How much can a lame duck Congress do?

IIRC, the existing Congress meets in session after the election for a few weeks. How much of the Trump agenda can they ram through if the vote switches party dominance in either body? What do the numbers need to be to be veto proof?

They can certainly fill all vacant judicial and executive branch positions which need Senate confirmation. I don’t know where they are in the budget process but these can also be passed.

There may be some urgent legislation with bipartisan support which can be passed.

Other legislation would be held up by Senate filibusters.

Note that some agenda items might see a little more push back than they otherwise would. It’s amazing how many people develop a conscience when they know they’re in the final days and party unity doesn’t matter so much any more. So I wouldn’t bet on any last second pushes to repeal the ACA or things like that.

Legally, a lame-duck Congress is still Congress, and can do anything that Congress can do.

From a political/practical standpoint, who knows? Also, the lame duck period has the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays; Congresscritters who aren’t coming back in January might not be incredibly eager to hang around.

Exactly, even at a lot of companies, a lot of major projects don’t take place between Thanksgiving week and the New Year.

The people that lost the election might feel a little vindictive, but I would imagine that the ones that are retiring from congress want to spend as little time in Washington as possible.

Due to the filibuster, I assume nothing but passing a budget or appointing judges.

If the current predictions hold (i.e. Dems take the house and Repubs hold the Senate) then I don’t expect a lame duck session to do much of anything. If by some miracle Dems take the Senate majority, McConnel will push through every single judicial nominee currently in the hopper.

How much has this Congress been able to accomplish even without being lame ducks?

If the republicans lose control of either house I imagine they will be encouraged to do as much damage as possible before the new congress gets seated.

If they maintain control of both houses they’ll relax and not be in any rush.

Can’t McConnell end the filibuster if he wants to?

I’m having trouble finding a cite, but my understanding is that the standing rules of the Senate can normally only be changed at the start of a new session.

Edit: Looking further, a rule can be amended with 67 votes.

And will be gridlocked into accomplishing even less as President Vilest of Spermbirds will get into some serious locking of horns with Congress now.

Ryan, Corker, Flake, et al will be very, very fucking glad to rid themselves of the toxicity of Washington. Yes, even Ryan - that spineless, venal, disingenuous milksop of a weasel - will heal his shat-on soul, might even become a genuine person again, no longer under the shadow of President Empty-Headed Animal Food Trough-Wi-perrrrr.

*Cool Belew-inspired username, btw.

IIRC, state legislatures also often have lame-duck sessions which are sometimes used to reduce the power of an incoming Administration. In Britain, etc. the House of Commons is dissolved before an election. Are there other countries besides U.S.A. where lame-duck sessions are built into the system?

After the passage of the 20th Amendment, lame-duck sessions were the exception. From the end of World War II until the turn of the century the House met in lame-duck only in '48 (just for 1½ hours on 31 December), '50, '70, '74, '80, '82, '94 and (with Senate adjourned) '98. Cite (pdf). Most of those sessions were called for special reasons. The '74 session, for example, was needed because Watergate had used up much of the time needed for legislation. The '80 and '82 sessions were because of needed spending bills.

Although both houses of Congress were switching from D to R after '94, the D’s did not use that lame-duck session mischievously. The extra meeting was solely to pass a new bipartisan GATT bill. The meeting in '98 was called by the R’s to pass an impeachment resolution.

Beginning in 2000, OTOH, every Congress (both House and Senate) has had a lame-duck session. This may have been in part due to the need to pass continuing spending resolutions. The lame-duck 2008 meeting, needed to cope with the financial crisis anyway, also targeted Bush’s use of his own lame-duck powers.

I read in the Times that the lame duck session would last only 12 days. The main business will be to pass a continuing budget resolution, which Trump has threatened to veto if it doesn’t include funding for the wall. I don’t know whether the parties can get together enough to override. I can’t see them doing anything substantive in 12 days. And there is no hurry on confirming judges now. Unfortunately.

And here you go…