Senate Democrats

Under Reid’s Leadership The ‘Do-Something Congress’ Continues Successes In Lame Duck

Graham: “Harry Reid Has Eaten Our Lunch.”

The press has noted that this lame duck session has been "anything but lame," a fitting end to a Congress that "accomplished more, legislatively, than any other Congress since the 1960s." In the past few weeks, Senate Democrats have continued our work to cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses, create jobs, repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, and fight for health care for 9/11 heroes in the lame duck. No wonder the press has anointed this session the “Do-Something Congress.”

The Hill- Sen. Lindsey Graham: “‘When it’s all going to be said and done, Harry Reid has eaten our lunch,’ Graham said on Fox News radio.” [12/21/10]

CNN, Paul Begala. “They need to build a statute of him [Reid]. What he’s gotten done after a tough re-election, the guy should be taking a vacation instead of doing all this work but god bless him.” [Anderson Cooper 360, 12/20/10]

New York Times-With Major Bills Passed, Reid Takes a Victory Lap. “Repeal over the weekend of the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy barring gay, lesbian and bisexual members from serving openly in the military joined the economic stimulus package, the national health care legislation, new financial regulations and a huge tax-cut bill on a list of accomplishments that even Republicans can’t help admiring. ‘He [Reid] has, in fact, achieved a great deal,’ said Sheila Burke, who was the chief of staff to Bob Dole, the former Republican senator, when he served as majority leader. ‘I don’t think anyone can credibly suggest otherwise.’” [12/20/10]

Red State, Erick Erickson.In the past week, Harry Reid maneuvering on the Senate floor to get things done Republicans were convinced couldn’t get done shows that he really is a master of the Senate rules and gets things done. The president gets the credit because he’s the president and there’s 100 senators. But you can’t dispute how effective Harry Reid has been this year much to the chagrin, frankly, of people on the right and the left.” [Anderson Cooper 360, 12/20/10]

MSNBC- The Do-Something Congress.This Congress, which likely will come to a close this week, accomplished more, legislatively, than any other Congress since the 1960s (the Great Society) or the 1930s (the New Deal). …’I would probably rank the New Deal [Congress] first," congressional scholar Norm Ornstein told First Read. ‘I think this one edges the Great Society. It is at least on par with the Great Society.’” [12/21/10]

ABC News-Lame-Duck Session Churns Out Surprising Successes. “This year’s lame-duck session of Congress has been anything but lame. In the past week alone, lawmakers have passed a tax cut compromise bill to avert the biggest tax hike in history and a repeal of the military’s controversial ‘don’t Ask, don’t Tell policy’ on gays serving openly in the military. And its not over yet.” [12/21/10]

Washington Post- The Do-Something Congress Keeps Doing Things. “The 111th Congress refuses to go quietly into that sweet night. Friday, of course, saw the $850 billion tax deal sent to President Obama. On Saturday, the Senate broke the filibuster protecting the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell rules. On Sunday, it passed the food safety bill. Those three accomplishments — all of them significant in their own right — now join the 111th’s other achievements: Health-care reform, the financial-regulation bill, the stimulus, Ted Kennedy’s national-service bill, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and student-loan reform, just to name a few. And the 111th may not be done: Chuck Schumer wants them to stick around to pass a bill giving health benefits to the Ground Zero responders.” [12/20/10]

Reuters- This Lame Duck Sure Can Fly. “The lame duck session of Congress has produced — tax cut extensions have been signed into law, the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask , Don’t Tell’ to allow gays to serve openly in the military will be signed into law tomorrow, and the START treaty is moving toward ratification.” [12/21/10]

The Atlantic-If START Passes, Congress Works. “Since Thanksgiving, Congress has extended the expiring Bush tax cuts, extended expiring unemployment benefits, passed food safety legislation, prevented Medicare reimbursement rates from automatically dropping, repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and set Estate Tax rates to prevent a scheduled hike next year. … If New START passes, faith in the legislative process might–just might–be restored.” [12/21/10]

TIME-The 111th Congress. “Despite whatever problems arose in getting presidential appointees confirmed, treaties ratified or the government, um, funded, the 111th has indeed done a lot. One might have had reason to challenge Ornstein’s perspective in January, but could anyone really make a strong argument against it now?” [12/20/10]

Bloomberg News, Al Hunt. “This has certainly been a better month than anyone anticipated… the lame duck session I derided, thought it would be a waste of time and terrible and been far more productive, if he gets the arms treaty, which I suspect he will, it will be a productive month.” [Morning Joe, 12/21/10]

Mother Jones-Lame Duck Not So Lame After All. “So Obama will have a tax deal, repeal of DADT, a food safety bill, approval of New START, and (maybe) the 9/11 first responders bill to his credit during the lame duck session. On the downside, the DREAM Act and the omnibus budget bill failed. If this is how things turn out, that’s a helluva lame duck session. Maybe we should have more of them?” [12/20/10]

The Atlantic-So Far, A Productive Lame-Duck Session. “In the face of an onerous legislative docket and partisan tones emanating from all corners of the political sphere, Congress has actually managed to resolve most of the large, immediate issues that came before it in the last few weeks of 2010. This lame-duck session, it turns out, is what a functioning Congress looks like.” [12/20/10]