No, Congress is not done for the year

The 113th Congress is hyper-polarized, totally dysfunctional, and eminently unlikable. But that doesn't mean they won't get anything done.

Boehner
(Image credit: (Alex Wong/Getty Images))

Barely halfway into the 113th Congress, some pundits are already writing the legislative body's obituary. The Hill declared, "Congress has in some ways already closed for business until after the midterm election. Any laws made between now and November will be minor." CNBC's Ben White similarly announced: "It may be only March but the legislative year in D.C. is basically over." In this view, immigration reform, minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and even under-the-radar issues like transportation funding are all seen as D.O.A.

This pessimism is understandable. Our two major parties are more ideologically distant than perhaps at any point in U.S. history. The few bipartisan deals that have been struck have come through gritted teeth and often forced by artificial deadlines. And we're in a midterm election year when the parties have increased incentive to attack rather than cooperate.

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