Friday, December 03, 2010

Why Allowing "Lame Ducks" to Pass Legislation is a Bad Idea

I'd really never thought of it before, but this makes sense:
Maybe it’s just me, but inviting previously fired employees back to make key decisions for the company seems like a really bad idea. This is the sad reality that America faces each November. Disgruntled and unaccountable government, almost fired, employees are allowed to cast votes for which they will never be held accountable.Denver Post article about Lame Duck Session abuses sparked my curiosity about the history of Lame Duck legislation. The examples of legislative overreach and abuse that I found in just a few short minutes of research are enough to warrant anationwide call to end the practice.
Lame Duck Sessions became the law of the land with the ratification of the Twentieth Amendment under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in January, 1933. The original intent for the law was that it be used for emergencies and to tie up financial loose ends, not as a mechanism to subvert the will of the voter and pass legislation through the back door. Some of the stinkers that became law during Lame Duck Sessions are: Gas Tax, GATT, Health Care Reform, Department of Homeland Security, GM Bailout, Congressional Pay Raise, and Immigration Reform (97th Congress)- just to name a few. Congress has put the passage of The Dream Act, Food Safety Bill (note: this bill passed but there is controversy about the legality of funding), Climate Change Legislation, and the START Treaty on its 2010 Lame Duck Christmas list.
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