Friday Lightning Round: Predictions for lame duck Congress

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 7, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Each week we ask you to vote online in our Friday Lightning Round poll for your favorite topic. This week you chose predictions for the lame duck Congress. We're back with the panel. Before I start with George, the White House is now saying, a senior White House official, that at no time did the president cut off Vice President Biden as reported by the Associated Press. So I want to get that on the record.

KRAUTHAMMER: It's never been done. 


BAIER: It's never been done. George, the lame duck Congress, what can or will or won't get done?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: In the first place, the whole spectacle is a little bit odd.  Congress containing -- a large number of people repudiated by the voters. They are not going to make laws for people who repudiated them.

But leaving that aside, there are 38 State Department nominees and 24 district court nominees. And presidents do have -- should enjoy some deference as they try to staff their administration. They can move those ahead. There is something called the marketplace fairness act which would make it easier for states to collect sales taxes from online retailers which pleases every retailer on the verge of this holiday shopping season, although it wouldn't effect this year's. They could give the president fast track trade authority, which would cause mischief because he wants it and Democrats don't because they are beholden to labor which really never saw a trade agreement it liked yet. So, it --

BAIER: Might have to wait until January for the Republicans to take control for that one.

WILL: Exactly.

BAIER: One nominee that now they are dealing with is the attorney general nominee.


BAIER: The president tomorrow will say that Loretta Lynch is officially his nominee. We have confirmed that tonight. The prosecutor from New York, the Eastern District of New York. Thoughts on that?

POWERS: She has already been confirmed unanimously twice. So that certainly bodes well for her. Another interesting thing about her is that she -- she will -- she, unlike Eric Holder, who was very close to the president and I think probably too close in a way that sort of cost him some credibility, she really doesn't have any kind of relationship with President Obama, who has been accused of being very insular and always relying on people who are close to him. And so I think that bodes well for her as being more of sort of an honest broker from the outside.

KRAUTHAMMER: She is not a lightning rod. She apparently is sort of the by the book prosecutor. She doesn't have a paper trail. She won't arouse, unless something is discovered, ideological ire. She should have an easy passage, which is what I think Obama wanted.

BAIER: Next up, China. He heads to China. This is -- China is already lobbing some rhetorical missiles his way. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: It shows how little either respected or feared the president is that the Chinese official press would mock him on the eve of a visit, you certainly -- especially in China, where protocol, the ritual of these state of affairs is so important. I think the most, of course for Obama, it's the best thing that could possibly happen to get out of town for a week.  It would be a very uncomfortable week.

I think the one item he could negotiate, and I'm serious about this, climate change. That's the one where if we and China could agree it would make a difference. You could shut down every coal mine in Kentucky it won't make a dime's worth of difference. If he gets an agreement with China, which he won't, but that's the one area it would be historic.

BAIER: And quickly, George, they are saying they are going to press them on cyber security.

WILL: As well they should, because we actually know the building, I gather, in Shanghai where some of the attacks come from. So if we can trace it back to them we should raise un-shirted hell about this.

BAIER: Winners and losers next.

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