President Obama, preparing to leave Washington after a busy lame-duck session, claimed Wednesday that Congress has not been this productive in decades — arguing that the breakout of bipartisanship is a sign that America’s lawmakers are “not doomed to endless gridlock.”

The president called an end-of-year news conference to tout a slew of recent victories in Congress, before heading out to join his family on vacation in Hawaii. He expressed disappointment that the so-called DREAM Act, as well as a full-blown budget, did not pass. But he suggested the series of votes taken over the past several days should challenge assumptions that Washington will grind to a halt once control of Congress is split between both parties.

“Instead this has been a season of progress for the American people,” Obama said. “This has been the most productive post-election period we’ve had in decades, and it comes on the heels of the most productive two years that we’ve had in generations.”

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