Analysis: Dems enacted much of Obama’s agenda

By Associated Press
Friday, July 16, 2010 17:19 EDT
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Far-reaching legislation aimed at reining in Wall Street marks the latest and likely the last major achievement by President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress, an 18-month partnership that strove simultaneously to fix a battered economy and enact sweeping changes to health care, education and more.

Whatever the longer term impact — the most far-reaching changes in the health care legislation won’t start until 2014 — the immediate aftermath is unemployment that scrapes double digits and deficits far deeper than Obama and his allies inherited in January 2009.

The Republicans who worked ceaselessly to thwart the president’s agenda are emboldened, while Democrats who voted it into law brace for majority-threatening election losses.

“Did they do the right thing for the public interest? I think so, but that depends on your values,” said James Thurber, professor and director of the Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies at American University. “You are elected, you get power, you govern and you change things the way you said you would.”


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