Congressional negotiators introduced a sweeping year-end spending and tax-break package Wednesday that bursts through previously agreed budget limits with $66 billion in new spending for 2016. It also makes permanent an array of tax benefits at a cost of adding more than a half-trillion dollars to the deficit. The legislation showed Republicans and Democrats reluctantly bowing to the unsatisfying realities of a divided government. In the end, a compromise emerged that allowed all sides to claim some victories, but with success often measured not in what was achieved but in how well each side prevented the other from reaching its goals.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.