By Burgess Everett (Politico) –
Something strange occurred as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prepared for a year-end news conference to crow about the accomplishments of the Republican Senate in 2015: The Democratic minority was celebrating, too.
The spectacle on Friday of Minority Leader Harry Reid declaring it had been a “successful year,” just minutes before McConnell pronounced for the umpteenth time that the Senate “is back to work,” shows how far Congress has gone this year to challenge the long-held notion that Capitol Hill is hopelessly gridlocked and incapable of tackling big issues.
In fact, bipartisanship was on display time and again as the GOP Senate leader teamed up with Democrats to get big-ticket legislation across the finish line, often leaving his own party split and conservatives on the sidelines. Speaker Paul Ryan did much the same in his first months in the job.
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