Monday, July 31, 2006
Lame Duck Session On Tap
On the slim chance, given electronic voting skullduggery, that the GOP loses control of Congress in the midterms, a lame duck session has been scheduled to provide for continued Republican opportunities for enacting legislation until January.
Congress is leaving for a month-long recess with so much unfinished business that it's planning a fifth consecutive post-election session, the most since 1935.
Another lame-duck session raises the prospect that important business could be completed by lawmakers who have been rejected by voters. If Republicans lose control of Congress, they'd still direct the agenda until January, when lawmakers are sworn in....
Political analysts say lame-duck sessions aren't efficient. Lawmakers return "tired and distracted," says Norman Ornstein, co-author of a new book on Congress, "The Broken Branch."
The House of Representatives and Senate usually adjourn near the end of each two-year term well before Election Day to give lawmakers time to campaign.
Congress changed its schedule in 1935 to minimize the need for post-election meetings. Ratification of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution moved the start of a new term from March to January.
Doubtlessly, should the Democrats come to power, the Republicans will want to take care of some important matters that would not likely fly in the aftermath of a shakeup on Capitol Hill.
Authorization for war with Syria and Iran, anyone?