Political Science, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in The Forum: Vol. 6 : Iss. 3, Article 6. Available at: http://www.bepress.com/forum/vol6/iss3/art6


Congress has long been unpopular with the American public, with approval numbers above fifty percent serving as the exception rather than the norm. In this essay we argue that such disapproval stems not from calculated reaction to policy outcomes or partisan attachments. Rather, people tend to disapprove of Congress for exactly the thing it was designed to be: an open and deliberative lawmaking body. The more Congress does its job, the more the public tends to disapprove.