I love the way House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spins this. Unproductive Congresses are fine, because they don't pass bad legislation? That's a cover-your-butt rationalization, because Republican pols tell us every ten seconds about the massive challenges that face the USA today.
Intransigent House Republicans and even more intransigent Senate Republicans share the blame. Dems can take a small slice of that pie, but Republicans need to take the bigger slice. Senate Republicans are especially guilty by virtue of the way that they have abused the filibuster. The filibuster rule has been loosened up so that you can kill legislation simply with a word- there is no longer any need to stay up all night reading the Federalist Papers to a C-Span camera. And Senate Republicans are now using it to kill EVERYTHING. Republicans decided that they did not like the new Consumer protection position that was created by the previous congress, so they are now filibustering every one of Obama's nominations to occupy that seat. They don't really care who gets nominated, the answer is just going to be NO.
So the Congresses of 2011 and 2012 will go down in history as the least productive in 100 years. It's a safe bet that the 2012 Congress, in a Presidential election year, will be LESS productive than last year's. But that's okay with Republicans, because they view it as a time out to accomplish Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's Job One: limiting B. Obama to one term. So it's not a problem, right?