Congress playing chicken in lame duck session

December 1, 2010

What’s going to fly?

That’s the question on Capitol Hill where Republicans and Democrats are engaged in a game of chicken over what legislation gets approved in  the final stretch for this Congress.  PANAMA/

Everyone wants to extend middle class tax cuts, but when it comes to extending tax cuts for wealthier Americans feathers get ruffled. Republicans are demanding all of the Bush tax-cuts be extended, but Democrats cry fowl, saying the tax cuts for the wealthy are too expensive to continue.

The House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats until the new Congress with a Republican majority is seated in January, will vote Thursday to extend only the middle-class tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.

But in the Senate, which will still be controlled by Democrats in the next Congress, the squawking is the loudest.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell sent Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid a letter signed by every Senate Republican that pledged to block all legislation until the Senate acts on the tax cut extension and a measure to temporarily fund the government. The House passed a short-term spending bill on Wednesday and the Senate was expected to take it up this week.

The message from Senate Republicans to Democrats was clear — don’t even think about getting START or “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” done this year until all Bush-era tax cuts are extended.

With time running out, each side is watching to see who blinks first. And with the economy still struggling to create jobs, both sides know the stakes are high.

Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling yesterday warned:  “In a lame duck session, a lame duck Congress should not turn our economy into a dead duck economy.”

One thing’s clear, no one should count their chickens before they hatch…

Photo credit: Reuters/Alberto Lowe (roosters fight in Panama City)

One comment

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The Republicans must do whatever it takes to stop the DREAM amnesty act, even if it means nothing gets voted on during the lame duck. This bill will open the door for endless chain migration and is an attempt to set up a single party state. Citizens have the right to choose their political future. Citizenship for votes is nothing short of treason.

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