This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," November 27, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," Harry Reid's lame duck agenda. With just three weeks left, you wouldn't believe what he's got planned.
Plus, the uncertainty principal. With record deficits, looming tax hikes and hundreds of new regulations coming down the pike, American businesses are on a capitol strike. Can a Republican Congress get them moving again?
North Korea's latest provocation brings an American ally to the brink of war. Is it time for a new American strategy?
Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
Democrats may have lost the House and six Senate seats on November 2nd but you might not know it from their lame duck agenda. Majority Leader Harry Reid told Republicans in a mere three weeks he wants to pass a Food Safety Bill, the Immigration Dream Act, a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for gays in the military, a 9/11 Rescue Worker's Relief Act, a spending bill for fiscal 2011, an extension of some Bush-era tax cuts and estate tax reform, not to mention the new START Nuclear Treaty with Russia. So what will he actually get done?
Joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; senior economics writer, Steve Moore; and Washington columnist, Kim Strassel.
So, Kim, how much of the list is serious or is Harry Reid trying to placate his left flank?
KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Well, this is how they got in the situation, is Harry Reid put up these things to gin up enthusiasm among the liberal base prior to the election and the plan was going to be to make them too toxic to gain any Republican support and then blame Republicans or obstructionism.
GIGOT: It didn't work very well, Kim.
GIGOT: But why do it now, after the fact? That failed. Why do it now?
STRASSEL: Well, now, he's on the hook to some of these groups to actually make some progress.
The reality is most of this is not going to pass. Any one of those items, in and of themselves, could take three weeks to debate and get through. They're going to end up having to focus on the stuff that is absolutely necessary. They're likely to pass this Food Safety Bill, which is already teed up to get a vote and then, you know — look, because the Democrats ignored some big things this year, like passing appropriations bills, the government runs out of money at the end of next week.
STRASSEL: So they're going to have to deal with funding the government and probably the tax issue. I wouldn't expect more.
GIGOT: Republicans still only have 41 Senate seats and they'll get 42 when Mark Kirk of Illinois comes late in November. But that means they could still only afford to lose those two. I mean, if they lose those two, the Democrats have their 60 votes to pass something. So could they slip one or more of these items through?
STEVE MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMICS WRITER: You know, the real — let's celebrate the really good news, which is not on your list. Remember, a few months ago we were warning they would use this lame duck agenda to pass cap-and-trade legislation and the union Card Check. And the good news is those are — looks like they're completely off the table.
You're right that Democrats will make a big push to pass some of this stuff that they weren't able to get through during the regular session, but we shouldn't call this lame duck session. We should call it the lame agenda session. And really the only thing — I agree with Kim. They're obviously going to have to pass a budget so we can fund the government the next few months.