Given the quantity of items planned for this year’s lame-duck session, it is imperative to keep up with the items addressed in the final month of the 111th Congress on a regular basis. Here is a quick analysis of what the lame-duck session has covered thus far, and what is on the agenda for today.
Because of President Barack Obama's veto power, it is very unlikely that Congress could successfully repeal ObamaCare for at least another two years. However, there are substantive things that can be done to prevent ObamaCare’s implementation, such as state nullification of the legislation and congressional defunding of its provisions. There are also symbolic things — things that might pass one or both houses of Congress but, if they do pass both houses, will almost certainly be vetoed by Obama. One of the symbolic measures being considered by Republicans is the use of a 1996 law that gives Congress the power to overrule regulations issued by executive branch agencies.
With one month left until the end of the year, Congress has quite a bit with which to contend. Ranging from the unemployed, “wealthy,” and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to illegal immigration, lame-duck lawmakers intend to make difficult decisions in the ensuing weeks.
The times, they are a-changin’. Unthinkable only a year or two ago, the prospect that Congressman Ron Paul may actually receive the long-deserved chairmanship of a House subcommittee grows brighter by the day. And Paul’s longtime nemesis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, may soon find his chief congressional detractor in a position to do a good deal more than mere finger-wagging.
It is common for aging humans to look back fondly on the imagined “good old days” of their youth. Sen. John D. (“Jay”) Rockefeller IV (D-W.V.), age 73, apparently longs for the days of limited news options, when there were but three television networks offering more or less identical news coverage from the same narrow, inside-the-Beltway perspective.