The ever so unpopular Congress bolted out the door to hit the campaign trail, leaving important business unfinished.
Making a budget is one of them. It is the simplest of tasks and should have been approved before the government’s fiscal year begins on Friday. Instead, the House and Senate passed a temporary spending bill to keep the federal government operating until they come up with a permanent plan.
Other issues on Congress’s list are ethics trials,and about 20 bills (including extending the Bush tax cuts) they plan on addressing during their lame duck session. From Right Pundits:
Items that are likely to only be considered after the election is the decision on whether to keep tax cuts at all, keep them for some individuals, or keep them for everyone. Another bill that must be considered, since the Senate has refused to act is the Defense Authorization bill. As we recall from a few weeks ago, there was a portion of this bill that addressed the DADT policy. However, due to a series of machinations in that august body, both parties tried to manipulate the language of the bill. Then, once Harry Reid, the Majority Leader, tried to swell the legislation with an amendment that appealed to Hispanics, the legislation effectively died.
Other bills that the Democrats want to consider in the lame duck session include the DREAM Act, which provides children of illegal immigrants with a pathway to legal residency, another extension in unemployment benefits, a change in the planned Medicare reimbursement cuts for doctors.
As usual, a number of senators have their pet bills that they insist also be voted on during that period. Listed in the article are one by Max Baucus (D-MT), last heard of during his ineffectual leadership during the health care debate, to change the tax code. Yeah, that’ll pass. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) wants to pass a renewable electricity standard. Good luck on that one. Jumping Joe Lieberman (I-CT), as usual, is intent on cracking down on American liberty with a new, improved cyber-security bill. His best buddy, John Kerry (D-MA), who also is primarily concerned with foreign policy, wants the START treaty passed. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) wants the EPA barred from dealing with coal emissions.