In 2011, Congress has passed 23 bills through both chambers.

I analyzed the voting records on all 23 of those bills, and was shocked to find that 48% of those bills passed both houses by unanimous consent. And in that bastion of partisanship, the United States Senate, 18 of the 23 bills received no dissenting votes.

What are these weighty issues that 530+ Congresspeople have agreed on universally?

  • Five Laws Rename Federal Properties (post offices, federal courthouses and the like)
  • Three Laws Appoint Directors to the Smithsonian Institution
  • Three Laws provided programs for improvements to local airports

Some further bills that faced some opposition in the House but passed unopposed in the Senate:

  • Ended the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission
  • Federal Highway funding
  • Funding for various programs supporting small business
  • A continuing resolution for the Federal Budget
  • Authorization for the US's intelligence agencies
  • Funding to issue to refunds overpayments to the government
  • An "Interest Rate Reduction Act"

The most contentious bill this year to pass was an the budget continuing resolution 180 "Nays" in the House. (As mentioned above, the resolution passed the Senate without opposition). A close second was the extension of the Patriot Act with 153 "Nays" in the House and 23 "Nays" in the Senate. Almost all of the down votes to both of those bills came from Democrats. Overall, 80% of all "No" votes in both houses on successful bills since January 1 have been cast by Democrats.

By the way, President Obama has not vetoed one bill in the 112th Congress.