Maybe Congress should stay on vacation.

As House and Senate members return to work after the July 4th recess, just 2 percent of Americans believe that Capitol Hill is doing an "excellent" job a dismal report card for Congress at the halfway mark.

One of the reasons for the failing grade, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 likely voters: Most believe Congress hasn't done anything this year that affect their lives. Said Rasmussen, "Only 10 percent of voters believe Congress has passed any legislation during the past year that will significantly improve life in America, the lowest finding in more than a year."

The poll revealed rare unity among typically divided Democrats and Republicans--both believe Congress is doing a lousy job.

Overall, the Rasmussen review of Congress looks like this:

-- Just 2 percent say Congress is doing an "excellent" job.

-- 5 percent say the Hill is doing a "good" job.

-- 26 percent say lawmakers are doing a "fair" job.

-- A whopping 65 percent peg Congress' performance at "poor."

Americans are divided on the role of Congress, added Rasmussen, with 52 percent saying that the job of the House and Senate is to pass "good" legislation. But 41 percent say its job is to stop bad legislation from becoming law.

And the pollster found that Republicans feel even more strongly than other voters that Congress can always make an already bad situation worse.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at