The 111th session of Congress has passed more legislation affecting more people than any other Congress since the 1960’s...

On Capitol Hill - The START nuclear treaty passed a cloture vote yesterday in the Senate. 67 Senators agreed to end debate on the treaty setting up a final vote for passage today. Majority Leader Harry Reid will need all of those 67 votes to hold for the treaty to garner the necessary 2/3 majority for passage – and thus securing an important foreign policy victory for President Obama. And for that matter – the rest of the world that wants to take a tougher stance on reducing loose nuclear materials. Also – the Senate is expected to finally pass the 9/11 first responders health care bill this afternoon - now that changes to the bill have accommodated the Chamber of Commerce’s corporate concerns. And in the White House today – President Obama signed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal into law – an important milestone for civil rights in our country. All in all – according to Columbia University historian Alan Brinkley – the 111th session of Congress has passed more legislation affecting more people than any other Congress since the 1960’s – unfortunately they weren’t the transformative victories many progressives hoped for 2 years ago. And while more people have received much needed help – the status quo of supply-side economics, free trade, and corporate preference still continues.


stopgap's picture
stopgap 12 years 13 weeks ago

I've been watching the START debate and following much of the activity of the Lame Duck session and I posted Blogs in the members Blog section over the last three days. Suffice it to say, I have found this Lame Duck session to be mind-boggling in its accomplishments and it may possibly have a huge influence on reining in the extremist agenda of the new Republican congress. At least we can hope so!

theduck's picture
theduck 12 years 13 weeks ago

the lame duck session was awsome. the dems showed their conviction and determination and faught for them. sen ried showed his leadership and fight. we can hope this will continue in the next congress but i fear it won't.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 12 years 13 weeks ago

I wish Congress and the president had had such enthusiasm months ago. Might have gotten single option passed and with a good deal more pressure, removed the rich from such a favorable tax bill.

Still, it is impressive. I hope that carries over into the next section

jacko9's picture
jacko9 12 years 13 weeks ago

The late session legislative victories were mere trade bait for the rich families tax cuts and cannon fodder for the 2012 election.

The president spent his political capitol very poorly and given the size of the Democratic Party Victory in 2008, we got very little in return. The republicans have consistently played hard ball since Reagan, and the Democrats look like kids playing ball in the big league.

Sorry State of Democratic Party Political Governance.

deepseas's picture
deepseas 12 years 13 weeks ago

They've done a phenomenal job in spite of the almost total OBSTRUCTIONISM of the Republicans. Imagine what the Democrats could have done without the Party of NO and their political agenda that has continuously hurt this nation.

sirklw's picture
sirklw 12 years 13 weeks ago

My mantra recently became: it's not about Republicans vs. Democrats, right vs. left, or conservatives vs. liberals - it's about the super-rich vs. all the rest of us. Take a look through that lens at any recent issue in Washington with any controversy attached it, and decided for yourself whose side people in Washington are on. My beef with Obama and the Democrats [and it goes without saying, the POSH [the Party of Selfish Hypocrites], aka FAA [the Fear And Anger party], aka Republicans] is that when any of these issues are resolved it usually ends up that the super-rich end up with some huge advantage and some modest benefit goes to all the rest of us. Then the WH and the Dems. trumpet what great feats of reasonable compromise they've accomplished. Health care - the entire nation is delivered into the hands of huge, wealthy private insurance companies, but hey, they can't keep acting like heartless ghouls and rescinding policies for phony reasons. Wall Street reform - no return of Glass-Steagal and a general consensus that nothing was accomplished that protects the country from future melt-downs, but hey, the billionaires don't like any restrictions of even the mildest sort, no matter how reasonable, not matter how necessary, so we must have gotten something good out of it, right. The bailouts - the banking houses and Wall St. firms are handing out record bonuses thanks to taxpayer money while unemployment is almost 10 percent and foreclosures are at record highs, but hey, at least we're not in a second Depression despite the fault of those same banks and WS firms. The tax 'compromise' - the super-rich get tax bonuses in the billions, but hey, the nation's desperate unemployed gets a few more months of subsistence funds, but only until we have to get serious about the deficit which just increased by $700B thanks to those tax bonuses for the super-rich. There hasn't been a single piece of legislation passed that was pure advantage to the rest of us at the expense of the super-rich, who would have remained super-rich anyway. Proud of Obama? Excited about all his 'accomplishments'? Eh, not so much.

making progress's picture
making progress 12 years 13 weeks ago

Deck Chairs on the Titanic.
This is all just window dressing. The Super Rich are only throwing us a bone, or two, to keep people feeling like they are making progress. All the while they are repealing what’s left of The New Deal once and for all. All my friends on Capitol Hill are patting themselves on the back for accomplishing so much. It's Pathetic. Repealing the Bill Clinton Compromise that was DADT just means more bodies for the war machine. If this didn't benefit our permanent war economy, it wouldn't have passed.

robgbridge's picture
robgbridge 12 years 13 weeks ago

could obama and congress have done more in these past 2 years? without doubt, yes, if it weren't for the republican obstructionism in the senate. that is why it is crucial that on january 5 the senate exercise the constitutional option and remove the filibuster. then when the dems have control of both houses in 2012 there can really be substantive changes: single payer public options for everyone; increase taxes on the rich; remove tax loopholes; change trade policies with tarrifs and taxes and bring back manufactoring to america; energy reform - no offshore drilling and a viable energy policy; and a public works program. there is more, this is just a short list.

removing the filibuster can make the senate once more a functioning legislative body. this would induce people to take part in the political process which would be a plus for the dems and progressives.

sdougreid's picture
sdougreid 12 years 13 weeks ago

It is too bad that much of the legislation passed is watered down and ineffective. Consider health care and the tax bill. Health care is a weak half measure that doesn't address the fundamental problems with our system. The tax bill is going to eliminate the home interest exemption for the middle class while cutting taxes for the rich and maintaining tax loopholes for corporations and hedge fund managers.

gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 13 weeks ago

Wonderful! The super-rich gets richer and the rest of us get screwed. Yes, more of us are now effected. Social security is defunded; my healthcare plan phases me out of the Medicare program; and our tax refund will be late and an early sign that we will not ever receive any more tax refunds. Yes, we are effected and screwed!!!

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