One of President Trump’s more modest efforts to brand his political opponents has been to cast Democrats with the pejorative “do-nothing.” Since Monday, he’s used the phrase six times on Twitter to disparage Democrats in the House, suggesting that instead of doing “nothing” — that is, moving forward on impeaching him — they should instead “go back to work.”
In addition to suggesting that the impeachment is a waste of time and of the House’s mandate, Trump is also drawing a contrast with the Senate, which he presents (if only tacitly) as being hard at work. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) embraces that contrast.
There’s just one problem with this particular branding effort: The House has actually passed more legislation this year than the Senate.
Some 542 measures originating in the House have been passed by the House or both the House and the Senate during the 116th Congress, which began in January. Of those 542 measures, 389 were bills. On the Senate side, the numbers are lower: 384 measures, of which only 91 are bills. The rest were resolutions of one kind or another.
The House has had more than 600 roll-call votes since January, meaning votes in which the issues at hand weren’t agreed to by acclamation. A plurality of those votes were to consider proposed amendments, many of them related to appropriations bills considered in June. Votes on passage were the third-most-common type of roll-call vote.