Congratulations Congress! You have finally actually accomplished something. It is even something good. Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner has brokered a deal with President Obama to keep the government operating for at least the next two years. It keeps the federal government from going broke, and will avoid another government shutdown. Keeping the government operating is really the only job our Congress has, but they have continually struggled to do even that, resorting to last-minute stop-gap spending measures amid threats of government shutdowns. The deal is a feather in the cap for Speaker Boehner, who is likely to hand over the gavel to Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan tomorrow. The deal essentially allows Speaker Ryan to start his new post with a clean slate, rather than have to begin the job with a huge battle. Ryan wasn’t involved in crafting the deal, and he is less than thrilled with the process of getting the deal done. Crafted largely among party leaders and the White House, the deal was put together without input from individual party members. Ryan says the process “stinks” and that “this is no way to do the people’s business.” Ryan is right about that, but trying to get this Congress to agree on anything was likely not possible. Perhaps in his new role, Ryan can get Congress to work on long-term funding strategies, rather than all these stop-gap spending measures. Getting this deal done now, as Ryan begins his tenure, may make it more likely that Congress can actually map out a path for the future, rather than just making sure we don’t drive off the cliff.