Congress actually did some work. Really!
Before the Representatives and Senators break for the July 4 recess, they are expected to vote on a $120 billion highway bill to pay for construction of roads and bridges for the next two-plus years.
UPDATE: The House this afternoon (June 29) passed the bill by a 373 to 52 vote. Every voting Democrat supported the bill; the 52 nays were all Republicans. The Senate passage tally was 74 to 19, with 23 Republicans joining every Democrat to pass the measure. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) voted present. The bill is on its way to President Obama for his signature.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the combo deal would reduce the federal deficit by $16.3 billion over 10 years.
To reach the deal, Republicans dropped their demands for inclusion of the contentious Keystone XL pipeline and limits on regulation of toxic waste generated by coal-fired power plants. Democrats surrendered on environmental protections and biking, pedestrian and safety programs.
What the heck is happening?
Nov. 6 is fast approaching and public opinion of Capitol Hill remains historically low.
So in a better-late-than-never attempt to show that they can govern, Senators and Representatives have shelved their hyper-confrontational tactics a bit to make deals on some legislation.
It might not quite be a miracle, but even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) acknowledged the rarity of the situation: "For some of our members, it's almost an out-of-body experience."
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