Heard on the Hill

Congressional Politics, by the Numbers

Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown’s recent outburst — you know, the one during the heated farm bill 2.0 debate where she furiously spat 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's fatalistic campaign calculus back in House Republicans’ faces — got us thinking about the numbers that matter most to Congress these days:

  • 99.98 percent — chances that, no matter what the issue or who threatens to drag their heels, the Senate will skip town by no later than Thursday night
  • 99 percent — outraged members of the Congress-bashing “Occupy” movement
  • 85 percent — chance it will rain in D.C. from now until FOREVER
  • 70 percent — functional support the “gang of eight” believed it needed to browbeat House Republicans into seriously considering its contentious immigration bundle (nice try)
  • 60 percent — minimum support required to even bring up a bill for a Senate vote
  • 51 percent — theoretical vote threshold required to pass a bill in the Senate (almost never happens)
  • 50.1 percent — theoretical vote threshold required to pass a bill in the House
  • 47 percent — part of the electorate GOP standard-bearer Romney infamously wrote off during a secretly taped speech at a private fundraiser
  • 33.33 percent — probability that the congressional hearing/speech/presser you desperately need to watch is on one of the OTHER C-SPAN channels
  • 17 percent — latest congressional job approval rating (per Gallup)
  • 1 percent — the ultra wealthy; presumed beneficiaries of most behind-closed-doors legislative haggling