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Lame duck Congress

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Quack quack quack. That was my imitation of a lame duck. With the election behind us, Congress reconvenes next week for a lame duck session. It's supposed to pass a few more spending bills to finalize the 2007 budget, but now that Republicans are gonna lose control of the House, Congress might not really finalize anything. Diantha Parker explains.


DIANTHA PARKER: Lawmakers got defense and homeland security appropriations wrapped up before hitting the campaign trail.

Now, in their last act as the 109th Congress, lawmakers have until a week from Friday to pass spending bills to fund the rest of the government.

That's when a continuing resolution keeping the government running on last year's budget expires, but now this Congress might not even bother, says budget analyst Stan Collander.

STAN COLLANDER: The new assumption is that Republicans will come in next week, when the continuing resolution expires on November 17th, they'll end up extending it all the way through let's say mid-February and let the Democrats in charge of Congress next year deal with it.

If that happens, the budget could be markedly different than the one the Republicans might have passed.

Collander expects the Democrats, back in charge after 12 years, would add bit more money for education and health programs, which Collander calls "veto bait" for a Republican President like George W. Bush.

I'm Diantha Parker for Marketplace.

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