Congress, in this case, refers to the legislative branch of the US government. And it is, by far, the most powerful branch of the US government. When people talk about congressional dysfunction they usually mean that Congress, despite its vast authority, seems paralyzed in the face of the nation's toughest problems. The paralysis usually stems from disagreements between the two parties, and is exacerbated by the unusual construction of the US Congress, which makes it possible for one party to control the House while the other controls (or at least exercises veto power) in the Senate. A secondary (and arguably related) problem people are sometimes referring to is the perception that the personal relationships between members of the two parties are angrier than they've been in the past Thoughts?