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NPR: CARA Passage One of Few 'Bold' Actions Taken by Congress in 2011

December 31, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 31, 2011) -- In a year-end review of Congress, NPR correspondent Tamara Keith reported on a professor's finding that the current Congress is on pace to be the least productive since the 1880s. The renewal of the 2006 Combating Autism Act, signed into law September 30 by President Obama, was singled out as one of the few significant achievements.

The NPR report said Tobin Grant, an associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, concluded that very few of the 80 bills signed into law in 2011 were major legislation.

"Multiple bills continue funding that had already been ongoing," according to NPR. "Others, (Grant) says, include 'taking a bold stance in favor of 9/11 heroes and autism' with the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act and the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act."

Reflecting on the current Congress, Rutgers Political Science Professor Ross Baker told NPR, "When you're dealing at this level with issues that are so polarizing, they will basically suck all the oxygen out of both chambers." Read the full report here.