Following the November 2010 midterm elections, Congress entered what is known as the lame-duck period. Historically, members of Congress work frantically to pass several last-minute bills, often miniscule in importance, before the next session of Congress takes over and each bill has to start from scratch again.
In case you missed Election Day, Democrats retained the majority in the U.S. Senate but lost it in the House. As Democrats nationwide are recovering from their losses, attention has turned to the shape of the U.S. Congress in January, particularly that of congressional leadership. Basically everyone anticipated that John Boehner and Eric Cantor would take over as Speaker and Majority Leader in the House, respectively. The question remained whether Nancy Pelosi would retain her power over Democrats.
The U.S. has been engaged actively in Iraq since 2003, one of the longest periods in which America has fought a war. Once popular with the public, the war grew unpopular as Americans began to doubt the chances of success there and its importance in the larger War on Terrorism. We seemed doomed to stay there forever.