Lame Duck The Main Course and Itsí Side Dishes

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Thanksgiving in Washington comes early this year and the dinner plates will be overflowing. With very little to show for itself in the last two months, Congress will try to wrap up nearly a year’s worth of work in just a few weeks.

At the top of the menu (sub. req’d) will be the 12 FY 11 appropriations bills that are expected to be tied up into an oversized Omnibus bill, extension of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, and the strategic arms treaty with Russia – START. Complimenting side dishes may include the 2011 defense authorization bill, food safety legislation, “tax extenders,” and recommendations from the fiscal commission (sub. req’d) charged with confronting the burgeoning national debt.

Not to be overshadowed by the main course and its’ sides will be the scramble to reorganize for the 112th Congress which could include bloody leadership races in the House, Senate or both regardless of which party controls each chamber. For dessert, room may be saved for extension of unemployment benefits and physician reimbursement rates under Medicare that are both set to expire on November 30. Likely to get squeezed off the plate and unceremoniously ditched into the disposal until the next Congress will be the Energy bill (sub. req’d).

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