In remarks Wednesday on the Senate floor, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) cited the Bipartisan Policy Center’s new Healthy Congress Index while discussing recent momentum in Congress toward improving the legislative process:
“Just the other day, the Bipartisan Policy Center came out with its Healthy Congress Index. This is a group of former Republican and Democrat leaders of Congress. They talked about how the new Senate has been showing signs of life. The total number of days worked, they report, is up from previous years: 43 days in the first 100 calendar days of this Senate, versus 33 days in the same point last Congress. And 33 days in the Congress before that. Also, the number of bills reported out of committee is way up. In the first 100 days, we had 15 bills reported out of committees in the Senate, compared to just eight in the first 100 days of the previous two Congresses. Imagine that. Our committees are working, and we’re pushing out bipartisan bills.”
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The Healthy Congress Index tracks the following measures to evaluate Congress’s ability to legislate and govern:
- The number of days Congress spent on legislative business
- How open the Senate was to debate and amendments
- How effectively the Congress followed regular order by allowing a substantial committee process, robust floor debate and resolving of House and Senate differences in conference committees
The index will be updated on a quarterly basis through 2016, with the next installment coming in July.