111th Congress most productive "since at least the 60s," says Alan Brinkley

Historians in the News

If you had somehow managed to filter out all the news of November's midterm elections, you could be forgiven for thinking in the past few weeks that perhaps Congress had finally buckled down, stopped posturing and gotten to work - maybe started early on some new year's resolutions.

Look at all that was passed: a huge compromise tax bill, the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," a major food safety bill, the New START treaty and the 9/11 first responders health-care measure.

That was the work of the lame-duck Congress. But the idea that this Congress limped out or was in any way lame seems risible.

The 111th Congress capped its remarkable term - which historian Alan Brinkley called "probably the most productive session of Congress since at least the '60s" - with a flurry of legislative activity that President Obama described as "the most productive post-election period we've had in decades."...

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