Will a lame duck save us from sequestration?

One congressman sees signs that it might happen

Congress could be in for "a world-class, lame-duck session" after the presidential election, said Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.), speaking at a conference on July 26.

Connolly said the currently gridlocked Congress might finally make some moves on key issues after the November election. He said there are indications on Capitol Hill pointing that way.

The lame-duck session will offer a brief window after any changes of office -- in the White House or Congress -- are known but before new officeholders are sworn in. Since the citizenry has made its choices and all the chips are on the table, legislators have more ability to compromise, Connolly said in a speech at the Multiple Award Government and Industry Conference in Arlington, Va.

“I’m hoping, once the election is over, people feel a little bit freer to move,” he told a group of federal employees and contractors.

Currently, Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate are at loggerheads on major issues.

However, one compromise that Connolly said could happen during the lame-duck session is a proposal to avoid sequestration.

The sequestration will cause automatic, indiscriminate, across-the-board budget cuts as mandated in last year’s Budget Control Act. The failure of the so-called "supercommittee" to find $1.2 trillion dollars in savings over a decade triggered the cuts. They’re set to take effect Jan. 2, 2013.

“These aren’t easy things. But they are not impossible,” he said about finding compromises.

Camille Tuutti contributed to this report.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader Comments

Sun, Jul 29, 2012

Bring sequestration on! FedGov, including DOD, is LONG overdue for a reality check. Like taking the car keys and credit card away from an out-of-control teenager. Sometimes they have to learn the hard way. With all due respect to SecDef Panetta's sky is falling speeches, DOD wastes at least one dollar out of three.

Sun, Jul 29, 2012

As long as The Party is in charge, nothing will ever get accomplished. We should transition to non-partisan ballots, and quit handing out power in Congress based on party. Make them actually do their jobs- what a concept.

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