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The Legacy Of The 112th Congress

07 Jan 2013

The Legacy Of The 112th Congress

Jonathan Allen at Politico writes on the never-ending Congress that finally evaporated into history last week. “The 112th Congress came in with a bang, but it is crawling out with the soft whimper of failure. … They racked up more processes than policies: a blue-ribbon White House commission, Vice President Joe Biden’s working group, bilateral talks between Obama and Speaker John Boehner, a ‘Supercommittee,’ a ‘Gang of Six’ that became a ‘Gang of Eight’ and, finally, Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) coming to a deal that leaves open as many politically thorny issues as it solves. This Congress had no signature achievement — no Bush tax cuts, no Medicare prescription drug law, no big energy-production law, no lobbying reform, no bank bailout, no health care overhaul. One small measure of the failure: This Congress will leave town having enacted fewer laws than any since 1947, when such statistics were first kept. The very best the 112th Congress could manage, in its last dying gasp, was to avert the worst. Time after time, the most basic functions of government were left to last-minute, half-a-loaf deals that narrowly avoided shutting down federal agencies, cutting off funds for road projects and letting unemployment insurance lapse in the midst of economic strife.”  Thoughts shared my many.

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