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  • "Lame Duck" Shouldn’t Equal "Last Chance"

    Ducks in front of the Capitol

    There have been several press accounts lately outlining Democratic plans to hold off on taking difficult votes before November, and then to have a robust “lame duck” session in November and December, where they can get the rest of their liberal agenda and pork passed.

    I couldn’t think of a worse idea for America.

    Not only are cap and trade, card check, and ratification of the START being thrown around as possibly getting legislative action during the lame duck , there will also be a need to wrap up the appropriations process, the process that determines $3.6 trillion worth of federal spending every year.

    A better idea for America, and Americans’ pocketbooks, is instead to look at the 2006/2007 transition as a model.  By the time the 2006 elections rolled around, only two appropriations bills (those funding the departments of Homeland Security and Defense) had become law, and the rest of the federal government was being funded through a continuing resolution (CR), which maintains the level of spending of the previous year.

    The original plan was that the still-Republican-controlled Senate would drop an “omnibus” bill containing the outstanding appropriations bills in a conference report to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2007 to complete the spending process.

    However, Senator DeMint blocked that process from moving forward, and another CR had to be passed on December 9.

    At the time, DeMint was chided.  Pundits and fellow Republicans speculated that Reid and the Democrats would just pass their own omnibus in January, with even more spending and earmarks than the Republicans had in theirs.

    However, the CR expired on February 15, and Senate majority leader Harry Reid passed a CR for the rest of the fiscal year.   The end result?  10,000 less earmarks than the year before, and only a 2.4% increase in discretionary spending from FY2006 (the year before that saw a 4.98% increase).

    Conservatives shouldn’t let liberals use a “lame duck” session as their last chance to pass liberal policies. They should instead follow the example of Senator DeMint and others and use the time to block big spending bills.  Congress may have a lot on its plate for the lame duck session, but it should vow to leave wasteful pork off the menu.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to "Lame Duck" Shouldn’t Equal "Last Chance"

    1. Lon Clay Hill; Miram says:

      I would think that if the Senate Republicans would allow up or down votes to be made on the public's business – all the congressional representatives could go home long before any lame duck session would be a temptation to anyone.

    2. Ratl Kaplan, Arroyo says:

      Why on earth would the Democrats even bother to consider such an action? They have the majority they need now; they have an excellent chance of losing that mahority after November 2. and they have no sense of morality or propriety.

      Republicans do things like that because of their (misplaced) sense of fair play and ethics. Or, as is becoming increasingly obvious, they are just stupid.

      The various committees of the Republican Party keep phoning me and sending pompously worded letters and slanted "surveys" with the letter or survey ALWAYS ending with a request for money. There is no feeling on my part that this "survey" will ever be read by anyone other than a minimum wage clerk or a volunteer and if noi money is pledged it will end up in the trash.

    3. Ben says:

      We should do things the British way. If the prime minister is booted out, he has less than 24 hours to leave Downing St. The entire premise of the lame duck session is ridiculous.

    4. Catherine, Valley Ce says:

      I have to agree with Ben. As soon as the elections are held, those who have not been re-elected should vacate, and those who have been elected should take their places in Congress. I have always thought the "lame duck" session was dumb and unnecessary.

    5. Dennis Georgia says:

      This is the way of the dems and obama, look how obama handled his last appointment, how many czars he has and who they answer to. The american people already rate congress in the dump, well if this lame duck session gets what they want, the rating will go even futher down the tubes.


    6. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Has the author of this piece been on vacation for the past few years? Does she

      not see just what the Dem controled Congress will do in their last dying

      efforts? Does she not realize they will use every second to shove every bit of pork and Obama's socialist agenda down our throats! And that's IF they loose either or both houses of Congress in November. Doesn't she realize that the overwhelming majorty of Americans, and thus conservatives, do not agree with what Obama and Congress is doing? Yet they continue to shove with total disregard and distain. Did Jim DeMint "example" work last night on the "Death Tax" matter?

    7. Joy Crouch, Abilene says:

      This suggestion may seem like "cruel and unusual punishment", but I suggest we tell them, "you use these last few months to pass your liberal agenda, come January 2011, we will repeal your pension and all benefits." This should get their attention.

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