“I think the decisions we make in the lame-duck session are not wise decisions for America,” Representative Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) Labrador said in an interview with The Hill.
Were truer words ever spoken about how Congress works?
Labrador suggested Congress skip a lame-duck session entirely, even if it means temporarily going over the so-called fiscal cliff and allowing higher tax rates and deep spending cuts to take effect before the next Congress can come back to address them retroactively.
As freshman Congressman David Schweikert of Arizona put it, “For many of us, we look at what happened two years ago and see the bad policy that came out of that last lame-duck session.”
Of course, the Republican leadership will make the case that if there is no fix enacted during the lame-duck, it will create economic havoc -- and that to avoid such a crisis, a fix must be enacted during a lame-duck.
We think this just doesn’t stack-up with what we have seen in the past, where lame-duck sessions involved passing bills no member of Congress had read and dark-of-the-night deals were cut to benefit special interests.
What’s more, emboldened Democrats will have no incentive to cooperate with Republicans. Now that Obama has been re-elected, they think he has a mandate and will hold a strong hand in any negotiations over taxes and spending by arguing that the people have spoken and deference should be given to his proposals – which are bound to include large tax increases.
Labrador and other conservatives who have opposed all or parts of the Republican leadership deals that created the fiscal cliff are, as usual, making more sense than the GOP leadership.
The greatest challenge facing Republicans right now will be the relentless pressure from the establishment media to move left and “compromise” with Obama and the Democrats on raising taxes. To Capitol Hill’s establishment Republicans, making such a move during a lame-duck session of Congress will seem like the least painful way to deal with the fiscal cliff. In reality, such a move will be nothing more than retreating across Sun Tzu’s golden bridge toward further defeat.