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.
Paper checks will be a thing of the past for all Social Security recipients, except those 90 or older.
Women are the fastest-growing group of people facing homelessness. Organizations, such as one in Los Angeles' skid row, try a multipronged approach to helping homeless women, starting with housing.
Though many House Democrats balked at extending Bush-era tax cuts, House lawmakers late Thursday approved the $858 billion tax cut deal intact, with 139 Democrats and 138 Republicans.
Despite the anger expressed by House Democrats over Obama's tax-cut deal with Republicans, polls show his support among liberals is still very high and has dipped only slightly.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed the GOP-Obama tax deal Wednesday. But in the House, both parties are balking, which means conservative 'blue dog' Democrats could be crucial.
For most college educated illegal immigrants, landing a good job proves difficult. The DREAM Act would help some of them, but critics decry it as step toward a broad amnesty.