Goodbye, 112th Congress, We Hardly Liked Ye
Pundits remind us just how do-nothing this Congress has been
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2013 10:42 AM CST
The US Capitol is seen amid reflections from inside the Cannon House Office Building on the last day of the 112th Congress.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Today sees the end of the 112th Congress and the start of the 113th, and that has a few pundits shedding a tear—from laughing so hard at how futile and ridiculous this last wave of Congress has been. Among the adieus to the 112th:

  • Gail Collins, the New York Times: Collins reminds us of all the things Congress failed to save (the USPS) or reform (farm subsidies). And while the Senate is "a group that’s generally less proactive than a mummy," she reserves special affection for the House. "To be fair, it takes a lot of effort to vote to repeal ObamaCare 33 times." Thankfully, she writes, we'll be losing "nut jobs" like Allen West and Joe Walsh, but the congressional shenanigans won't end if Collins gets her wish for a South Carolina Senate seat showdown: "People, while you are praying for a safe, sane, and peaceful new year, I want you to make a small exception and pray that Jenny and Mark Sanford run against each other."

  • Howard Kurtz, the Daily Beast: Kurtz says the 112th's legacy has nothing to do with any significant legislation and everything to do with the new normal it ushers in: "The era of a national legislature boldly tackling major problems is over. The era of the grand bargain is over. Even the era of hold-your-nose-and-cooperate-for-the-good-of-the-country is over."
  • Jonathan Allen, Politico: Allen notes that the 112th exits stage left having instituted the least number of laws of any since record-keeping began in 1947. "A Congress that opened with the arrival of the much-heralded Tea Party descended into a two-year food fight, and it will leave the mess to its successor. The 113th Congress will be sworn in on Thursday. The members of the 112th Congress just hope they don’t get sworn at."
  • Ezra Klein, Bloomberg: Klein sees the 112th as having come full circle, starting with April 2011's near government shutdown and ending with the fiscal cliff, another self-created "mess it couldn’t clean up." The cliff deal "simply sets up another fight in the weeks ahead. Continued fear and uncertainty over the impending battle is the legacy of the 112th to the nation's economy. Thanks, guys."

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Jan 3, 2013 4:53 PM CST
did anyone catch em on tv today? The little voting they did in the house was partisan as ever. (text search "Roll no") Fasten your seatbelts for just more of the same.
Jan 3, 2013 12:31 PM CST
That's what happens when we overload Government with Lawyers who can't even talk to each other much less govern. They are like a five year old throwing a tantrum -- "NO, I want it this way!"
Jan 3, 2013 12:30 PM CST
The 113th like the 112nd will simply roll over & have it's collective tummy scratched by Obama whenever he wants something passed. In truth each & EVERYONE of those in SENATE ought to be dismissed, as they will do nothing to earn their Pay. In fact they should have their pay withheld from them if they even refuse to set a BUDGET.