In the final weeks of the 117thth Congress, before the Republican majority enters the House, lawmakers have their work cut out for them .
Among the many anachronisms of the American political system, one of the most unusual in the eyes of foreign observers is the long interval between Election Day and the entry into office of newly elected officials. .
During this period, all chosen retain their formal powers, even those on the way out, nicknamed lame ducks.
The stakes on the program are enormous and the parties will not give quarters. The impending release of the commission's report on January 6, 2021 will cause a lot of noise, but more importantly, an overloaded legislative agenda will keep the lame ducks pretty busy.
Elections and Marriage
Two bills have a good chance of passing with the support of Republicans who are no longer accountable to the hard core of the religious right or diehard Trumpists.
A law that will consolidate the recognition of same-sex marriage is being passed to prevent this recently won right from suffering the same fate as the right to abortion at the hands of a conservative and activist Supreme Court.
Republican senators will also take advantage of their relative immunity from the Trumpists' electoral sanction to legislate against the kind of maneuvers that Donald Trump wanted to use to overturn the results of the 2020 election. American democracy will be better for it.
Keep the machine running
It's going to play even harder on the fiscal front. The authorizations that allow the government to operate expire on December 15 and the Democrats must absolutely muster all their votes to counter the Republican opposition en bloc.
As every Democrat will be in a potential deadlock position, the party leadership will have to lead the caucus with an iron fist to avoid the shutdown of government operations.
It won't be easy. Among other priorities, the Democrats absolutely want to take advantage of their last moments in control of the majority to secure the financing of military aid to Ukraine, which several Republicans want to cut.
Defusing financial blackmail
Of all the struggles that will be played out in the wee hours of the morning just before the holiday break, the most serious consequence will relate to the raising of the debt ceiling.
The latest law adopted on this subject allows the US government to borrow for a few more months, but the Republicans have already announced that they are ready to use the threat of plunging the whole world into a financial crisis to force the Democrats to swallow reforms they find unacceptable.
< p>We can expect an epic battle if the Democrats try to immediately raise the debt ceiling in order to take this tool of blackmail away from their opponents.
The Republicans will play the virgin offended at what they will present as an intolerable coup, but when the big circus takes a break for the holidays, everyone – including you and me – will be relieved that this global financial bombshell has been defused.