Democrats Vote Down Ban on Lame Duck Session of Congress

Democrats voted down a resolution which pledged opposition to holding a “lame duck” session of Congress after the fall elections as a means to pass more of their unpopular big government agenda (i.e., cap and trade national energy tax, amnesty, card check) while they still hold substantial majorities.

A special lame duck session would allow the Congress to vote as currently constituted before the new 112th Congress is sworn in next January — when members voted out of office would have an opportunity to vote their hard-left ideology, having already suffered the brunt of voter ire.

Republicans are expected to gain a sizeable number of seats in November in both the House and Senate.  Democrats would still need a Republican vote during a lame duck session to break a filibuster with 60 votes and pass any legislation.

Democrats declined a straight up or down vote on the resolution instead using procedural maneuvers then voting to “table” the resolution instead. 

The motion to table passed 236-163 on a near party line vote with six Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans and one Republican voting to table.  Members not voting numbered 33.

The actual vote to table the Privileged Resolution offered by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, puts House Democrats on record in favor of the lame duck option.

“The American people are fed up with the way Democrats are running the country,” Price said after the vote on his resolution.  “Despite having total control over Congress and the White House, Democrats have delayed important debates in the hopes of using a lame duck session to avoid scrutiny of their job-killing plans.  Most Americans oppose the idea of a lame duck session being used to override the will of the public.  While Republicans have listened to the American people, Democrats chose to keep ignoring them by leaving the door wide open to a post-election blitz of deficit spending, job-killing liberal policies, and tax hikes on families and small businesses.”

“This debate tested the question of who best represents the wishes of the American people.  Speaker Pelosi’s Democrats failed this test.  Republicans recognize the need for more honesty and openness in Washington, so we are working to keep Members of Congress accountable to the people they serve,” Price added.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) noted the White House is pushing Congress for a lame duck session.

“The White House is an active part of this cynical double game.  The idea of passing a national energy tax in a ‘lame duck’ session originated with the White House legislative affairs director, as reported by POLITICO, and as recently as Sunday, White House Climate Advisor Carol Browner agreed that is ‘potentially’ the White House plan,” Boehner said.  “The American people deserve the truth — why won’t Washington Democrats rule out bringing a ‘lame duck’ Congress back to enact more of their job-killing agenda?  The will of the American people should be respected.”

The highlight of the procedure was the reading of the text of Price’s resolution (pdf) aloud on the House floor by the reading clerk.  The resolution reads like the long train of abuses listed in the Declaration of Independence.


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