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Congressional Velocity (June 2015 Update)

Standard Into:

This is the latest in a series of quarterly posts on congressional legislative output. I started these in June 2013 in response to a flurry of commentary about how the 113th congress was lagging behind in output compared to previous congresses. Now, it is fundamentally debatable if passing fewer laws is a good thing, a bad thing, or just a completely meaningless number since of course the impact of laws varies widely. I’m guessing in reality, it is a pretty meaningless number.

But I noticed that in many of these debates, there was a lack of rigor in the ways these numbers were used. For instance, it seemed common to compare the current number of laws passed in the 113th, to the TOTAL passed in the 112th or 111th. Or maybe talking about the “pace” at which legislation was being passed as if there was an expectation that this would continue linearly. Never did I hear a comparison that actually looked specifically at where the previous congresses had been at the same point in the cycle. So I made one.

Now the new stuff:

The 114th congress is now past their first 100 days. Past 150 in fact.  So lets check in on how they are doing at the whole making laws thing. Bottom line, they have produced more signed laws than either the 112th or 113th congresses at this point in the cycle, and they are actually not that far behind the 111th.

Here are the graphs:

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 03.08.36815

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 03.08.21461

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