The “Lame Duck” session of Congress is the period between November 2, 2010 and the swearing-in of the new Congress in mid-January. Usually a slow time on Capitol Hill, members, their staff, even the media, is trying to get out of town for the Holiday Season However, holiday plans may be on hold this year.
The Senate is planning to work this weekend to debate “the New START Treaty and a trillion-dollar spending bill to keep government running.” Perhaps the defeated Democratic members of the House and Senate wanted to have their final say---or maybe the Democratic leadership sees an opportunity to ram through pent-up partisan legislation before the Republicans take over the House and close the margin in the Senate.
One political pundit, Jeff Crouere, says, “The disgusting spectacle of the lame duck session of Congress is horrible to watch. Democrats have completely ignored the November election results and the message from the people of this country.”
Since President Obama took office in 2009, Congress has worked well into the Holiday Season to deliver their gift – legislation –to the American people. Last year we got Healthcare Reform on Christmas Eve. What is in the stocking this year?
With a 13% approval rating, one would think that Congress would be eager to get out of town, the Democratic majority wants one last hooray before the Republicans take over.
Despite the typical Washington bubble last minute gouging, we are encouraged with what is around the corner in 2011.
All in all, 2010 was a great year for Cornerstone Solutions and our clients. We wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy Holiday Season.
Today marks a turning point for either the Republican Party or the Obama Administration and the Democrats. Both sides of the aisle will participate in a “bipartisan” health care summit. President Obama was billed the summit as an opportunity to “seek common ground” on legislation that will reign in health care’s soaring costs.
President Obama and his Administration released a framework proposal on which today’s summit will focus. Nevertheless, the controversy has mounted around the rumors that the Democrats might resort to a parliamentary tactic called “reconciliation.”
These rumors have spurred critics, for example, Georgia Rep. Tom Price says, “I’m not certain what the White House is up to, but it appears they are trying to meld a bill together without, again, any input from Republicans. It doesn’t sound like bipartisanship…I’m afraid it’s just another photo op.”
This summit will be pivotal as both parties seek to gain an advantage heading into the 2010-midterm elections. Centrist Democrats, especially ones in the House, will face a tough decision at the end of the day. Public sentiment is not in favor of health care reform and you can guarantee that the Republicans will cite votes on the health care legislation in their ads and mail pieces against Democrats in “toss-up” districts.
For Democrats, this legislative victory is imperative to stop the bleeding of losses in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Democrats recognize that many of the proposals that President Obama campaigned on in 2008 are uncertain if the midterms do not shape up in their favor.
I, for one, will be watching the summit and following the conversation on Twitter to see how it shapes up. The real question is whether this summit is truly an attempt at bipartisanship by either party or just a photo op with a sound bite of “gotcha” at the end of the day.
Let us know what you think after the summit concludes. In your opinion, is the summit just political show or a chance for real reform?