Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
SMALLEST CAMPAIGN: Although many envisioned the 2012 presidential campaign to be a historic clash of ideas, the race thus far this year seems to revolve around a record level of trivial issues. No Labels Co-Founder Mark McKinnon worries this election may be remembered as the "Bitter Twitter campaign," with, "a furious and relentless exchange of message that aren't much longer or deeper than 140 characters." Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns for POLITICO: The 2012 campaign is the smallest ever
SENATE SUCCESS: The Senate is showing signs of life. From the deal struck Monday on the farm bill to bipartisan cooperation on a highway bill, the upper chamber is showing what can happen when problem-solving is put before party politics: Manu Raju for POLITICO: Don't look now, but the Senate is actually working
HALF THE WORK: Congress has been in session close to 150 days, comparable to that of previous Congresses at this point in the term. Yet, only 132 bills have passed both chambers, a far cry from the 383 bills that passed both chambers last session. Thomas Mann at the Brookings Institution called this session one of, "the least productive in modern history." Allison Brennan and Hallmah Abdullah forCNN.com: Congress: Same hours, half the work
THURMOND RULE RESURFACES: There will be no more judicial nominations approved until after the elections. Why? Last week Senate Republicans invoked a practice known as the Thurmond Rule. The "rule" involves a filibuster by the opposition party on all judicial nominations during the months leading up to a presidential election. A frustrating example of petty politics clogging the government, it is a practice that has been used by both parties over the years. Members of Congress must stop choosing obstruction over solutions: The Brookings Institute: 'Tis the Season for the Thurmond Rule
STAT OF THE DAY: Only 13 percent of Americans have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress. 52 percent of Americans have "very little" confidence in Congress or "none." Americans have less confidence in Congress than any other institution: Jeffrey M. Jones for Gallup: Confidence in U.S. Public Schools at New Low