Top 10 Political Stories for 2011: Page 10 of 11

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DOWN TO THE WIRE, AGAIN AND AGAIN

At times this year, it seemed like Congress was unable or unwilling to move until an hour of genuine crisis arrived. On at least two occasions — in April and this month — a federal government shutdown loomed before the two parties came together. The debt-ceiling debacle and subsequent credit downgrade speak for themselves.

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The increasingly sclerotic nature of life on Capitol Hill helped drag public approval of Congress, as expressed in opinion polls, down into single figures. But, despite the electorate’s discontent, it is difficult to see things improving in the coming year.

Here are The Hill’s choices for the 10 most important political stories of the year:

Bin Laden | Giffords | Dissent
Message? | Economy | GOP's reign
Reid & McConnell | Debt ceiling | The wire | GOP candidates

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