It is a relief to see an institution that we both devoted so much of our lives to working again. And it is an encouraging development for the country to see the Senate addressing big problems after years of inaction when it was controlled by Democrats.
In only six months, the progress has been dramatic. Committees are up and running. Senators in both parties are debating and amending bills. Since January, the Senate has passed 30 bipartisan bills, a feat that required skillful leadership and real consensus-building. Not only is legislation now passing, bills are actually making their way to the president’s desk.
The very first bill of the new Congress was a bipartisan proposal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. In one week senators voted on more roll-call amendment votes to Keystone than they had voted on in all of last year, a welcome development that has been rightly cheered by Republicans and Democrats alike. After President Obama ultimately vetoed the bill, even an unsuccessful attempt to override the veto was bipartisan, with eight Democrats joining in.