The 112th Congress reconvenes Nov. 13 with nothing less than the fate of the U.S. economy on the line.
In play in November and December: the expiring Bush tax cuts, an expanding alternative minimum tax poised to capture more and more middle class taxpayers, the expiring payroll tax cut that has been a boon to middle class households during the recession, cuts in physician reimbursements under Medicare, and the looming budget “sequestration,” which will automatically cut just under $50 billion in federal spending beginning in January and $500 billion over 10 years.
(You can read more about the sequester HERE.
It all starts Nov. 13 with an expected Senate vote on the Sportsmen’s Act, a bill featuring a compromise between the National Rifle Association and conservation groups that could kick off the lame-duck session with a bipartisan achievement that sets a positive tone before lawmakers get to the tough stuff. (You can register your opinion on the Sportsmen’s Act here: http://bit.ly/Pvf5Ec)
Here’s a list of other issues that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s staff has put together for the lame duck, as reported by National Journal: http://bit.ly/Tushdi
Among the cryptic descriptions, “Boxer-Menendez” refers to a mortgage relief bill, “VAWA” is the Violence Against Women Act, and “FISA” is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It’s a long list and it’s virtually impossible the lame-duck Congress will address all of these items before the end of the year. Plenty will be left for the new Congress in January, even if the lame-duck crew can avert the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts, temporarily or otherwise.
To help you make your voice heard during this critical lame-duck session, TakeActionNews.com will provide links to a special service offered by PopVox.com, starting the week of Nov. 12. Popvox lets you identify the issues you care about, the relevant legislation, and gives you a direct link to your member of Congress. Keep an eye out for this important service and make your voice heard as the lame-duck Congress addresses the fiscal cliff, expiring tax cuts and dozens of other issues.
About the Author (Author Profile)
CHARLIE MITCHELL. Editor and CEO. Mitchell has covered Washington for two decades. Days after Republicans recaptured the House in 1994, he helped launch a publication called Inside the New Congress. Mitchell went on to become the managing editor of National Journal’s Congress Daily and later editor-in-chief of Roll Call, two of the most respected congressional news outlets in Washington.