Dems Cooperate Better Than GOP?
Wow! Send Kristi Noem to Congress, and what do you get? The least productive Congress since 1859:
The only period of comparable unproductive Congresses (how I long for Congri!) was the Civil War and Reconstruction.
As The Monkey Cage commenters note, the simple number of laws passed is a blunt instrument for measuring actual productivity. Congress does more omnibus bills now, so arguably, ten bills passed in 2011 might do a lot more than ten bills passed in 1911. We might also want to consider the passage rate, bills passed as percentage of bills proposed.
Still, in the current era, it is remarkable that Kristi's Congress has done about half of what Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's did. And for those who complain about how much the Democrats and President Obama did to America during the 2009-2010 Congress, note that even those go-getters, who had to pretty much work by themselves against the GOP's staunch anything-to-beat-Obama obstructionism, got less done than the immediately preceding Democratic Congress, which had to deal with a Republican President. Notice also the spike in Congressional activity under Reagan, which exceeds any public act counts under Clinton.
I suggest a hypothesis: Congress gets more done when it's run by Democrats who must work with a Republican President than when it's held by Republicans who must work with a Democratic President.