Entries in Lame Duck (6)


Rep. Says Romney Team Making Lists of Dems They Could Work With in Obama Lame Duck

McMorris [dot] House [dot] gov(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Mitt Romney still has a nail-biter of an election to get through, but his team is already planning for a mid-November in which Barack Obama is a lame duck, according to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

The Washington Republican talked Thursday night to Rick Klein and Amy Walter on the ABC News/Yahoo! News live stream and said that Romney is going to be ready even in November to deal with tough issues like the so-called “fiscal cliff.” His advisers have even started discussing which Democrats on Capitol Hill they might be able to work with.

Amy asked if Romney would be able to ask members of his own party to make tough choices.

“He’s going to be working with us,” said McMorris Rodgers. “I am very confident. Even now I’ve been working as his House liaison. He’s interested in meeting with every member, hearing what their ideas are, what their priorities are. They’ve even talked to me about Democrats they could be reaching out to.”

“To switch parties?” asked Amy.

“No. To work with them across the aisle on all of these important issues,” said McMorris Rodgers.

“They’re already making those kind of inroads and those kind of contacts,” said Rick.

“Well, I’m not sure that they’ve actually called any Democrats, but they’ve already been … there’s already some thinking through the lame duck and those first hundred days and how they’re going to approach it there’s a real desire, yes, to tackle the tough problems but to bring the people along and to get both the people and plans in place so that we’re going to be ready to go,” she said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rep. Steve King: Lame Duck a ‘Pie in the Face of the American People’

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The anything-but-lame lame-duck Congress has drawn a fierce reaction from some Republicans on Capitol Hill, who claim that the burst of legislative action runs counter to the will of the American people.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told ABC News that Republicans should vow to never pass such consequential legislation in the period between an election and the start of a new Congress.

"It's unbelievable. It's unprecedented," King told ABC News. "American voters [said] that they've had enough of the 111th Congress, that they wanted to shut it down on November the 2nd.  Still Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi march on, throwing another pie in the face of the American people -- driving in an agenda that's not supported by the American people."

"I just think it's disingenuous, and it's the wrong thing for the American people," King added. "Republicans should remember this, too."

King also said Republicans should repeal the Obama health care bill as their first major act, and should give such a move the honorary label as being the first bill filed.

"I think that should be HR 1. I think that should be addressed. I think the repeal of Obamacare needs to be HR 1 -- a clear stand-alone 100 percent repeal without an equivocation, without any marginal things at all. Repeal it all, pull it all out by the roots -- lock stock and barrel, so that there's not a vestige of it left behind."

And King dismissed -- for the most part -- speculation that he may try to run for president in 2012.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


'It's All Rigged': Democratic Senator Caught Complaining by Live Mic on Senate Floor

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio (WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., was caught by a live mic on the Senate floor Tuesday morning complaining about Congress as the Senate struggles to make any progress on a wide range of issues during the lame-duck session.

“It’s all rigged. I mean, the whole conversation is rigged. The fact that we don’t get to a discussion before the break about what we’re going to do in the lame duck. It’s just rigged. This stuff is rigged,” Bennet said.

At the time, the Colorado lawmaker was sitting in the chair on the Senate floor, apparently speaking to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as lawmakers debated and voted on the food safety bill and a slew of other amendments. The Senate has focused on issues such as food safety and earmarks at a time when millions of Americans are about to lose their unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, a slew of other issues including government funding, the Bush tax cuts, the START treaty with Russia, the DREAM Act, and the "don’t ask, don’t tell" repeal remain unresolved.  

Bennet’s comments were picked up by an open mic. An aide eventually turned off the mic before any more of the senator’s complaints could be caught on tape.

A spokesman for the Colorado senator later defended Bennet’s comments.

“Michael was telling the same truths on the senate floor that he tells folks here in Colorado,” a Bennet spokesman said. “For almost two years, he has talked about needing to fix a broken Washington. We can’t move forward on major issues facing our country because of a broken system that is rigged to prevent progress. We are now in the second week of this work period, and the Senate hasn’t begun debating Defense Authorization, tax cuts that will expire at the end of the year, or unemployment benefits. Colorado and the rest of our country deserve better which is why he has proposed overhauling the way Washington works, including filibuster and lobbying reforms.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Congress Back in Session Monday Ahead of White House Summit

Photo Courtesy - SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The lame duck Congress returns from Thanksgiving break Monday, but the big event this week will be at the White House, where the postponed post-election session between the president and reinvigorated Republicans will finally take place.

Tuesday’s White House summit has all the makings of a post-shellacking showdown. In one corner, in home turf, will be President Obama. In the other corner: Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, the next speaker of the House.

“So much of this is going to be for all these folks around the table to take a measure of one another,” said ABC News political director Amy Walter.

President Obama, now weakened, has called for cooperation from both sides.

“I hope that we can do it together,” President Obama said in his weekly address. “Democrats and Republicans and independents alike.”

But will Republicans – now sharing control – also opt to go from confrontation to cooperation?

“It's a bit easier to run as a party of ‘no’ than when you do control one of the branches,” Walter said.

Among the top priorities will be government funding and passing routine – but often contentious – spending bills. The two sides will also discuss extending the Bush tax cuts.

If things go well, there could be talk of renewing the START arms control treaty with Russia and overturning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Pentagon’s ban on gays serving openly in the military.

“We hope the president will work with us on all of these priorities,” Boehner said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Senate to Take Another Shot at 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Photo Courtesy - Reid dot Senate dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Wednesday night that he will take another stab at passing a repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy during the lame-duck session of Congress.

"Our Defense Department supports repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as a way to build our all-volunteer armed forces. We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so,” Reid said Wednesday in a statement.

GOP lawmakers might be willing to support the repeal if Reid were to allow a lengthy floor debate on it that includes amendments, even if that throws a wrench into an already-packed Senate agenda that includes extending the Bush tax cuts and keeping the government funded after Dec. 3. Another group of Republicans has said they would not support a repeal until they have received a Pentagon report on the policy due on Defense Secretary Gates' desk on Dec. 1.

Thursday morning on Capitol Hill, a group of senators led by Joe Lieberman are set to hold a press conference to push the repeal.

Additionally, Reid said that he will set a stand-alone vote on the DREAM Act, a scaled-back immigration bill that would enable undocumented students who arrive in the U.S. before age 16 to become legal residents after five years by completing higher education or military service.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


House Leaders to be Elected During Lame Duck

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Republicans and House Democrats are expected to hold off leadership elections until after the start of the lame duck session of Congress on Nov. 15, sources from both parties told ABC News.

Senior aides for House Democrats have indicated that those elections will likely take place on Nov. 18. Two senior GOP aides have also told ABC that their leadership elections could occur on the same day.

New member orientation will also coincide with the start of the lame duck session as freshman members settle into their posts.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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