Breaking Gridlock: Bipartisan Achievements in Obama’s Last 2 Years Are Few, But Do Exist

Despite its reputation for hyper-partisan dysfunction, polarization and gridlock, the 114th Congress did accomplish some significant things — the most important being  $1.75 billion for medical research into curing diseases, and speeding the drug and device approval process. WPost:

Republicans boasted of their achievements over the past two years. Ryan reeled off a list including a new bipartisan bill to spend billions financing medical research; ending the ban on exporting crude oil; new sanctions on Iran and North Korea; and a long-term highway bill. He also cited a bipartisan education rewrite; a long-sought overhaul of Medicare’s payment systems to doctors; a rescue package for Puerto Rico; money to attack the Zika virus; new food labeling requirements; and more.

“Bipartisanship is not rare,” Ryan insisted, “it is just rarely noted.”

 Left unsaid was how much was undone by a Congress that froze out Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, let a major 12-nation Asia trade deal languish, and took no action to address immigration, among other issues.

This Congress enacted more laws than the two previous Congresses, but remains at historic lows in productivity.

Republicans took control of the House after the 2010 mid-term elections, and moved into majority control of the Senate after the 2014 elections. In 2016, they lost a handful of seats but maintained control of both chambers.

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