Dems Finish Frustrating Year in DC

Despite control of Congress, cherished initiatives elude them
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2007 5:45 PM CST
President Bush, seated, signs the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007, at the Energy Department in Washington. Standing, from left are, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Democrats are leaving Washington with a decidedly unsatisfactory taste in their mouths after their first year back in charge of Congress in more than a decade, the LA Times reports. Though they can count successes with the energy bill, the minimum wage, and ethics reforms, they failed to put a timetable on the Iraqi war and conceded on a raft of domestic issues.

“We could have accomplished so much more,” said Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader. He and Nancy Pelosi did raise funding for veterans, student aid, and housing programs, but figures were mostly minimal. They suffered a major defeat on children’s health insurance and broke a pledge not to expand the federal debt. Congressional approval ratings, meanwhile, dropped from 40% to 22% over the year.