Lame Duck Session Planned

Congress will return November 12th for leadership elections, new-member orientation, and a lame duck session that includes a number of must-pass bills. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said last week that he plans to bring up marketplace-fairness legislation, which deals with Internet businesses and sales taxes, but he also listed tax extenders, the National Defense Authorization Act, and nominations as items on his postelection agenda. Congress will also have to agree to new FY 2015 funding to keep the government’s doors open past December 11, all before members break for the holiday season.

It’s a tight schedule complicated by the fact that Republicans could very well take over the chamber after the November elections, potentially blunting any Democratic wishes in the Senate. Republicans need to pick up a net of six seats.

Lawmakers are reluctant to game out how a majority change could affect the lame duck, but they say such a switch in control would carry implications for the brief work period.