Most Productive Congress Since 1960s Adjourns

111th passed vast legislation in 'dysfunctional' environment
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2010 7:37 AM CST
Most Productive Congress Since 1960s Adjourns
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., right, hugs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., during a signing ceremony for "don't ask, don't tell" repeal legislation, Dec. 22, 2010.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – The 111th Congress adjourned last night, after passing more key legislation that affected more Americans than any since Lyndon Johnson’s 1960s “Great Society,” Bloomberg reports. That included $1.67 trillion spent to save the economy, health insurance for 32 million people, and new regulations on Wall Street; in the lame-duck session alone, there was the tax cut deal, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, START treaty ratification, and 9/11 health bill.

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Yet all this occurred in “most dysfunctional political environment that I have ever seen,” says an analyst. Republicans won sweeping victories in the midterm election, and a recent Gallup poll found an 83% disapproval rating for Congress, its highest since the poll began, the Washington Post notes. “What we did was work, and our reward was, ‘Get out of here,’” said a House Democrat. Not everybody's happy with the progress: "I think it was a disaster,” says a GOP senator.
(Read more Congress stories.)

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