Monday, January 7, 2013

No lame duck congress

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.

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