Americans across the country are frustrated, angry, and hell-bent on throwing members of Congress out of office. The message is very clear that Americans want change, but not the kind of class-warfare, anti-business change we’ve heard so often. Americans want a fundamental change in the direction leaders in Washington are taking our country, and we’ve seen that reflected in the results of every poll that rolls in. So if Washington gets the shake-up in November that voters are calling for, will we finally be clear from more aggressive legislation this year? The political magic 8 ball shows: Probably Not.
Current members of Congress technically have two months of work left after the November elections and before the newly elected members take office. This “lame duck” session provides lawmakers the opportunity to tackle unfinished legislation, and it also opens the door for retiring or defeated members to support key pieces of legislation that they may not have otherwise. Here’s the red flag: Even if the mid-term elections shift control of Congress to conservatives, liberals can use the lame-duck session to push through major legislation left on their agenda. Rasmussen Reports found that 85% of likely voters in America believe it is at least somewhat likely that Democrats will try to pass new major legislation during the lame duck session if they lose majority control of Congress. This includes 65% who say it is Very Likely. When asked about this possibility, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters, “There is a lot of mopping up to do when we come back after the election.”
Reid’s idea of “mopping up” is rumored to be a pretty ambitious agenda including a renewable electricity standard and the “card check” act. Though it’s pretty certain we’ll see a very active lame duck session if Democrats lose majority control, using the session to push through major legislation is incredibly out of touch with the will of Americans. As Rasmussen notes, “Sixty-three percent (63%) say Congress should not consider major new legislation during the two-month lame duck period after the election but should wait for the newly-elected members to take office. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree and say Congress should consider major new legislation during that period.”