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Public Statements

Lee Calls on Speaker Pelosi to Listen to American People and Reject "Lame Duck" Session

Press Release

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Location: Williamsville, NY

Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) today publicly called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reject using a "lame duck" session after the November elections to pass controversial and costly legislation that has been rejected by the American people. Over the last few weeks, despite overwhelming public opposition, leaders in Congress and top advisors in the Obama Administration have openly discussed the prospect of pushing through controversial legislation -- such as the cap-and-trade national energy tax that will raise utility costs and the "card check" bill which eliminates the fundamental right to a secret ballot when attempting to form a union -- after the election in November.

"Taxpayers have repeatedly called for more fiscal restraint and common sense policies from Washington, and Speaker Pelosi needs to finally take notice of these calls for restraint," said Congressman Lee. "Every day I hear from taxpayers throughout Western New York that they are tired of the runaway spending in Washington, and from small businesses who are fed up with the uncertainty coming out of Washington. Speaker Pelosi needs to listen to the American people who overwhelmingly oppose a "lame duck" session being used to pass controversial legislation."

Recently, President Obama's "Energy Czar" Carol Browner said that the controversial and costly cap-and-trade national energy tax could "potentially" be approved during a lame-duck session after the November election. This came days after Senator John Kerry, a leading advocate for the cap-and-trade national energy tax, could pass after the election when members of Congress are "free and liberated." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has point-blank stated that the Senate is "going to have to have a lame-duck session."

What They're Saying about Democrats' Plans for a "Lame Duck" Session:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): "Reid, who faces reelection in 2010 during a tough political climate for incumbents, also suggested he would support controversial policy changes during the lame duck session in Congress this year. ... "We're going to have to have a lame-duck session,' Reid promised. "So we're not giving up.'"

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD): "Hoyer noted, though, that "it's also possible that we won't reach agreement on how to proceed' on the tax cuts, leaving the possibly politically bruising debate until the lame-duck Congress between the elections and when a new Congress is sworn in next January."

Senator John Kerry (D-MA): "I have to tell you, this is not dead. We are going to continue to work. It may well be that after the election -- if that is what happens -- I mean, we will continue to try over the next weeks, but if it is after the election, it may well be that some members are free and liberated and feeling that they can take a risk or do something."

Obama Advisor Carol Browner: "The White House is "deeply disappointed' that Congress hasn't passed climate legislation but won't give up on getting it done this year, President Obama's top climate and energy adviser said yesterday. ... Browner said the bill could "potentially' be approved during a lame-duck session after the November election.

TIME Magazine: "Democrats have floated the idea of passing the Employee Free Choice Act, a controversial bill that makes it easier for unions to organize, as well as voting on recommendations from President Obama's deficit-reduction commission during the lame-duck session. … With Republicans latching on to Democratic spending as a campaign issue, Dems are postponing passage of next year's funding bills until after the election to avoid providing the GOP with more political fodder."

The New York Times: "What Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) puts in the Senate climate and energy bill, and what gets added on the floor, may not matter as much as simply whether some bill passes. In the end, a joint House-Senate conference committee will likely hammer out the final version of the bill. That might not take place until a "lame duck' session after the November election, when much of the political pressure on lawmakers has dissipated."

Rassmussen Survey: 65% of Americans say Washington should "wait until the newly elected members of Congress take office" to "consider major new legislation."


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