The first week of Congresses' lame duck session was widely heralded as being important to the life-line of the economy. But, nothing happened as efforts to pass a second stimulus package failed. The only bill that did pass Congress was an extension of unemployment benefits.
The bill that failed to pass the Senate contained a number of agriculture-related items, including $171 million for modernization of the Farm Service Agency's computer system. The bill also contained disaster assistance for southern farmers and money for implementation of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission provisions contained in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Another issue that went nowhere was a bail out package for the auto industry. Leaders of the Big Three automakers are working on a proposal to satisfy Congress. GM, Ford and Chrysler officials are due back in Washington Monday to make their case.