The lame duck Congress wants to tie the hands of the new Congress, limiting the ability to change government as the voters insisted in November. And just like other legislation such as Obamacare, this plan is being drafted in secret, not in the open.
Circulating on Capitol Hill is a draft measureâ€”written by the Senate Democratic majority in backroomsâ€”to fund all the federal government not only through fiscal year (FY) 2011 but also partially into FY 2012. This 183-page plan would:
*Handcuff the ability of newly elected Representatives and Senators to de-fund Obamacare,
*Restrict the new Congressâ€™s leverage to rescind unused â€œstimulusâ€ and TARP spending,
*Have the outgoing Congress dictate spending for more than the usual one year, and
*Bypass the normal appropriations process of public committee votes, floor debates, and the ability to offer amendments on the floor of the House and Senate.
This is the same outgoing Congress that failed to do its work on time; it should have passed spending bills before fiscal year 2010 ended on September 30. But they didnâ€™t want the voters to witness just how much they wanted to spend, despite our trillion-dollar-plus annual deficits, so no appropriations bills were passed by Congress, and all but a couple of spending bills never even made it out of committee.