10 insulting labels for the outgoing 112th Congress

If the early reviews are any indication, history will not be kind to the class of lawmakers who occupied Capitol Hill over the past two years

House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images (3))

The widely criticized 112th Congress is officially history. The members of the 113th Congress converged on Capitol Hill to take office on Thursday. They'll inherit looming fights over raising the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling, and deep spending cuts postponed for two months under the last-minute deal to avoid the worst economic damage from the fiscal cliff. The new Congress, like the outgoing one, will be bitterly divided, with a Democratic Senate majority that was fortified in the November elections, and Republican House majority facing an internal rebellion from tax-averse conservatives fuming over the income-tax hike on the wealthy included in the fiscal-cliff deal. Still, judging by the stinging early report cards for the 112th, the 113th Congress has a good chance of putting together a better record of achievement than its predecessor. Here, a sampling of the insulting terms being used to badmouth the 112th Congress as it heads out the door:

1. "The 112th Congress is likely to go down in history as the most dysfunctional ever. Failure to pass a farm bill. Failure to act on judicial appointments. Failure to approve disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy victims. The list goes on and on." (The editorial board of The Sacramento Bee)

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.