Congress Girds for Post-Election Rumbles

Will address new leaders, Detroit bailout, Stevens, Lieberman
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2008 2:06 PM CST
A Jan. 31, 2007 file photo shows Barack Obama huddling with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden. A now Obama-less Senate will have work to do before the inauguration.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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(Newser) – A new Congress takes office Jan. 6 and a new Oval Office occupant two scant weeks later, but the old Congress has plenty on its plate when it reconvenes next week, reports Reuters. The session will focus mainly on the economy, especially the auto industry, but legislators also must appoint new leaders, and dole out some wrist-slaps.

First up will likely be Sen. Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican whose felony conviction will likely trigger an expulsion vote if he retains his seat. Turncoat Joe Lieberman, meanwhile, may have to pay the piper for campaigning for John McCain; Dems may strip the independent of his leadership posts, a move Barack Obama has opposed privately. Lieberman is said to be "keeping all his options open," including a possible crossover to the GOP. Meanwhile, support for a Detroit bailout may be hard to come by, with Republicans reluctant to hand out any more fiscal aid.