Ezra Klein: good riddance to the rottenest Congress in history

“To properly evaluate the 112th, consider the record of its predecessor, the 111th Congress, which ran from January 2009 to January 2011. The fighting 111th passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (better known as the “stimulus”), the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. It passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and expanded both the Serve America Act for community service and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It created significant new anti-tobacco regulations, ratified the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty, ended “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the armed forces and agreed to the 2010 tax deal, which extended the Bush tax cuts in return for the passage of middle- class stimulus…”

The 112th Congress’ record:

  • it almost shut down the government
  • it almost breached the debt ceiling
  • it almost went over the fiscal cliff (which it had designed in the first place)
  • it cut a trillion dollars of discretionary spending in the Budget Control Act
  • it scheduled another trillion in spending cuts through an automatic sequester, which everyone agrees is terrible policy
  • it achieved nothing of note on
    • housing,
    • energy,
    • stimulus,
    • immigration,
    • guns,
    • tax reform,
    • infrastructure,
    • climate change
    • or, really, anything.
  • it’s hard to identify a single significant problem that existed prior to the 112th Congress that was in any way improved by its two years of rule.

— Ezra Klein, “Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History.” (viaquickhits)

The 112th was built by the teaparty and those who didn’t vote in 2010. Thank them.

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