Lame Duck Congress Looks to Pass All or Nothing

If House doesn't approve tax deal, nothing will get done
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2010 9:46 AM CST
Lame Duck Congress Looks to Pass All or Nothing
A Capitol Police car sits nearby as the freshmen class House members of the upcoming 112th Congress pose for a group photo on the steps that lead to the House of Representatives, on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Congress is about to pass lots of major legislation—or nothing at all. The House’s dilemma: If it tries to change the Senate’s $858 billion tax bill, the Senate won’t have time to vote on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the DREAM Act, START, or other Democratic priorities. “The White House will get what it wants,” one rep tells the LA Times. “They want the bill delivered to the president’s desk, not delivered to the Senate even with modest changes.”

Then again, there’s no guarantee that the Senate will move on Democrats’ other priorities regardless. Republicans have been signaling stiff opposition to many of them. Mitch McConnell and others have demanded the Senate start over on its $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. Others are opposing START, with Jim DeMint demanding the entire treaty be read aloud—an idea Harry Reid called “a colossal waste of time.” Don’t Ask repeal looks like a real possibility, but getting past a Republican filibuster could keep Democrats in Washington all weekend. (More Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal stories.)

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