Beware the Lame Duck Session

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently made a vow to a large gathering of liberal activists that should have every American concerned.

Frustration with the Democratic Party was a major theme during the four-day event, where progressives voiced their loss of patience with those in power for not doing enough to make major policy changes. … “We’re going to have to have a lame-duck session,” Reid promised. “So we’re not giving up.”


Leftists do not think ObamaCare’s unconstitutional mandate to buy insurance went far enough. They do not think the failed $862 billion stimulus created a large enough deficit. They do not think Democrats have done enough to “change” America into an economically and militarily weak cradle-to-grave welfare state. They want more – and Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi are planning to give it to them in a lame duck session of Congress.

Of course, most Americans have had enough. And more Democrats are beginning to realize that their agenda is incredibly unpopular. They know the American people’s dissatisfaction could cost them control of one or both chambers of Congress next year. And they know if that were to happen, a lame duck session would be their last chance to defy the will of the public and enact the remaining items on the liberal wish list.

That is why I went down to the House floor last Thursday and offered a plan to halt a lame duck session this year except in the case of an unforeseen, sudden emergency requiring immediate action from Congress.


But instead of taking a clear position on this important question, Speaker Pelosi’s Democrats delayed the vote and then left town for a six-week summer recess.

Americans should know where their Representatives stand on the issues before going into the voting booth. But Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid have delayed dealing with a number of far-reaching and controversial issues until after Election Day precisely so Democrats do not have to reveal to the electorate their support for more trillion dollar deficits, tax hikes on families and small businesses, and a job-killing national energy tax. You still do not know what your 2011 tax burden will be for the same reason.

Our republic is based on the consent of the governed. But over the last 19 months Democrats have purposefully ignored and refused to listen to the American people. The ObamaCare debate proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are more than willing to abuse the public’s trust.

Clearly, this is not how the Founders intended the federal government to function. When Congress returns in September, I will once again offer this plan and give my colleagues another chance to show if they support the use of a lame duck session to override the will of the American people. But over the next six weeks, it is up to you to hold their feet to the fire.


House Republicans know we must restore Americans’ faith in their elected Representatives by listening when you speak. To make your voice heard, there is no better way than via I encourage you to read through the solutions, draft your own, and show your support.

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