Senators have come up with compromises on immigration and gun control even though Washington was supposed to be paralyzed and President Obama's agenda was supposed to be pretty much dead, smothered by the fiscal cliff, the sequester, and the NRA.
"For the first time in a while, members of the two parties — at least some of them — appear to be talking about getting things done, even without the deadline of a manufactured crisis looming," The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane marvel Thursday. "President Obama’s second-term agenda is actually chugging along at what by current standards counts as a brisk pace," New York's Jonathan Chait writes. Suddenly, House Speaker John Boehner has to figure out what he's going to do now that the "Senate has caught bipartisan fever," Politico's Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer report. "If he doesn’t move on Senate-passed gun and immigration compromises, the House risks looking like it is obstructing the will of the American people." Some House Republicans even complained to Roll Call that Obama is paying more attention to Senate Republicans and hasn't even invited them over to hang out recently.
This follows months of grim reports that everything is doomed. "President Barack Obama’s second-term agenda is in doubt," Politico's Jonathan Allen wrote on April 8. If gun legislation died, it "would cast a pall over the president's second-term agenda," The Washington Examiner's Brian Hughes wrote April 3. "Obama's Second Term Threatened by Sequester" was the headline The Fiscal Times put on a Reuters report March 3. The sequester, Reuters' Jeff Mason and Matt Spetalnick reported, "virtually guaranteed that fiscal issues would remain center stage in Washington for weeks, crowding out Obama’s proposals to reform immigration, tighten gun laws and raise the minimum wage." That story came two months after Reuters' John Whitesides's story, "Budget battles threaten to limit Obama's second-term agenda." Whitesides reported, "Obama has vowed to push ahead with other legislative priorities during the fiscal fight, but faces the likelihood that they will be elbowed aside in a fierce struggle with Republicans over approaching deadlines to raise the limit on federal borrowing, cut spending and fund government operations."