Watching Government: Racing the clock

When it comes to lawmaking, US congressmen often act like college students. They procrastinate, lose concentration easily, and wait until the last minute to get anything done.Sept. 11 temporarily changed that. Congress quickly responded to the White House's request for money to help rebuild New York City and bolster antiterrorism measures.A few weeks later, the campus that is Capitol Hill is slowly returning back to a normal rhythm. That means lawmakers are trying to cram in as many pieces of their favorite legislation as they can before the holidays. And with the White House and Congress agreeing generally to ignore budget guidelines for national security reasons, lawmakers are more ...

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