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December 17th, 2011
09:23 AM ET

Letters to the President #1062: 'The unexpected deal in congress'

Dear   Mr. President,

It's funny how things get done in Washington. I mean, of course, when they do get done. As we both know, there are plenty of times when that is not the case.

A case in point: This last minute scramble to head off a budget crisis (once again!) and a shutdown of the government. I was pretty encouraged and frankly surprised when news of compromise emerged so suddenly toward the end of the week, then I started asking around about it, and I was reminded of a generally reliable equation in D.C..the closer you are to a weekend, the better the chances are that a deal can be struck, and if it is a holiday weekend, the odds improve by the hour.

It really is that simple.

What seems to have happened this week is that the desire of lawmakers to get home to family, friends, and constituents trumped their nearly insatiable appetite for squabbling. Sure, they still have massive disagreements about taxes, entitlements, laws, and the role of government. But with holiday meals waiting, trees to be trimmed, candles to be lighted, and carols to be sung.well, they appear to have thought better of their bitterness.

Good for them. In this season of goodwill, it is nice that they give voters at least a chance to feel good about Congress, if only for a moment.

Now, if we could just figure out a way to make every weekend a Christmas they wanted to get home to.well, that might not bring peace on earth, but perhaps it could bring a little calm to the Capitol.

Hope all is well.

Regards,
Tom

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman