Lame Duck Session Will Be Held This Week

Uncertainty remains as to what will be accomplished.

Published on: Nov 17, 2008

Both chambers of Congress are back in Washington D.C. for a lame-duck session. The Senate meets Monday and the House will follow on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had planned to attempt passage of an economic stimulus bill this week, but due to lack of Republican support he has instead decided on a bill that would extend unemployment insurance and provide $25 billion to automakers.

"In my view, the adoption of a robust recovery package should be the top priority of the upcoming lame duck session," Reid said in a letter Friday to Senate Minority Leader McConnell, R-Ky. "That is why I intend to seek consent on a bill to create jobs, prevent large tax increases and cuts in state services, strengthen our nation's manufacturing sector, and assist those struggling to find a job." House Democrats are expected to vote Tuesday on their leadership slate, with the Steering Committee to meet Wednesday to select committee chairmen.

The GOP Conference is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday morning to elect leaders and deal with committee assignments and other organizational matters.

Support for the automakers bill is unclear. Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd said last week that there were not enough votes to pass the measure. However his committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on an auto loan package on Tuesday.

Freshman orientation and party organizational caucuses for the new 111th Congress will also take place this week. House Democrats are expected to vote Tuesday on their leadership slate, with the Steering Committee to meet Wednesday to select committee chairmen. The GOP Conference is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday morning to elect leaders and deal with committee assignments and other organizational matters.