There should be no lame duck congresses. In the election year the term of the congress should end the day of the election rather than at the end of the calendar year. The terms of the congress and the president are defined in the 20th amendment as
Section 1. 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.
Not being a constitutional scholar, I presume that in order to change the terms of the congress, we would need another amendment. Some would be appalled and say, “What would happen between election day of the even numbered years and January 3rd? The answer is “thankfully nothing” since the congress would not be in session. This would force the congress not to have any unfinished business and we would not be treated to the brinkmanship exhibited in the fiscal cliff and budget discussions. We would also remove from the process all the defeated politicians voting on bills for which they would not have to face the voters.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com