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.
The bulk of the money will go to the first responders who worked on and after Sept. 11, 2001, at ground zero. President Obama has said he will sign the legislation.
At a press conference Wednesday, President Obama cites 'season of progress' brought about by less partisanship and more cooperation between Democrats and Republicans during the lame-duck Congress.
The Senate ratified the new START treaty by a vote of 71 to 26. But this could turn out to be the high-water mark in Obama’s efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Obama on Wednesday signed the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' for gays in the military. On Capitol Hill, Republicans are grumbling about all the unanticipated activity of the lame-duck Congress.
Emboldened by new Census numbers, Republicans will use their redistricting power to squeeze Democrats out. President Obama can stop it, if has the guts to use the Voting Rights Act.
The media are scaring Democrats into accepting their own gerrymandered demise. But Republicans can only gain so much from redistricting.
The Senate voted 67 to 28 Tuesday to move to a final vote on the new START treaty. Ratification would constitute a big political victory for a president who took a beating in the midterm elections.
Which is a better use of $850 billion dollars: spending it strategically or leaving it in taxpayer pockets?