As we close the books on the 113th Congress, and the first full calendar year for this blog , it's our turn to again thank you, the readers, for joining us throughout the year as we've followed the ebbs and flows of the Senate.
We've covered issues with national and international implications — including debates over the debt limit and federal spending , nuclear talks with Iran and the threat posed by the terror group ISIS. But we've also spent time closer to home, documenting staff changes and life operating under the Dome.
We saw important business across the street from the Capitol at the Supreme Court, too. That's where the justices settled a disagreement over when the president may make recess appointments.
And of course, we joined our colleagues from Roll Call's politics desk in hitting the campaign trail ahead of a November election that saw Republicans sweep into power for the New Year. Our contributions to the "Roll Call on the Road" series featured dispatches from Colorado, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Virginia.
While in Colorado, we took a look at the political effects of the state's booming marijuana industry . In New Hampshire, we quite literally agreed to take a ride on a Scottish highlander cow named Clemy after a Department of Agriculture event a farm outside of Concord.
We even spent some time on the water with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island to explore changes in fishing conditions and looking at coastal erosion.
We had the first national print interview after that momentous Election Day with incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, where he outlined his plans for the new Congress, with a focus on rather routine elements of governance, like adopting a budget and passing regular appropriation bills.
We said farewell to a number of retiring senators, including 36-year Senate veteran Tom Harkin of Iowa, who welcomed us into his office for an extended interview. We bid final farewells as well, as was the case with a former majority leader, Howard Baker of Tennessee.
Looking forward, we'll keep trying to give you a sense of what's going on from the inside with a mix of personalities, politics and (since it is the Senate) the process too. But here are just a few of our notable stories of the year:
Last Hurrahs for Five Retiring Senate Chairmen Senators' Debt Limit Votes Kept Off Microphones; Reporters Protest Democrats Eye 'Nuclear Option' Redux Howard Baker, Known as 'Great Conciliator,' Dies at 88 Bernie Sanders' New Title: Dealmaker Tom Coburn Won't Be Going Away Quietly Twitter's Most Popular Congressional Staffer Gets New Title Senate Odd Couple Seeks Common Ground on Climate Change Senate GOP Leaders Hit the Campaign Trail Tom Harkin — From Tiger Cages to Pinochet McConnell Interview Transcript Democrats Close Out Majority With Wins on Nominations Have a very happy New Year!
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