As Hours Wane, Can Congress Get Productive?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (C), swears in the newly elected members of the first session of the 113th Congress in the House Chambers January 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

The holiday season can be a busy time of year for many Americans who spend their vacations visiting family, cooking massive meals, or scouring magazine inserts for the best deals for presents.

But one group of Americans has a great deal of work to do before they can make it to their holiday break: Congress.

Congress has only passed 52 new laws this year—the fewest in the post-World War II era—and there are only a handful of days left before the close of this historically ineffective Congressional session.

Before the year's end, billions of dollars of spending are at stake for issues like defense spending, unemployment, Medicare, and farming subsidies. Is it possible to inject some productivity into this Congress as the hours wane?

Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, checks in to discuss what needs to happen before 2013 comes to a close.


Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Alex Kapelman


T.J. Raphael

Comments [6]


Could the way-Far-Right Republican Party do any more harm to our country? I'm sure they will find a way - if not collared . . . The two Parties should be able to compromise; moderate Republican's will surely win-out if they are not afraid of the radical part of their wing.

Dec. 05 2013 01:06 PM
Don Bullick from San Francisco

Saying both parties are to blame for the gridlock in Congress is like blaming the fireman for trying to stop the arsonist. If the fireman would just pour the gasoline, they could get more done.

Dec. 03 2013 05:30 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Expect nothing under the tree from Congress this Christmas. Don't even expect a tree.

Dec. 03 2013 02:27 PM

Any discussion on this topic with no mention of Majority Leader Reid's refusal to pass a budget for years, denial of debate on the Senate floor and the President's promise of vetoes is intellectually dishonest.

Dec. 03 2013 01:44 PM
RC from Portland, OR

The Senate can't compromise with the insane House, so nothing gets done, so both sides are to blame! Part of the problem with politics today is spineless and/or clueless "analysis" like this from our courtier press, who refuse to call out the insanity.

Dec. 03 2013 01:16 PM

If the Republicans take the Senate and keep the House next year the spin will be that Congress is doing too much.

Dec. 03 2013 09:39 AM

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