Could defeated congresscritters still pass bills before their replacements are sworn in?

How soon after November 6th are new congresscritters sworn in?

Reason I’m asking is that I am wondering if the departing ones could rush and pass a bunch of bills furthering their agenda and have them signed into law by the POTUS before their replacements are sworn in. I am particularly concerned about a rushed vote to repeal the ACA and have POTUS sign it immediately (as in days) after the midterms…:mad:

Typically the first work day after January 1. You’re asking about “lame-duck sessions”, and yes, they are an invitation to all kinds of mischief. Just for one example, Bill Clinton was impeached during one, including by Reps who had already been voted out for promising to do it, and with no effective Speaker in place either.

Yes, it’s called a “lame duck” session and it’s generally when they do the “dirty work”. Even for those who haven’t been defeated, it’s a long time to the next election.

Well shit. :mad:

The only way to pass an ACA repeal would be through reconciliation, meaning they only need a 51 vote majority in the Senate instead of 60. Is this an option during the lame-duck session? I seem to recall that reconciliation measures need to have been spelled out in a budget passed earlier, or something…

It is not an option at this point. No budget resolution has been passed by either house to provide the necessary framework for a reconciliation bill.

In theory a resolution could be quickly passed by the House and Senate in the lame duck, to be followed by another vote on ACA repeal, but even with McCain no longer in the Senate, two remaining Republicans would presumably still vote against it, leading to another 49-51 vote.

So while it is technically possible such a vote could occur in the next three months or so, I’d say we should be more worried about Earth being struck by a meteor.

Thanks. Isn’t McCain’s replacement more likely to vote for repeal tho? He was appointed by the AZ Governer who is pro-repeal.

I recall last time they were proposing a carve-out for Alaska to bribe Merkowski to vote for it. As far as #Sellout Susan Collins, well, look at her behavior with Kavanaugh. She’s been running on a pro-choice platform for years but now appears to be caving and will likely vote for him. So I have no faith that she will vote against repeal either.

/still worried…

There’s usually very little done during the lame duck session unless there’s a fiscal cliff type situation. Just like in many companies, things tend to grind to a halt in congress between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Ramming through an ACA repeal after a Democratic blue wave would be almost impossible.

Congress is already preparing to probably do some pretty serious work after the election. We’re in the last month of the fiscal year. That means appropriations bills, or continuing resolutions, to fund the government and avoid shutdown on October 1st.

Earlier this week an agreement was reached on 3 of the 12 departments. Work continues on the others, with the possibility of nine mentioned as possibly being funded before month end. There’s already an agreement for a Continuing Resolution to fund the parts without an appropriations bill until early December. (Cite)

Neither party wants to play shutdown chicken 5 weeks before an election. Neither wants to be stuck in DC wrangling with budgets instead of on the campaign trail in October. It’s not really surprising that they have already made a deal that lets them hit the campaign trail even though the final budget is unlikely to be done.

There are often times when budget wrangling gets nasty but I’m not thinking this is a year for it, even with the kick the can down the road continuing resolution that was passed. You’ve got a retiring Speaker of the House along with a wafer thin Senate majority. Even if the Democrats stumble badly and don’t even take the House, the House is going to be a mess with all the posturing among the factions who want to control the Speakership.

From today’s Votemaster:

This means that they will have to come back in session to keep the government open after Dec. 7. And that means that there will have to be a reconciliation session and who knows what mischief they can do. Just for the record, the new congress does not come into session until Jan.2, so this will definitely be the responsibility of the lame ducks congress.

It would be quite interesting to see what happens if Trump vetoes it. I don’t understand why he doesn’t simply let it become law without his signature. That way he can indicate his displeasure without actually forcing a shutdown.

I understand your concerns, but one of the dirty little secrets of that noble McCain vote was that McCain took one for the team. There were about 10 Republican senators lined up behind McCain to make that crucial ‘no’ vote had McCain not chosen to do it.

Doesn’t matter. The 49-51 vote with three Re voting against was in July 2017. In January 2018, Doug Jones replaced Luther Strange, moving a repeal vote to a no-repeal vote (essentially making the Senate 48-52 until the death of McCain). Replacing McCain makes it 49-51 again.

I would imagine that all of the senators and congressmen that aren’t running for re-election want to spend as little time as possible in DC after the election.

I think there will be many ugly things Republicans pursue during the lame duck session if Dems prevail in the mid-terms. I think it will be an especially dangerous time. I just don’t think they’ll focus on repeal of the ACA.

All Congressional terms end (and the new ones begin) at noon Eastern time on January 3, according to the 20th Amendment:

“The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”