Lame Duck Congress Begins Today

Posted: Nov 15, 2010 8:15 AM
It's the last gasp for a Democratic Congress that is on the way out; Pelosi is reportedly divided on what exactly she will try and pursue between now and January. Nothing is off the table, including immigration reform, gay rights, spending bills and curtailing the Bush tax cuts for anyone making over $250,000. Also on the table is Rep. Charlie Rangel's ethics trial, an awkward situation at best for Democrats who were ousted in part because of Americans rampant distrust in both houses of Congress.

Democrats were ousted mainly because of the policy items that Pelosi is leaving on the table for this lame-duck. Congress must pass only one main item: a temporary spending bill that prevents a government shut-down. If they don't pass a bill on the Bush tax cuts, however, no one will be happy. That issue is at the front of the national agenda, and is an item on which many new Members have campaigned.

In the more immediate future, three bills will be on the table in the Senate on of Wednesday: the Food Safety Modernization Act; the Promoting Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles Act; and the Paycheck Fairness Act. Democratic aids are reportedly unsure as to which of those bills would gain the requisite 60 votes to begin debate. Meanwhile, the new class of incoming Congressmen will sit through days and days of orientations and introductions, inside the halls of Congress and out. As Guy reported over the weekend, which introductory events they'll attend is riddled with controversy as well. Democratic and Republican conferences will also elect their leadership on Tuesday.