A “lame duck” session of Congress is the stretch between an election and new members are sworn in, usually marked by low activity. The next Congress will be sworn in January 3, 2023. The notion of a “lame duck” implies not much will fly – but watch out this year!
If trends hold, Democrats will lose control of the US House, while holding the US Senate. Tradition favors respect in conduct of business in lame duck, especially if power is shifting. But do not expect that now. Respect seems out of style.
The hostility level is so high, rhetoric so loud, Congressional hubris so stifling, anything could happen. This may be a “not-so-lame duck” session. If emotion replaces facts, expect action.
What should we expect? Realistically, the same sort of freewheeling we saw over the last two years, plus an effort to “gild the lily” with hyper-leftist legislation. Many think this not possible, given a filibuster requiring 60 senate votes, but even respect for the filibuster could fade.
What could happen “lip service” for the filibuster, and exceptions granted by the Senate majority to secure a few key bills, before one-party control of both chambers and the White House ends.
Here is a “short list.”
First, Democrats may push to codify Roe v. Wade – replacing the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, finding no “constitutional right” to abortion, with a statute that legalizes “late term,” “near-birth,” and “gender preference” abortions – for “reproductive health.”
The idea is to use the federal “supremacy clause” to silence State efforts to protect unborn children at 15 weeks, often with exceptions. Democrats aim to “federalize abortion rights.”
Second, expect Biden’s executive decision to pay off half a trillion in educational loans to potentially get legislative legs, ending court action. The irony is that, even if legislatively adopted, this is money comes from middle-class pockets. This is “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
Most see this for what it is, “buying votes” from a slipping, younger demographic. The bill could stand alone or pass by emergency appropriations, with minimal or no Republican support.
Third, expect serious talk about a major “omnibus” bill that finalizes high Fiscal Year 2023 spending, long resisted by Republicans. Currently, “annual spending bills” for FY23, which began on October 1, 2022, are not done.
Congress passed what is called a “continuing resolution” that is scheduled to end – rather conveniently – in mid-December. That bill kept the government going at last year’s size. Now, the goal will be to get a last bite at the “appropriations apple,” pushing moderate Republicans.
Fourth, expect Democrats – who hate the “debt ceiling,” a means for theoretically controlling federal debt –to raise it, but also to press to eliminate it entirely as it embarrasses them.
Yes, eliminating the “debt ceiling vote” could be done. The idea is quieting discussion of how to reduce the 31-trillion-dollar national debt and annual deficits, pretending it does not exist.
Most Americans see federal overspending on things no one needs with money no one has – as bad. Debt creates high inflation, unemployment, and high interest rates for consumers.
A double irony is that all this new spending – seven trillion dollars in 20 months – is a double disaster, as higher interest is not just for credit cards, but the national debt. We pay twice.
Sadly, all that was avoidable, and perhaps Republicans can claw back some of the overspending – but Democrats would like to pretend debt does not matter. Watch the debt ceiling debated.
Fifth, more pet projects will get discussed, possibly put into legislation – including corporate punishment, higher taxes, anti-fossil fuel, pro-China, and social reengineering bills, plus federal education control, instant-on citizenship, and other leftist projects – for 2024.
Sxith, expect discussion about limiting or packing the US Supreme Court. This may be the last two months Democrats have one-party control for a while, and they know it.
Finally, expect something simpler, seen in recent years. It bothers patriotic Americans. Respect for longstanding traditions, spoken and unspoken, moral and social, legal and religious, congressional and national – may again come under fire.
House Democrats know they have a last shot at “enemies of the state,” as the President calls them – those who favor limited government, lower taxes, strong defense, and moral compass.
Normally, a “lame duck” session is slow, low tempo, and quiet, as old members of Congress prepare to leave, but this may be different. This duck does not look so lame. We may see things come off the water. We can hope level heads prevail, but we live in a time with lots of flapping and quacking, so expect this to be a “not-so-lame” session.
We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...
Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.Donate Now