The outgoing 111th Congress is among the most productive in history, in spite of its reputation for gridlock and 13 percent approval rating. Democrats controlled the House and the Senate, and used their large majorities to push through landmark legislation with barely any GOP support. The post-election lame-duck session – typically a mopping-up operation to get out of town – also made history, passing key pieces of legislation, often with greater input from Republicans than had earlier been the case. People can argue the merits of what Congress did, but it’s hard to quibble with the scope of the undertaking. Here are six of this Congress’s major accomplishments, in the order in which they were approved.
Krugman and Wells argue that Fannie, Freddie and the Fed are innocent; the big bad global glut fed the boom that led to the crash.
A congressional staffer explains recently passed legislation that aims to reduce Congo's "conflict minerals" industry by making it easier for activists to target US companies who import minerals from the Congo.
With unemployment still hovering near 10 percent, politicians are scrambling to push policies they think will create jobs.
The Senate passed financial reform Thursday, and President Obama will sign it, but many of the tough decisions will be made by federal regulators. How they interpret the bill will be key.
The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill leaves too much discretion to regulators, creating the risk of regulation uncertainty for an industry that needs less risk, not more.
The new bill, reconciled in Congress early Friday, would impose sweeping new federal regulations on the financial industry.