What will the lame duck Congress do? Before the new class of the legislative body takes power in January, it could take up any number of measures, ranging from defense appropriations, to extending unemployment benefits and the expiring Bush tax cuts.
Or, it could limp along like well...injured waterfowl...sticking around the usual pond, but not doing anything worth watching. AEHQ paddles backwards to take a look at some of the major legislation passed by previous lame duck sessions in the last thirty years:
2002: The Department of Homeland Security was created by a lame duck Congress in what is considered to be one of the most far-reaching government reorganizations in American history.
1998: President Bill Clinton was impeached by a Republican lame duck Congress.
1994: The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, when passed, eliminated non-tariff trade barriers between the United States and Mexico, also clearing the way to eliminate agricultural trade barriers between the United States and Canada. It was criticized for shifting jobs away from American soil.
1980: The gargantuan toxic waste clean-up bill Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, more widely known as "Superfund," sailed through a Democratic lame duck session under lame duck President Jimmy Carter. The legislation passed with little debate and under rules that prohibited amendments, but its interpretation drew the ire of environmentalists after a 1983 congressional investigation found that the EPA under President Reagan was settling with polluters instead of litigating.