KEY QUOTE: "Historically, lame-duck sessions are used to tie up loose ends, housekeeping items from one Congress to the next. Could Democrats pursue a substantive agenda, a last shriek before Republicans take charge? Would President Obama, resuming the quest for a post-partisan era of change in Washington, acknowledge the election mandate and dissuade his party from acting so cynically? The answers are yes, and we doubt it."
Democrats should drop plans for 'lame duck' session
Democrats consider ways to leave permanent liberal mark
July 16, 2010
THE midterm congressional elections are four months away, and much could change between now and November. Even so, there's a growing sense in Washington that the electorate is hardening against Democrats, who've controlled Congress since January 2007. The question isn't whether Republicans will make gains, but how large the gains will be.
Evidence is seen in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's backlash against the White House, after presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said enough House seats are in play for Democrats to lose the majority — and with it, Pelosi's speakership. Reports suggest that behind closed doors Democrats are angry and panicky.
Another clue is that some Democrats are starting to talk about what might be done in a "lame duck" session — after the elections but before the new Congress is seated in January.
The Wall Street Journal's John Fund writes union-backed "card check" legislation, a carbon tax and a final pork spending spree might be pushed while Democrats still have their majorities. The thinking is that members no longer accountable to the voters (either retiring or defeated on Election Day) might be more inclined to vote for controversial items.
"Members of Congress are supposed to represent their constituents, not override them like sore losers in a lame-duck session," U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., told Fund.
The problem is this Congress already has shown a willingness to dismiss what the people at home think. Health care is the best example. Democrats pushed Obamacare out the door over public opposition, as though they know best what's good for Americans.
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