Under the cover of a lame-duck session, amid the public’s distraction with the holidays, all manner of legislative mischief could unfold in Congress.

And with the incoming administration of Republican President-elect Donald Trump, expect Democrats to pull out all the stops and press hard for their legislative priorities to seal the “legacy” of President Obama.

Lame-duck sessions, in themselves, are inherently problematic as legislators who have been voted out of office or are retiring vote on legislation “for constituents” they will no longer represent come January. But this session is potentially more troublesome as Congress comes to terms on a new spending bill. The existing stopgap measure expires Dec. 9. Failure to act would lead to a government shutdown.

Add to that money to bail out private insurers crushed under ObamaCare or any number of 11th-hour bills buried in reams of legislation.

The best option for Congress is one suggested by Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government: “The single most important decisions for Congress … are to get in and get out, and do a short-term continuing resolution that will allow the new Trump administration and Republican majorities in Congress to assert their spending priorities in the spring.”

The shorter the lame-duck session, the better for Americans. They’ve been through enough during this bitter election year and don’t need any year-end surprises.


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