Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lame-duck, Lame-arse

Lame-duck sessions of the federal Congress, except in cases of imminent danger, should be outlawed:

So-called lame-duck sessions of an outgoing Congress being called to pass legislation which should rightfully be left to the next Congress to consider shouldn't just be a rarity, such Congressional conventions should simply not exist at all. When a Congress adjourns for its members to return home to contest a General Election, that adjournment should be sine die. If a Congress cannot conclude what its leadership sees as the business of Congress before facing the voters, then those matters need to be left to the incoming Congress to contend with, and whether a Congress acted with prudence and efficiency is a matter for voters to determine. The place of lame-duck sessions should be only in cases of invasion, national emergency, or imminent danger to the Union.

Both parties have abused the idea of lame-duck sessions in recent years, and the practice is both an insult to the electorate and an abuse of the public time and money. The very fact that Congressional leaders seem to see a regular need for a federal Congress to sit in session after its successor bodies have been chosen would indicate that Congress has entirely too many laws to pass and that it needs to become a part-time legislature, just as many States have and as Congress once was in the early days of the republic.

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