 15, 2016

Three-fourths of the way through, the 114th Congress has shown some improvements toward a healthier legislative process, but it has stagnated or fallen behind on others.

Both chambers fall below the number of days in Washington recommended by CPR and have not kept pace with the congresses prior to the 112th. At the same time, both chambers have reported many more bills out of committee compared with recent previous congresses. Conference committees have not played much of a role in the legislative process, though, and have been used much less than in the 111th, 110th, and 104th.

In terms of floor process, the Senate continues to see high numbers of cloture motions filed and votes on cloture, suggesting a lack of agreement on when or whether to move forward on legislation. The Senate considered a high number of amendments, especially when compared with recent years, and they were about evenly distributed between the majority and minority. The amendment process in the House remains mostly restricted, with few opportunities for members to offer amendments to bills.

Read the full analysis

Download a printer-friendly version of the index Methodology, sources and archives l House Rules Data

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KEYWORDS: 114TH CONGRESS, HEALTHY CONGRESS INDEX