Lame-Duck Congress Likely To Focus OnJust Budget Issues

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - (11/09/04)–The 108th Congress will reconvenenext week for a short “lame-duck” session, and bothCUNA and NAFCU believe lawmakers will focus on taking care ofbudget issues and not much else. “They will deal with theappropriations bills and get home,” said CUNA’s GaryKohn. But there is talk of an omnibus bill, and Kohn said CUNA islooking for any opportunities to get bankruptcy reform tacked on toit, although lobbyists anticipate bankruptcy reform will nowprobably have to wait for the 109th Congress. Some organizationissues will also be on tap, with Harry Reed the heir apparent toSen. Tom Daschle’s Minority Leader throne in the Senate. BothNAFCU and CUNA expect Illinois’ Dick Durbin to be namedMinority Whip. Committee assignments will also be on the docket, asthe Republicans took additional seats in both the House and Senate.“The Republicans could get an extra seat on eachcommittee,” noted Kohn. “And the Democrats may losesome of their funding for committee staff.” NAFCU’sBrad Thaler said he expects to see Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) takeover as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although Thalersaid it’s likely lawmakers will just take care ofappropriations and organizational matters and not much else nextweek, he said work on intelligence reform is possible.

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