The final vote on the spending bill, 62-30, was gaveled shut at 1:16 a.m., the comfortable tally belying the rancor that led up to it. The 112th Congress lurched to the exits the way it started — amid partisan acrimony and backbiting even within the parties.
House Democrats marched to the House steps Friday, chanted, “work, work, work,” and demanded lawmakers stay in town to finish unfinished business like a farm bill to take the place of agriculture laws that expire at the end of the month. They said no Congress since 1960 had recessed this early for the campaign season.
Then they headed home.
Congress still hasn’t dealt with an array of issues, including mandatory cuts in defense spending and the end of the Bush tax cuts. They’ll have to work on those in November, when a ton of the members — and potentially, the president — will be lame ducks.