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  • Lame Duck Congress, Will You Please Go Now!

    The lame duck Congress is a clone of Marvin K. Mooney.  He’s the Dr. Seuss character who refused to leave.

    Refusing to accept the voters’ record-low approval of Congress (13 percent according to Gallup) and refusing to accept their rejection by voters, those running the show are clinging to their last strands of power until the last possible moment.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) announced, “There is still Congress after Christmas. So if the Republicans think that because they can stall and stall and stall, that we take a break, we’re through.  We’re not through. Congress ends on January 4th.”

    The Democrat Congress that refused to do its work on time now blames the other party for resisting last-minute efforts to compress a year’s worth of work into the holiday period.  Now while the public is distracted by visions of sugar plums, Congress is distracted by visions of sweet pork.

    Thousands of earmarks totaling an estimated $8-billion are in the $1.2-trillion, 1,924-page spending bill which sponsors say must be rushed through to meet a Dec. 18th deadline.  That deadline exists only because Congress ignored the original Sept. 30th deadline; and the date could be extended again to let the new Congress make better decisions.  There’s nothing in that bill that couldn’t be resolved after the newly-elected Representatives and Senators take office on January 5th, dramatically changing the political makeup of each body.

    The same artificial deadline is being used to rush the tax bill.  It’s too late already to prevent higher withholding taxes in January because it takes so long for the IRS to adjust withholding tables.  But since prevention of the automatic tax hikes can easily be made retroactive to January 1st, the justification for rushing is a false excuse. Why not let the new Congress handle it?

    The real motive for haste comes from President Obama.  He knows the incoming Congress would be less likely to accept his costly add-ons to the tax package, so he cut a deal with the outgoing Congress.  We can do better if we’ll just be patient for the newcomers to be sworn in.

    But the lame duck Congress is overstaying its welcome for more reasons than just money.

    There’s the START treaty with its threat to America’s missile defense capability; the DREAM Act with its backdoor amnesty provisions; the push to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and all the other things being dragged out when most Americans are busier preparing for Christmas than watch-dogging Congress.  Surprise packages abound under the Congressional Christmas tree.

    As Dr. Seuss said of Marvin K. Mooney:

    “Will you please go now!
    The time has come.
    The time has come.
    The time is now.
    Just go.
    Go.
    Go!
    I don’t care how.
    You can go by foot.
    You can go by cow.

    * * *

    You can go on skates.
    You can go on skis.
    You can go in a hat.
    But
    Please go.
    Please!
    * * *

    Don’t you know
    The time has come
    To go, go, GO!

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Lame Duck Congress, Will You Please Go Now!

    1. Michael, Baton Rouge says:

      Most of these issues have been getting dabated for a lang time now and the republicans have been stalling the process the entire time saying give us everything we want or we will stop all legislation. I believe it was Bohner who said that they will not let a single piece of legislation pass until democrats approve tax cuts for the richest 1% of the population. please stop spreading misinformation as fact.

    2. Brad, Chicago says:

      The concept of stopping legislation that I believe you're referring to, Michael from Baton Rouge, is the resolution of senate republicans, made since the election, to refuse to discuss any business until the tax cut/increase mess is resolved. If the democrats, who care so much for the middle class, want to accomplish anything, all they have to do is resolved one issue that both sides know needs to be resolved. Heritage has complained multiple times about the democrats (who essentially had carte blanche for the past 2 years) putting off discussing so important a matter in order to pass other legislation. Now that they know they won't have the same influence, everything must be passed immediately, while they still have the power to do it, except a tax plan. Republicans have come to the table and negotiated a deal. If the democrats don't like it, they can negotiate back; instead, they are simply refusing the deal the President made.

      I'm not certain enough about this theory to accuse anyone, but I can imagine the democrat leadership intentionally holding off on these issues in order to use them as political blackmail against republicans. I think it was a backup plan, in case the election went just as it did. Michael is a perfect example of just how well the tactic is working.

      Now that the republican leadership has negotiated a tax bill with the President that concedes several points democrats like, the democrats are refusing to agree to it, because there is one thing in it they don't like. Who is stonewalling?

      The people in Congress know exactly who is going to be there come Jan. 3. Their constituents have already spoken and made known whose ideas they prefer. The people that were voted out should have no further say in anything. They are not acting in the interest of their constituents, who have already replaced them, regardless of their intentions.

      So now you see

      that I agree.

      The time has come,

      oh petulant ones,

      through sun or snow

      to go, go, GO!

    3. Kevin H, college par says:

      I find this post pretty disingenuous and incredibly biased. You say the Democratic congress 'refused to do its work on time' – that's amazing. We've seen record filibusters and stall tactics left and right from the republicans, including Members asking to have bills read in their entirety on the floor. All you have to do is read Frank Luntz and Freedomworks members from early 2009 on how republicans should stall and slow walk as much as possible to slow progress in Congress.

      I don't understand how you can speak of waste and yet want all 535 Members of Congress to go home and get paid for doing nothing. Why not get your money's worth out of them. I guess you'd rather see taxes go up on Jan 1st.

      Finally – after the Democratic sweep in the 2006 election, did you and your fellow Republicans now pass bills on December 20th before leaving Congress? Seems to me you passed two bills on December 20th, 2006 – well after the American people spoke and swept the Republcians out of office. Why is it acceptable for you personally, but not for current Members?

    4. Pingback: » Financial News Update – 12/16/10 NoisyRoom.net: The Progressive Hunter

    5. mark Amorose says:

      It truly amazes me that so many people can't see that congress has no concern for doing what is right. The mere fact that they don't have to do anything in a lame duck and let alone that they want to do everything they can cram through shows that the best interests of the nation are not what they are concerned about. This lame duck session should be evidance to every American that we can not trust congress to use common sence.

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