Backdrop to Action: The Capitol Building in 2011 — PICTURES

Dec. 22, 2011, 7:53 a.m.

Throughout a year of big fund­ing, lob­by­ing, and polit­ic­al battles — in­clud­ing some that las­ted in­to the fi­nal weeks of the year — Wash­ing­ton has felt down­right chaot­ic at times. Yet, the stately build­ing where much of the ac­tion takes place serves as a calm­ing, majest­ic back­drop to it all. As the coun­try winds down for the hol­i­days, Na­tion­al Journ­al re­flects on our fa­vor­ite pho­tos of the U.S. Cap­it­ol — an an­chor to the past and the place where much of this year’s ac­tion took place.