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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Griper Blade: Demonstrating the Value of a Legislative Steamroller

It has been an extraordinarily productive lame duck session of Congress. Just yesterday, the Senate passed the new START treaty, the Zagroda health bill for 9/11 first responders, and President Obama signed a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" into law. In fact, this last gasp of the 111th congress is in many ways representative of this class's entire term -- this congress has been the most productive of any since 1960.

And, surprisingly or unsurprisingly, America seems to be paying attention. While Gallup reported earlier this month that congressional approval ratings were the "worst in Gallup history" at 13%, CNN polled opinions of only this lame duck session and found an amazing turn-around -- 56% approve of what Congress is doing. Also interesting, 46% blame Republicans for the "lack of cooperation between the two parties in Washington," compared with just 28% who blame Democrats and 23% who say both parties are equally guilty. (Full results here [pdf])

On approvals, CNN finds Americans perfectly split on Democrats, with 47% reporting favorable opinions and 47% unfavorable. Republicans don't fare as well, with 42% favorable and 50% unfavorable. The Tea Party likewise doesn't do all that well, with 37% having a favorable opinion and 43% unfavorable. And, above all, Pesident Obama is the big winner in this session, with 56% approving his actions during the lame duck session and 41% disapproving...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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