Calif. Leading the Way to a More Functional Congress

Writing at the Hill, Juan Williams looks at the lessons that the waning 112th Congress -- whose dysfunction led to a downgrade of the nation's credit rating and the prospect of a "fiscal cliff" -- might learn from the shake-up in the Golden State's election process.

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Joint session of Congress (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Writing at the Hill, Juan Williams looks at the lessons that the waning 112th Congress -- whose dysfunction led to a downgrade of the nation's credit rating and the prospect of a "fiscal cliff" -- might learn from the shake-up in the Golden State's election process.

The Gallup approval rating for this Congress, at one point, reached a historic low of 12 percent.

This Congress passed the fewest bills of any Congress since the end of the Second World War. Now, there will be a lame-duck session and negotiations to put in place a temporary bridge to get past the fiscal cliff ...

Polarization and gridlock have paralyzed Congress. But now, a bright ray of hope for ending those twin curses is emerging from election results in California.

The optimism begins with changes in the system for electing lawmakers in the Golden State, home to the largest congressional biggest delegation. 

In 2010, a diverse group of the state's biggest political stakeholders -- including the California Chamber of Commerce, the AARP and then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- united to support a ballot proposition creating a bipartisan commission that redrew the geographic lines for California's congressional districts.

Read Juan Williams' entire piece at the Hill.

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