September 6, 2004


Lots to do in little time: Lawmakers return to a cramped legislative schedule (Lauren Shepherd and Bob Cusack, 9/07/04, The Hill)

Congressional leaders returning to Capitol Hill today are faced with the daunting task of passing many pieces of unfinished legislation with less than a month before lawmakers are scheduled to return to the campaign trail.

Republicans in both chambers are pushing for similar legislative gains before the projected Oct. 1 recess — passing legislation to reform the intelligence community, completing work on the long-stalled highway bill, enacting corporate tax reforms and possibly reviving energy legislation.

“We’re still aiming for an Oct. 1 adjournment date,” said Amy Call, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). [...]

Capitol Hill leaders have already voiced skepticism that the entire process — including the conferences to iron out any differences between the Senate and House versions of each appropriations bill — will be completed in September. Some even go further, saying the process could continue into the next year.

“There’s no chance appropriations gets done before the end of the year,” a senior House Republican leader said last week.

The list of targeted legislative objectives, as well as the appropriations work, has led some to speculate that a lame-duck session is all but unavoidable. In June, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) spokesman John Feehery said that “it’s not going to be easy” to avoid coming back to Washington after the November elections.

Don't the Democrats ever learn anything? Before the '02 midterm they bogged down the process, hoping to deny the GOP victories, then got their kiesters handed to them in the election and had to yield on most of the bills. So now they're doing the same thing all over again in an election where they could even lose their ability to filibuster? Why not cut the best deal they can and go see if they can save their seats?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 6, 2004 8:17 PM

What I will be watching, in the event the Democrats go obstructionist, is whether Daschle leads the charge.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at September 6, 2004 8:36 PM

Shhhhh! Don't be giving them any advice.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 6, 2004 8:42 PM

Well, the Assault Weapons Ban is due to expire, as Instapundit notes. W. has taken the position of being nominally for it, but not pushing for it and trying to kill it in Congress. We'll see what the Dems try to do about it.

Posted by: John Thacker at September 6, 2004 9:25 PM

"I bray, therefore I obstruct".

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 6, 2004 10:41 PM


Does he strike you as the kind of man willing to sacrifice his own seat for the remote possibility of helping John Kerry?

Posted by: oj at September 6, 2004 11:00 PM

Obstructionism in a time of war is a sure vote loser.

Posted by: Bart at September 6, 2004 11:14 PM


Give me a nanosecond to think about that . . . no. But I would love to be a fly on the wall when Pelosi, from the perch of her safe seat, trys to conscript Daschle to her kamikaze cause.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at September 6, 2004 11:21 PM

You'll know that Kerry is sure to lose when the Dems without safe seats and up for reelection (think Daschle, Lincoln, and even Murray and Reid) decide to make a deal. At that point it'll be every Democrat for itself, the party (and the top of the ticket) be damned.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 7, 2004 12:39 AM