BREAKING: Congress Passes a Bill

| Tue May 15, 2012 6:32 PM EDT

Exciting news! Congress passed a bill!

On a broad bipartisan vote of 78 to 20, the Senate voted Tuesday to extend the life of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and expand its authority to make loans to U.S. exporters.

In the “Schoolhouse Rock” version of how Capitol Hill works, this is what Congress does all the time — passes legislation. But it made for big news on this Capitol Hill, where protracted partisan warfare has meant that lately the story has more often been about votes forced by one party or the other to indignantly demonstrate the other’s opposition.

Amid the gridlock, it had been nearly six weeks since the last time Congress completed this seemingly routine task.

The rest of the piece dithers about whether this means (a) garden-variety legislation isn't quite totally impossible yet, or (b) it just goes to show that big corporations can still get what they want, even if nobody else can. I'll guess (b).

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