Analysis of an Unpopular Congress

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Last week the tax package was signed into law, and some called it a bipartisan moment in the lame-duck session of Congress. Over the weekend, repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" passed and was sent to the White House. But the DREAM Act, which passed in the House, failed in the Senate, and ratification of the New START treaty with Russia could be in big trouble. As Congress limps toward a close, public approval is at an all-time low: 13 percent in the Gallup Poll, comparable to used car salesmen. The House and Senate have been much in the news and media coverage has shone a bright light on the sausage-making process by reporting on earmarks, filibusters and partisan gridlock. Has familiarity bred public contempt? Is it the state of the economy, or does mistrust of government go all the way back to the Founding Fathers? 




Warren Olney