The Senate, House of Representatives and the White House have all stated their willingness to work through a lame-duck session to pass a second economic stimulus package prior to the end of the year. While many ideas have been circulated, few, if any, appear certain to be included in a stimulus package, according to C.A.R. policy analysts.
As the U.S. economy continues to struggle, politicians on both sides of the aisle are feeling pressure from their constituents, creating a strong incentive for Congress to pass meaningful legislation as the national elections near and the country heads into the holiday season.
Some of the ideas under discussion include: An additional round of stimulus checks; extending the temporary loan limit of $729,750 for the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA); infrastructure spending; financial aid for states; a temporary increase in block grants; and an extension of unemployment and welfare benefits.
The primary factor determining what, if anything, will be done during a lame-duck session is the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. Should the Democrats take the White House and secure a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, they may wish to wait till after Jan. 20 before proposing or enacting legislation. Should the Republican nominee take the White House, Democrats may feel the Bush administration is more willing to compromise in order to pass last-minute initiatives prior to leaving office.