December 14th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What will (or won't) you miss about the outgoing Congress?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The lame duck session of the 111th Congress is mercifully winding down.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/14/art.fl.plan.jpg caption="A man highlights vacant offices on a floor plan during an office selection lottery for new House of Representatives members."]
And the Democrats are going to have a lot of unhappy supporters to face as they head home nearly empty-handed.

For starters, it's looking like the deal that President Obama struck with Republicans on extending the Bush tax cuts will pass Congress - even though many Democrats object to it.

Also, the Democratic majority is running out of time to pass key items in their own agenda. And you can bet once the Republicans take control of the House in January, it ain't gonna happen.

This includes the so-called Dream Act - an immigration initiative that would provide a path to citizenship for those who came here illegally as children. It's stalled in the Senate, much like the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

If Democrats don't get these through now - and it's looking unlikely with a Republican filibuster in the Senate - that means at least another two years before they have a shot at controlling both houses of Congress.

Experts say that Democrats are going to have to explain to their base how they didn't get this stuff passed when they had overwhelming majorities in Congress for the last two years. It's a fair question.

Others suggest the Democrats need to look for small legislative victories in the coming days and weeks in order to salvage their pride and save some face.

Here’s my question to you: What will (or won't) you miss about the outgoing Congress?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress
December 14th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Does Boehner's crying diminish his credibility?


Incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"Weeper of the House"... that's what Joy Behar dubbed the incoming Speaker John Boehner after his teary-eyed performance on CBS' "60 Minutes."

Boehner got choked up multiple times during the interview with Lesley Stahl, including when talking about the nation's children.

He also teared up another time toward the end of the piece with his wife, Debbie, at his side.

And this "60 Minutes" interview isn't the first time we've seen the speaker-to-be get choked up. On election night, when it became clear the Republicans had won control of the House, Boehner got teary-eyed talking about how he spent his whole life chasing the American dream.

Boehner describes himself as "a pretty emotional guy." No kidding. He told "60 Minutes" he's comfortable in his own skin and that people who know him know that he gets emotional about certain topics.

But not everyone is so comfortable. Barbara Walters said Boehner's got an "emotional problem." Others are now questioning the emotional stability of the man who will be second in line for the presidency. Of course, there are some stereotypes at work here.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton revived her presidential campaign when she started blubbering in a New Hampshire diner. Voters saw the tears as showing her human side. But if a man cries, typically it's seen as a sign of weakness.

When outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi was recently asked about Boehner's crying, Pelosi said she cries about a personal loss, "but when it comes to politics, no, I don't cry." Where Pelosi's concerned, it's the taxpayers who cry … but that's another story.

Here’s my question to you: Did John Boehner's crying on "60 Minutes" diminish his credibility?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?