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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The hush before the storm

A lame-duck Congress can be a do-nothing group or the Democrats could surprise everyone, including themselves, and get some important things done before the end of the year. Because, come January 1, 2011, the GOP swoops in to take over the House, and the Senate is hobbled with its less than 60 majority mandate. They could turn the almost seven weeks left into something more than mediocrity.

The Bush tax cuts must be handled, and there are several proposals on the table for negotiation. This issue alone will no doubt strike a cord for just how much cooperation we can expect between Democrats and Republicans in the next two years. There’s the Medicare reimbursement cut for doctors that legislators had better consider carefully for the sake of future health care for Seniors.  For Hispanics, the Dream Act.

A $250 one-time payment is being looked at for Social Security recipients to offset no cost-of-living increase next year, unemployment benefits need to be extended, and action is needed to stop earmarks for good, especially now with Rep. Mitch McConnell’s support. There are several other issues that the Dems could run up the flagpole, but the key is how the outgoing lawmakers handle this session, and just how they lay the groundwork for January 1.

Is it possible that Congress could amaze us and turn a hush into competent productiveness?

Read more here and here.


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