Published on November 23rd, 2010 | by Leonard Jackson0
Let’s Eliminate the Lame Duck Shenanigans
I realize that I vowed not to obsess about my obsession with my favorite cause – term limits – when I introduced this page earlier, but it is almost impossible for me to read anything political that’s particularly annoying without immediately seeing the obvious solution to the problem – term limits.
For instance, last week Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York state wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal reminding us how the “lame duck” abuses have, over time, completely changed the intent of the founders each year and has created this mad scramble to try to push through controversial legislation that would have never been passed in a regular session and was purposefully avoided until after the election.
She makes this great point that allowing these election losers to continue governing is like letting your ex-spouse continue managing your checkbook. It’s a perfect analogy
I don’t know if you were aware of this (I was not) but in 1933, because travel had become much easier and faster and legislators could assemble accordingly, Americans ratified the 20th Amendment to eliminate lame duck sessions. It set January 3 as the day newly elected members would take their seats. For over 50 years Congress reconvened after November elections on this date except during World War II and the Korean War and it worked exceptionally well.
This has been worsening incrementally over the last 20 years to the point that we are now seeing the Democrats rushing to push through an omnibus spending bill totaling $1.1 billion that they held back until after the November election.
I believe that people who accept the duty and responsibility to serve their country for a period of 12 years maximum would address these issues with a different perspective than those who are trying to perpetuate their lifetime careers by handing out special favors to the constituency that can keep them in place.
Ms. McCaughey proposes that the new house members should introduce a bill providing that Congress will not meet between the November 2012 election and January 3, 2013. This I obviously agree with whole-heartedly, but it would be so much more forceful if we could take it one step farther and send a majority to Washington who would look to do these kinds of things without being legislated into it.