The 2010 NCAA men's basketball tourney has lived up to hype and has given us some thrilling performances and unexpected outcomes. (Butler in the Final Four? Kansas ousted in the second round?) But the real "March Madness" has been playing out not on the hardwood courts around the country, but right here in our nation's capital.
Think back on the month of March – Congress and the Administration have had a very full (and sometimes brutal) month. Here are a few things that happened:
- Enactment of comprehensive health care reform (H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) and reconciliation (H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) legislation
- Passage of H.R. 4691, the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-144) to temporarily extend several federal programs, including expanded unemployment benefits and small business, flood insurance, and highway programs
- Recess appointments of 15 nominees to key Administration posts (including the controversial appointment of union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board)
- Revived expectations for climate change legislation (a new bill is expected to be introduced when Congress returns from the spring recess)
It looks like the "madness" will spill over into April, as Congress returns to take up climate change, financial regulatory overhaul, and other key issues amidst deep division and partisan tensions. Is spring fun or what?