Nov 16, 2010
03:51 PMThe Wind Machine
The Lame Duck
Senators and representatives shuffled back to the capital this week to conclude legislative business before all power bleeds out of the 111th Congress on December 31. They will meet this week, and likely for at least one additional week in December.
Tax and budget bills will dominate the agenda, but the national produce industry is also interested in the fate of three other pending bills: food safety, childhood nutrition, and immigration (the Dream Act). I think all face steep, uphill climbs before enactment into law.
Every election cycle produces winners and losers, with the one on November 2 ousting more incumbents than usual. Beyond the obvious change in elected officials is the hard reality now facing all the young, talented staffers who had hitched their star to a now-defeated member of Congress. After shaking off the shock, they update their résumés and then apply to graduate school, or try to acquire a job with the Administration, or simply head back home. If a Republican, especially in the House, job opportunities now blossom since newly-elected members need to quickly hire office staff and standing committees need to adjust to majority status.
One example, on the positive side, is Representative Doc Hastings’ communication director Charlie Keller, who will soon shift to the office of a new member from Florida and become Representative Sandy Adams’ chief of staff.
Representative Greg Walden of Hood River, Oregon, who has been appointed by the leader of the Republicans, John Boehner, to help manage the transition to power in the House of Representatives received this past Sunday a nice article on his work by Washington Post writer Philip Rucker.