U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says cobbling together a large-scale deal during the lame-duck session of Congress would not only be hard, but also the wrong thing for the country.
“I think that’s difficult to do,” Boehner said in an interview with POLITICO, when asked about the prospects for a large-scale deficit deal in November and December. “You know, and frankly, I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do — have a lot of retiring members and defeated members voting on really big bills. Probably not the appropriate way to handle the lame duck.”
The comments could stoke further doubts about what kind of deal the parties can hatch in the critical weeks between Election Day and the New Year. While the nation remains entranced by the races for the White House and Senate, Capitol Hill insiders are sitting tight, waiting for the legislative war that will decide tax rates on all Americans and the scope of federal spending.
The most likely scenario appears to be a short-term agreement to avert a massive shift in tax policy and federal spending, with a framework for the principles for a longer-term solution that would ride alongside.
Whether Speaker Boehner’s aversion to making decisions with lawmakers leaving Congress would prevent a deal remains to be seen.