House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that it was wrong to say the chamber’s level of production has dropped under Republicans, responding to several studies that concluded Congress is on pace for one of its worst years on record in terms of getting legislation passed.
“That’s just total nonsense,” Mr. Boehner told reporters when asked about the slow pace of action in his chamber.
Several news reports have pointed to the 15 bills that had been signed into law as of June 30, which is the lowest number since records began to be kept in 1947.
The Washington Times Legislative Futility Index, which looks at a deeper set of yardsticks, likewise found that Congress is sputtering. And while the Senate has been sluggish for the past three years, the biggest change has been in the House, where the GOP was quite active in 2011 and 2012 but has seen its productivity crater this year.
Mr. Boehner said that part of the reason his chamber is doing less is that it is no longer passing commemorative resolutions, which used to take up floor time.
He also said that doing less is not a bad thing.
“Most Americans think we have too many laws,” Mr. Boehner said. “What they want us to do is repeal those.”
Still, those repeals require congressional action, too. And while the House has passed some repeal bills, few clear the Senate and reach President Obama’s desk