“Congress was increasingly active overall on social media in 2020, but did much less legislating than usual. In 2019, Congress tweeted 50 times for every one bill that was introduced and 2,489 times per one bill enacted. In 2020, that balance shifted dramatically: Congress tweeted 98 times per bill introduced and 17,912 times per bill enacted.”
That’s a pretty stunning breakdown, but it makes some sense: After the pandemic rocked the nation in March, it simply wasn’t safe for members to be out glad-handing constituents or visiting businesses the way they had before Covid-19. So, as Quorum’s data shows, they tweeted more.
And there’s an interesting partisan breakdown when it comes to who posted more on which platform this year.
Of the 500,000-plus total Twitter posts in the last year, nearly 63% of the tweets came from Democrats, even though the top Twitter user overall is Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, followed by Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
He’s followed by Arkansas’ GOP Sen. Tom Cotton.
As Quorum points out, social media became one of the main places where legislation was debated during the pandemic: “While the volume of legislation was low, its impact was significant and Twitter replaced floor debates in 2020. Memes and designed graphics replaced the classic floor posters you spot on CSPAN.”
The Point: Like the rest of us this year, Congress became more “online” than ever.