What to Expect in House Lame Duck

Quack quack quack the House is back!

Members will return Monday for a two-week post-election lame duck session to vote on a number of must pass bills. They'll be in town this week, take a week off for Thanksgiving, and then return November 29th to wrap up their work for the session.

Some bills will be non-controversial; others will be extremely controversial.

House Democrats will have their last chance to try to pass wish list items that they didn't get a chance to tackle earlier in the session thanks to dozens of zombie lawmakers, those undead legislators who still have a vote, but will not be back next year and are thus unaccountable to constituents back home.

Must Pass:

The House must pass a continuing resolution, or CR, which is a temporary spending bill to keep the government running at its current funding rate in order to prevent a shutdown. The current CR expires on December 3, 2010, before the 112th Congress begins its work in January.

The other item at the top of the list will be the battle over the extension of the expiring Bush tax cuts. A compromise appears to be in the works that would continue all of the tax cuts for one to three years. However, many Republicans want a permanent extension of all the cuts, and the Democratic caucus is divided on whether to extend all the cuts and how long to do so.

In addition to these two items, the House will definitely pass a number of non-controversial bills under suspension rules, which require a two-thirds majority.

Might Pass:

Unemployment benefits for many Americans are set to expire at the end of November. There may be a push to extend those again, though the process has gotten more contentious with each round.

Lawmakers will attempt to craft several other short-term fixes to the Alternative Minimum Tax and the so-called Medicare "doc fix" before ending the session.

They may also have to do a defense appropriations bill and other spending measures that they would roll into a giant omnibus package.

With Zombie Assistance?:

After all that we're left with the last chance for many pieces of liberal legislation. If previous lame ducks are any indication, most of these items will not make it off the floor.

The DREAM Act, which grants citizenship to illegal alien children who earn a college degree or serve in the military, may come up in the session's second week.

The Employee Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, would prohibit discrimination against employees based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. Many social conservatives oppose the measure.

And finally, say goodbye to cap and trade, the oft-maligned legislative attempt to place a cap on carbon emissions. Though a similar bill passed earlier in the 111th Congress, don't expect any members to attempt a last ditch effort to revive the initiative.

How many of these bills will make it to President Obama's desk? You'll have to stay with Fox News to find out.