The upcoming lame duck Congress — that stretch between the Nov 2 election and when the newly elected Congress is seated is a dangerous time for our country.
According to Elizabeth Letchworth of Gradegov.com who spent 26 years as the elected Secretary to the US Senate, we are looking at a potential disaster in November and December, when the lame ducks try to push through all the legislation they can. Think Amnesty, Cap & Trade.
Elizabeth is currently writing a book about how Congress that explains how it got where it got and how they’re so insulated and how you undo this insulation that we’ve let them hide behind so that they get back to doing what it is they were supposed to do. Most of the new members of Congress don’t even know what they’re supposed to be doing.
“The few candidates that I’ve talked to — my advice to them — you can’t teach them everything. You can’t expect them to, you know OJT is only so much, they can only take in so much. My suggestion to the newly elected representatives to Congress is to band together, find a leader of this new freshman class and hopefully it’s in the 50s or 60s in number especially in the House. Find a leader that maybe was a state legislator, has experience, and vow to say ‘we are not going to get consumed by the system. If we don’t understand it or we are intimidated by it, then we’re going to ask to slow it down until we learn it. If they ban together in numbers, they really can make a difference and keep from getting completely swallowed up by the system, which will eat them alive.
“And the lame duck Congress will postpone and kick some things down the road to mid-January or February. These brand new guys and gals may be faced with for example, the expiration of the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s kind of a big deal! What if that expires the 1st of February and they’ve been a member of Congress a couple of weeks?
“An important thing for us to track is ‘what’s going to be on these new people’s plates that isn’t normally on the plate of new members of Congress. They sort of can ease in a little bit but the way this Congress just keeps postponing their responsibility…
“We’re all hoping that this new freshman class has 50 or 60 people in it. Well, omigosh, talk about a bunch of poor lost people. That would be a shame if they get lost and we lose the whole purpose of sending new people up there. The power is going to overwhelm them also. And even though we hope we send very moral and grounded people, as grounded as people can be, I’ve seen power take the nicest person and change them. You hope not, and you think that wouldn’t happen. But you would be surprised. they say money corrupts? Power corrupts too. It’s constant adulation up there, 24 hours a day. Hollywood for the ugly people.
“The Senate is still in session, yesterday trying to put in place another one of these tax extenders bills — the one that started out at $55b and now at $140b, none of which is paid for, and they failed to pass it. They are in the process of putting another version of that bill in place, and this one I’m told has a price tag of about $35b.
“The increases to some of the teacher money in there won’t be as high and the taxes to pay for it are going to be higher. They made more corporations and hedge fund managers pay for more taxes. They are hearing us about the spending. It’s not stopping legislation but its certainly modifying it.
“This is just election year reaction. What’s happening to Congress is a bunch of stuff that they kicked the can down the road to now. They can’t kick down the road — unemployment benefits. They have to find the money or not pass it. They’re doing it — cutting where they can — they’re hearing us — this is the 3rd attempt in three weeks for the Senate to pass this bill.
“The Speaker of the House doesn’t hear us — will she pork it back up? Maybe. They were supposed to do that war supplemental and that’s been languishing. It’s been porked up to $84b for $33bn request from President to fund Iraq Afghanistan and FEMA. And not a penny of that is paid for. You would think she’d be clamoring to get that done, because Gates is screaming for it. But you know what they did? They ended up passing a national commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that has subpoena power. Everybody that’s got a name or title from BP will be subpoenaed and create the dog and pony show that they like to create because it gets them on TV.
“Pelosi could get this appropriation done before the July 4th recess which begins next Friday, but she doesn’t have the votes with the Blue Dogs, and she doesn’t have backbone to tell her chairman to quit porking up the bill. She could cut the bill in half. She has the power to run the Rules committee, which sets the guideline for how a bill is considered on the House floor, she could go to the chairman of the Rules committee and say it’s going to be this way or it’s going to be no way. But she won’t do that and I don’t know what it will take for her to do that.
“The Senate is hearing our voice somewhat, but I don’t know about the House. They think in their own little world, fantasy world where they think of their own ill-gotten gains, reputations and images.”
We also talked about the possibility of Obama signing an Executive Order approving amnesty for illegals aliens in country. And the Kill Switch bill drafted by Sen. Joe Lieberman to give the president power to shut off the Internet in the case of a national emergency.
Elizabeth joins us every Wednesday night with a Capitol Hill update. Listen to this week’s entire interview here: