September 29, 2014

A December to Remember?

Matthew D. Mitchell

Senior Research Fellow

Christopher Koopman

Senior Affiliated Scholar
Summary

Regardless of the legislation that finds its way into this December’s lame-duck session, it will be an opportunity – for better or worse – to see what many outgoing members are truly made of. Free from both party and special interest control, they can effect change without the typical political ramifications.

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In what has become a recent tradition in Washington, Congress will again be using a lame-duck session to finish the business it was unable to complete before members left town to hit the campaign trail. And this year’s agenda will include a host of important issues – from funding the government to extending numerous tax breaks – that Congress didn't get to in the regular session.

This will give outgoing members – those who have retired and those who have been voted out – an opportunity to return to Washington to vote one last time. These members will be unencumbered by the typical pressures of office, and we will have an opportunity to see where these legislators’ priorities really lie.

In a typical congressional session, a legislator faces a number of pressures. And not all of them are good.

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