Washington D.C. – The 2023 session of the U.S. Congress proved to be one of the least productive in at least 50 years, according to reports. With fewer than 30 bills passed and signed into law by President Biden, the session fell far short of previous years when Republicans held majorities in one or both chambers of Congress and Democrats occupied the White House. Many of the bills enacted in 2023 were considered non-substantive, such as naming Veterans Affairs clinics and creating a commemorative coin for the Marine Corps’ 250th anniversary.
One of the main obstacles to productivity in Congress was identified as House Republicans. With their slim majority, GOP extremists who prioritize refusal to compromise over governance were accused of engaging in partisan political theater. They introduced “poison pill” riders to appropriations bills, effectively killing any chance of them passing in the Senate. House committees also conducted investigations into alleged wrongdoing by President Biden but failed to find sufficient evidence to warrant impeachment.
As Congress prepares to consider vital bills such as a supplemental aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, and appropriations bills to prevent a government shutdown, Republicans must decide whether to continue their obstructionist tactics. There are indications that a substantial number of House Republicans oppose additional aid to Ukraine, reflecting the sentiment among GOP voters who wish to reduce the country’s global commitments. Their resistance to supporting remedies proposed by Biden has created a divide within the party.
Speaker Mike Johnson has hinted that he will only support a budget extension if it includes additional reductions in domestic spending. This threat of a government shutdown gives House Republicans the opportunity to engage in political theater, regardless of the potential consequences for the economy and the lives of millions of Americans. While polls indicate that a majority of Americans do not support a government shutdown, Republicans and Democrats differ on who would be to blame in such a scenario.
In 2023, Congress experienced significant dysfunction and a lack of productivity. The actions of House Republicans in particular contributed to this, with their refusal to compromise hindering the passage of substantive legislation. As Congress continues its work, the future of important bills and the ability to govern effectively hang in the balance.
Note: The article does not mention any specific news organization and is written in AP News Style.