Thursday, December 23, 2010

Proud of the Lame Duck Congress

I'd be lying if I said the mid term elections didn't get me down, and I really did not expect much from the lame duck congress but boy was I pleasantly surprised. I was in agreement with most democrats when I thought that the tax cut and unemployment extension was a bit too much of a compromise, but I think I've come around to see that it was an acceptable agreement. I'm certainly in the minority in thinking that the tax cuts have run their course and need to end. But I was shocked and so pleased when Congress passed the repeal of don't ask don't tell, and even more so by the role Joe Lieberman played in passing this legislature. A very special thank you to those Republicans who crossed the isle for this vote:

Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), John Ensign (Nev.), Richard Burr (N.C.) and George Voinovich (Ohio)

Yesterday Congress passed a $4.3 billion health care bill for ground zero workers (unanimously in the Senate!! Granted Tom Coburn made them shave $2 billion off but at least he didn't filibuster. Christmas miracles indeed!)

And the START treaty was ratified, which means that Russia and the US will be reducing their nuclear warhead arsenal by half and submitting to inspections. Mind you Jon Kyl and McCain managed to put in some little provision of their own, with something like $85 billion going to modernizations of nuclear facilities and missile defense systems. Still, "yeah!" to bipartisanship.

Thanks go out to Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Robert Bennett (Utah), Scott Brown (Mass.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Judd Gregg (N.H.) Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Richard Lugar (Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska.), Olympia Snowe (Maine.), and George Voinovich (Ohio) who crossed the isle on this one.

I think I like that Massachusetts fella more and more.

In fact the only bill that didn't pass was the Dream Act, which stands as much chance as a snowflake in hell. With Congress now adjourned I feel that the Democrats that were voted out this fall went out with a bang, and I couldn't be more pleased. Let's hope the new Congress manages to do half as well and be half as bipartisan as this past session. What a breath of fresh air.