The Year in CongressPosted: December 23, 2010
I found this article at the CSM that highlights that we actually had a Do-a-Lot congress this year and it has a nifty self test on political knowledge in 2010 you may want to take. They highlighted six big laws that were passed this year. All of them were definitely steps in the correct direction even though they had flaws that will have to be worked out. I’m not sure I’d consider all of them great successes but when you look back on the list, you’re sure to find something naughty and nice.
Here’s there intro to the list.
The post-election lame-duck session – typically a mopping-up operation to get out of town – also made history, passing key pieces of legislation, often with greater input from Republicans than had earlier been the case. People can argue the merits of what Congress did, but it’s hard to quibble with the scope of the undertaking. Here are six of this Congress’s major accomplishments, in the order in which they were approved.
Here are their list of “six big achievements”.
1. American Recovery & Reinvestment Act
The $819 billion economic stimulus package, signed into law February 2009 less than a month after Barack Obama became president, is the largest stand-alone spending bill in US history. It included tax cuts, as well as new spending for public works, education, clean energy, technology, and health care.
2. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Congress battled for a year to pass health-care reform, which was finally a done deal March 23, 2010. The law mandates that all Americans obtain health insurance coverage, and it sets up entities called health exchanges to provide people with affordable options.
3. Financial regulatory reform
Known officially as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the new law is the most significant regulatory overhaul of the financial system since the Depression ended in the 1930s. Signed into law in July 2010, it aims to end bailouts forced on taxpayers by financial institutions deemed “too big to fail” and to protect consumers. Included in the legislation is a powerful, independent consumer-protection bureau, an early-warning system for financial groups deemed too big to fail, new oversight of credit agencies, and lower fees on debit-card charges. It also directs much of the $600 trillion over-the-counter derivatives trade through clearinghouses and exchanges.
4. Big tax-cut extension, plus new stimulus
Congress averted the largest tax increase in American history by voting in December to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, including for the highest-income households.
5. Repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
Fulfilling campaign pledges of the last two Democratic presidents, Obama on Dec. 22 signed a law that repeals a 17-year ban on gay men and women serving openly in the US armed services.
6. New nuclear arms pact with Russia
The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia reduces the US and Russian arsenals of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 apiece within seven years. The Senate ratified the treaty Dec. 22 by a vote of 71 to 26.
Okay, I’ll put it to you!
Naughty or Nice list?
See, even JuJu the Christmas Cat wants in on the project!!! (I guess my youngest daughter still hasn’t gotten through the doll phase yet.)