No Current Precedent for Outgoing Majority Passing Omnibus in Lame-Duck Session

It’s official: Republicans have gained a majority within the U.S. Home of Representatives. The clock is ticking on the 117th Congress, whose last session, an notorious lame-duck session, lately commenced.

It’s anticipated to be a busy time on Capitol Hill for Democrats as they search to take as a lot floor as potential earlier than Republicans take the Home speaker’s gavel Jan. 3. A chief aim for congressional Democrats (and, it have to be mentioned, a number of Senate Republicans) within the lame duck might be to cross an omnibus appropriations invoice that funds the federal government via fiscal yr 2023.

Snatching the ability of the purse away from the Home Republicans the American individuals simply despatched to Washington to characterize them, nevertheless, could be a gross violation of the individuals’s pursuits and democratic norms. It additionally would violate historic precedent.

Since 1994, management of the Home has modified palms in 4 midterm election cycles (1994, 2006, 2010, and 2018). By no means earlier than has the outgoing Home majority handed an omnibus appropriations invoice in the course of the lame-duck session following the election.

Within the historic 1994 election, Republicans gained a majority within the Home for the primary time in 40 years. However the 103rd Congress had already carried out its job, passing 13 appropriations payments earlier than the lame-duck session. No appropriations invoice of any type was enacted in the course of the lame duck.

Within the 2006 election, Democrats took each chambers, the Home and the Senate. The outgoing Congress proposed 11 appropriations payments for fiscal yr 2007, however simply two have been handed earlier than the lame-duck session. Throughout that session, lawmakers handed two short-term persevering with resolutions extending the date of appropriations via February.

Within the 2010 elections, Republicans retook the Home. The 111th Congress didn’t cross any common appropriations payments, so three persevering with resolutions have been handed to increase authorities funding.

Within the 2018 elections, Democrats took management of the Home. Previous to the 2018 lame-duck session, Congress handed two “minibus” appropriations payments that contained 5 smaller spending payments and a seamless decision. Throughout the lame-duck session, lawmakers handed a seamless decision to supply funding via Dec. 21. Congress then didn’t agree on one other short-term persevering with decision, leading to a funding lapse till the subsequent Congress convened.

The precedent is evident. In trendy American historical past, no Congress has handed an omnibus appropriations invoice throughout a lame-duck session following a shift in energy within the Home. To take action this yr could be a violation of congressional precedent and a finger within the eye to the thousands and thousands of People who voted for brand new management within the Home.

In a day and age the place the integrity of our establishments is regularly beneath scrutiny, honoring the desire of the individuals and the historic precedent of Congress needs to be a precedence.

The 117th Congress ought to cross a short-term congressional decision that gives stop-gap funding till early 2023, then permit the 118th Congress to do the job it was despatched to Washington to do.

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