Lame-Duck Congress Back as Fiscal Cliff Looms
Postal Service, Sandy relief may also be on agenda
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 13, 2012 7:23 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. listens to a question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Congress is back in Washington today, bracing for battle over how to avoid the fiscal cliff. Legislators have seven weeks to hit on a deal, with tax cut extensions taking center stage, notes Reuters. But analysts warn that "the longer it takes the president and Congress to negotiate a deal, the higher the odds that the US fiscal situation will unhinge the progress made during the past three years of economic recovery." Here's what else the 112th Congress—history's least productive—could tackle in its lame-duck session, via Mother Jones:

  • Some in the House are calling for more funds for Hurricane Sandy relief.
  • With some $11 billion in debt to the government, the US Postal Service is on the brink—and 8 million jobs hang in the balance. Most likely, Congress will pass legislation to tide it over another year.

  • Lobbyists may push to loosen Dodd-Frank financial reform regulations.
  • It's been more than a year since the Violence Against Women Act expired—and so far, no replacement, despite Senate efforts.
  • Congress could extend the FISA Amendments Act, allowing warrantless listening to "foreign communications."
  • An existing bipartisan bill could crack down on human trafficking among government contractors.
  • Lawmakers will probably renew a wind energy tax credit championed by the president.
  • Health and retirement benefits for federal workers' same-sex partners, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, could get a boost from Lieberman's planned retirement.

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Nov 13, 2012 10:42 AM CST
All right, y'all. Y'scrapped and scraped and postured and posed and got y'rselves up there, ladies and lads. Y'fought tooth and nail t'get there. COPIOUS amounts of money have been spent for you to be elected to be there. Now ... look around. Take y're time ... just sorta check the place out. See over there? See the "cliff?" Uh, huh ... that's the one: The one YOU designed rather than handle what needed to be handled and, in the vernacular ... "kicked the can down the road." ... and since then you have asked passionately to be there. You're there .,.. So ... fix it. No shit. You broke it ... you bought it! Now shut up and get busy.
Nov 13, 2012 9:55 AM CST
Massive lay offs since Obama re elected. Look it up.But it’s not just layoffs. Some companies are also contemplating cutting hours. Sadly, many companies have already done so. Part-time is the new full-time in Obamaville. There's not going to be anybody left to tax. Raising the rates aren't going to solve much except make the rest of us feel vindicated. It'll make us joyful and scream with glee as we all fall off the cliff together. Taxing the rich ain't gonna get us close to the trillions the US is in debt.
Nov 13, 2012 9:35 AM CST
FUNNY isn't it? --- The guy the Democrats demonized so much, gave ALL Americans those big tax cuts. --- The Democrats continually blame the Bush tax cuts for putting American into a recession, but now they still want to keep the Bush tax cuts, to get re-elected. --- HYPOCRITES --- I personally would like to see ALL the tax cuts expire, and get America back to where it used to be. --- IF the poor ain't going to pay anything, let the system collapse and start anew. ------ REALLY