November 3rd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Lame-duck Congress' first order of business?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Despite the fact that the Democrats took a real beating yesterday, the Democratic-led Congress will soon be back in Washington for a lame-duck session. Heavy emphasis on the word, "lame."

Because this Congress allowed so much unfinished business to pile up before the elections, there'll be no shortage of things to do should they actually decide to tackle some of the people's business.

There are the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of this year. If nothing is done, the biggest tax increase in American history will land on our doorsteps January 1.

There's the issue of expiring unemployment insurance for two million Americans.

And don't forget about the budget. Lawmakers need to either pass another temporary measure to keep the government funded - or pass the remaining spending bills for fiscal year 2011. The second won't happen, the first has to.

Other pending issues include the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.

Don't hold your breath on any of this stuff. Congress will only be in session for a few weeks before the Christmas recess.

Plus, insiders say this lame-duck session could be more unpredictable than most since the balance of power is shifting. They say Republicans could spend at least a week figuring out who will take leadership roles in the next Congress.

More importantly, it's likely the Republicans won't be in the mood to do much cooperating, since they'll be running the show come January.

Here’s my question to you: What should be the lame-duck session of Congress' first order of business?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress • Democrats • Republicans
November 3rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Ready for start of 2012 presidential campaign?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the dust settles from yesterday's historic Republican victory, it won't take a minute for attention to start to turn toward 2012.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/11/03/art.palin.rally.jpg caption="Sarah Palin greets supporters during a rally."]
The end of the midterms marks the unofficial start of the presidential race, and by the looks of some Republicans, they're already on their way.

Several potential GOP contenders have been laying the groundwork. They're visiting the key early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, courting donors, building up strong fundraising operations and testing messages.

Some of these hopefuls include: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Baptist minister and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and of course former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who recently proclaimed, "We can see 2012 from our house."

And what about President Obama? After his party took a real beating, the president has two years to fix what went wrong yesterday and secure a second term.

The biggest challenges for the president will be fixing the economy and rebuilding the coalition of voters that put him in the White House in 2008.

The president carried Independents two years ago, but they've since abandoned the Democrats. Big time.

If the economy doesn't turn around and the jobs don't come back, it could be a real uphill battle for re-election. A recent Associated Press/Knowledge Networks Poll suggests 47 percent of Democrats say President Obama should face a primary challenge for the nomination.

In the meantime, enjoy what will surely be a short break from the posturing, speeches, polls, debates, fundraising, mudslinging and on and on.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2012 Election