Congress’ Approval Rating Remains in the Basement

13%

Americans’ approval of Congress in April, inching down from 15% in March, and currently standing only four percentage points higher than the all-time low of 9% in November 2013, says Gallup. Congress’ job approval rating has ranged between 12% and 15% since December.

Lawmaker Says Congress Is Underpaid

I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid. I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.

— Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), quoted by Roll Call.

How to Explain Congress to Children

There are 435 very special people who work there.

— Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), quoted by the Stamford Times, explaining Congress to a group of children.

U.S. Senators Spend a Third of Their Term Raising Money

A typical United States senator spends two-thirds of the last two years of their term raising money.

— Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), quoted by National Journal.

For the First Time in History More than Half of Congress Members are Millionaires

268

Of the 534 current members of Congress had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012. The median net worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from last year when it was $966,000, according to OpenSecrets.

Gates Plumbs Depths of Thesaurus to Describe Congress

Congress is best viewed from a distance — the farther the better — because up close, it is truly ugly. I saw most of Congress as uncivil, incompetent at fulfilling their basic constitutional responsibilities (such as timely appropriations), micromanagerial, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned and prone to put self (and re-election) before country.

— Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in his new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.

Again and Again

The 113th Congress is back in session again.
The Republican-led House is doing it yet again.
They’re starting off
Right where they left off,
They’re voting to defund Obamacare — again.

Nearly 5 Million Will Cease to Get Unemployment Benefits in 2014 If Program Expires

4.9 million

Number of unemployed U.S. workers who will no longer receive unemployment benefits if the program expires, according to the Washington Post.

Nothing to Celebrate in D.C.

I’m happy to see Thanksgiving and Christmas come around so that we can have some real celebration away from this place because there’s nothing to celebrate around here.

— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), quoted by The Hill.

Congressional Gridlock, Explained

59

Number of members of the 113th Congress who have voted with the majority of their party less than 90 percent of the time (20 Republicans and 39 Democrats). National Journal: “If you’re looking for a quick fact to explain congressional gridlock, it’s this.”