BPC’s Healthy Congress Index provides Americans with crucial metrics for evaluating Congress’s ability to effectively legislate and govern. It compares results against past Congresses and will be updated on a quarterly basis. The index represents a new, long-term effort to bring accountability to Congress and answer the question: How is Congress governing?
Three-fourths of the way through 2015, the 114th Congress continues to demonstrate some elements of an improved legislative process while other areas fall short of what BPC’s Commission on Political Reform (CPR) recommends. Both chambers have reinvigorated a robust committee process. The Senate has increased the number of days working in Washington and considered a high number of amendments on the floor. At the same time, attempts to bring debate to a close in that chamber were higher than any other Congress.
The House has more room for improvement. In terms of days working in Washington, it is only about on par with recent years and below CPR’s recommendation. The current House also has the most closed amendment process in recent history, and a continuation of this trend would put it on track for the most closed amendment process ever.