Congress never gets anything done. Partisanship causes legislative gridlock. Things are at a standstill in Washington.

It’s all a myth.

“Laws and policy are being made in the nation’s capital,” writes Jeb Barnes, a political scientist at USC Dornsife. The number of bills passed demonstrates that fact – not to mention the speedy progress of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan.

While legislative stalemates do exist, the real risk isn’t that they lead to policy paralysis but that they shift power to bureaucrats and judges who are not accountable to the public, he says.

Also today:

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Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Laws and policy are being made in Washington – both inside Congress and out. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Debunking the myth of legislative gridlock

Jeb Barnes, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

The idea that Washington, DC, is paralyzed by gridlock rests on half-truths about the legislative process and a basic misunderstanding of how contemporary policymaking works.

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