POLITICS

The year in politics: Obamacare, Edward Snowden, the NSA and a shutdown

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ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - Many people aren't too sad to see 2013 go - namely, many of the politicians that reside in the nation's capital.

From the 16-day government shutdown that paralyzed the nation to the bungled rollout of the Affordable Care Act to one of the least productive Congresses in this nation's history, 2014 likely reflects a fresh start for Washington.

Perhaps first and foremost was the fiasco that was Obamacare and its web gateway that failed spectacularly. Techies tried for months to fix healthcare.gov, and plenty of politicians - President Barack Obama included - fell on proverbial swords.

It cost many people their jobs, but not Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was force to apologize for the struggles. It was exacerbated by the president's promise that if you "liked your health care plan, you could keep it."

Tell that to the thousands of people who were told by their providers that their plans would be canceled because they didn't fit the ACA's requirements. That decision was reversed and postponed by the White House for a year.

Edward Snowden was at the forefront as well, pulling back the curtain on sweeping surveillance tactics employed by the National Security Agency.

It angered world leaders who heard that they, among hundreds of millions of others, were under America's microscope.

There were some high notes, though. The stock market soared, as the Dow Jones had its best year since 1996 and hit 51 records along the way. Hiring picked up and unemployment dropped.

And after a catastrophic government shutdown that saw federal agencies close their doors for more than half a month, Congress agreed on a bipartisan two-year budget.

That's little consolation to many who saw paychecks get cut off during the shutdown, which cost the United States about $1.4 billion per day. The fallout was staggering - Congress's approval rating hit an all-time low of 9 percent, while Obama's slid 12 percentage points over 12 months.

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