I can attest first hand, as a former Congressional staffer, that policy is rarely, if ever made in a rational manner. I expect the Lame Duck session to be unproductive for compromise for the following reasons:
1.) John Boehner will have to maintain a defiant posture to head off a challenge to his Speakership by Eric Cantor when the 113th Congress convenes in January.
2.) The Tea Party has forever changed the landscape of Congress, the House of Representatives in particular. A religious zealotry exists with respect to compromise and limiting federal spending.
3.) The House of Representatives decision to ban earmarks, one of the keys historically to bipartisanship, has made it nearly impossible for a Speaker to control his party as well as to reach across the isle and garner Democratic support.
Until these impediments are addressed, I predict limited collaboration with the White House this Fall as well as next year.
November 7, 2012 at 7:55 p.m.
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