And the Senate is working on - you guessed it - a bipartisan compromise plan, from Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
The president has expressed support for reform in the vein of that which could result from more negotiation in Congress.
The Senate, of course, also passed a big immigration bill in June, in a 68 to 32 vote. That fact alone is impressive.
Though the House is still working out what it will do on the issue, Republicans in that chamber seem to be softening on providing illegal immigrants some pathway to legalized status.
Why are these lawmakers legislating for the right reasons, not merely in the interest of ideological comfort?
This isn't a big election year, voters in the last election didn't hand either party a wave of support, and issues such as student loans and postal reform piled up on Congress's plate.
The Senate's recent soul-searching and the resulting grand compromise on ending some of its gridlock probably helped.
The president is playing a constructive role backing good policies and giving members of his party political cover to back them.
And my guess is that there is some pent-up desire among enough people, particularly some Republicans, to dispense with the childishness of the last few years - at least until the next unnecessary, politically manufactured budget crisis.
A lot of these factors probably won't induce good behavior for very long.
Congress' late progress isn't evidence that Washington is suddenly working. Rather, it's a taste of what a more functional federal government looks like, the sort that will be hard to get unless we voters demand more of it.
Stromberg is a Washington Post editorial writer.