Thursday, November 18, 2010

Former New York Lt. Gov. Endorses Nordicus' Plan to Kill Lame-Duck Congress!

Well, not exactly.  It's more like just a coincidence, I'm sure.  But imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal by Betsy McCaughey (who has also written a book on defeating Obamacare which I mean to read) titled "This Lame Duck Session Should Be The Last."  (The link is here, but you must be a subscriber to read the article.)

Ms. McCaughey describes the history of the lame-duck session, and that it was necessary in the old days, when it took weeks to figure out the results of an election and get the new members to DC.  She notes that the 20th amendment was meant to kill the lame duck.  Until two decades ago, Congress did not meet during the period between the November election and reconvening on January 3.

Ms. McCaughey advocates a resolution that the Congress return to this previous status quo - a position with which Nordicus fully agrees.  However, Nordicus still thinks that the new Congress should take office quicker, for the reasons I discussed yesterday.

Unfortunately, this would require a constitutional amendment to be practical, because the 20th amendment dictates that incumbents' terms end at noon on January 3.  I think the election should take place one or two weeks before the new Congress convenes.  Congress could pass a law (Article 1, section 4) mandating elections at the end of December, but that would be ridiculous because of holidays and weather in most of the country.

So, a longer term goal for those who want to kill the lame-duck sessions and also make the newly elected legislators get to work immediately is to amend the constitution to have the new Congress begin on a different date.  I think that autumn is a good time to vote and convene a new Congress.  So, an election a couple of weks after Labor Day and the new Congress convening later in September would work just fine by me.  Others might favor a spring election - but then flooding might interfere with some people's ability to vote (which, by the way, should happen on election day except for extraordinary circumstances).

No comments:

Post a Comment