This morning, President Obama signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law, while the Senate passed the Department of Defense Reauthorization Bill.
Here’s more from multiple sources looking at what is happening in the waning days of the lame duck session.
FROM HUFFPOST HILL (Liberal Website)
START TREATY FILIBUSTER ENDED, FINAL VOTE LIKELY TOMORROW – The Senate will consider a series of Republican amendments (from Kyl, Risch, Ensign, McCain and Wicker) this evening with a goal of voting on final passage tomorrow. The upper chamber voted on to end debate earlier today as a string of GOP lawmakers came out in support of the nuclear arsenal reducing agreement with Russia, including Lamar Alexander, Lisa Murkowski and Bob Corker. As it stands now, the treaty should receive the 67 votes needed for ratification.
SENATE PASSES CONTINUING RESOLUTION TO FUND GUB’MENT – The Senate this morning passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through March, 79-16. The House is expected to vote on the measure tonight. A continuing resolution isn’t that bad, really. All it does is maintain funding at current levels until Congress can hash out a long term one…except absolutely not. The bill in fact leaves out a number of key initiatives that were in the original omnibus (that was iced more than Brett Favre’s concussed head) including Wall Street reform provisions and funding for health care reform. With key provisions for the latter set to kick in and help keep your lazy impoverished grandmother alive, such as more thorough Medicare coverage, this won’t at all present Democrats with a challenge next year (no sir).
FROM MIKE ALLEN’S POLITICO PLAYBOOK
DRIVING THE DAY – At 9:15 a.m., “the President will deliver remarks and sign the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 into law in a signing ceremony at the Department of the Interior.” Vice President Biden will attend.
THE BIG IDEA / PUNDIT PREP / IF YOU READ ONLY ONE STORY — Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer and Laura Litvan: “The 111th Congress made more law affecting more Americans since the ‘Great Society’ legislation of the 1960s. For the first time since President Theodore Roosevelt began the quest for a national health-care system more than 100 years ago, the Democrat-led House and Senate took the biggest step toward achieving that goal by giving 32 million Americans access to insurance. Congress rewrote the rules for Wall Street in the most comprehensive way since the Great Depression. It spent more than $1.67 trillion to revive an economy on the verge of a depression … ; ended an almost two-decade ban against openly gay men and women serving in the military, and is poised today to ratify a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia. … ‘This is probably the most productive session of Congress since at least the ’60s,’ said Alan Brinkley, a historian at New York’s Columbia University.”
MITCH McCONNELL OP-ED for National Review Online, “Change Has Come to Congress: The advocates of big government are now singing a different tune”: “A new Congress begins two weeks from today, and if the American people sense that change is coming, they’re right. We got a preview last week when the president signed a bill that extends current income-tax rates for the next two years. … Some Democrats have responded to the election by reaffirming their belief in government’s ability to solve our problems. But many others have acknowledged with their votes on the tax bill that the policies of the last two years have fallen short, and that it’s time to move in a different direction. The importance of this shift can’t be overstated.” http://bit.ly/gD4Efg
FOR HISTORY — AP’s Top 10 news stories of 2010, as voted in an annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors: http://bit.ly/dOf2Dk
1) Gulf oil disaster (54 first-place votes out of 180 ballots)
2) Health care overhaul (30 first-place votes)
3) U.S. elections
4) U.S. economy
5) Haiti earthquake
6) Tea Party movement
7) Chile mine rescue