Urging GOP Leadership Not to Hold a ‘Lame-Duck’ Session

WASHINGTON, DC:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader of the Senate
Washington, DC  20510

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515

Dear Mr. Leader and Mr. Speaker:

As the 114th Congress approaches the midpoint of its second session, we the undersigned urge you to not hold a so-called “lame duck” session at the end of this year.

Historically, lame duck sessions have been used by both parties to enact backroom deals that are neither beneficial to the American people nor representative of their will as expressed in the elections of only a few days or weeks before. Past lame duck sessions have produced, among other actions, massive tax and spending increases, increases in the gasoline tax, pay raises for members of Congress, and ratifications of treaties that threaten U.S. sovereignty.

At a time when the American people’s trust in their government is near an all-time low, the Republican-led Congress should demonstrate exemplary behavior by completing its work before the November elections so that voters can judge all the legislators on the basis of the votes they have cast. Because legislators who have been defeated in an election or are retiring are no longer accountable to the voters for their votes, any actions taken which required their votes are essentially undemocratic.

The Republican-led Congress must not provide President Obama with an additional opportunity to enact his agenda of progressive social engineering programs and job-killing economic policies before he leaves office. A lame duck session would be his swan song: He can be expected to leave no arm untwisted, no threat unmade, no quid un-quod, to get his dream-policies enacted, his liberal judges confirmed, and his international agreements approved. And all of it could be done without any concern for what the voters actually want because neither he nor the departing legislators will ever face the voters again. We think that’s a bad way to run a democracy.

After the death of Justice Antonin Scalia a few weeks ago, Leader McConnell stated that “the American people, rather than a lame duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, [should] be afforded the opportunity” to fill the resulting vacancy on the Supreme Court. We respectfully suggest that the American people deserve that same opportunity with regard to confirming other federal judges, as well as to passing legislation and making international agreements. It will be necessary, however, for Congress to hold pro forma sessions on a regular basis (as distinguished from regular legislating sessions) in order to prevent the president from making a recess appointment to the Supreme Court.

By promising now that there will be no lame duck session of Congress (except, of course, in the case of an unforeseen sudden emergency requiring immediate federal action) the Republican-led Congress can take an important first step in restoring the American people’s trust in their government. By making it absolutely clear that there will not be a lame duck session, the Republican leaders in Congress will encourage all members of Congress to complete the people’s work in an orderly manner before the elections, putting an end to the unfortunate practice of recent years of governing by manufactured “cliffs and crises” at the end of the year.

The American people want, and should have, good representation by their elected officials. The way to get good representation is by having the opportunity to hold those officials accountable. True accountability means finishing Congress’ work for the year before the November elections and not holding a lame duck session.

Respectfully,

The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Former Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan
____________________________________
The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Former White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan
__________________________________________
The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Former Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan
David Bozell
President
ForAmerica
Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Chairman
Constitutional Congress, Inc.
The Honorable Colin A. Hanna
President
Let Freedom Ring, Inc.
L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center
David Williams
President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Kevin Kookogey
President and Founder
The Advancing Church
Allen J. Hebert
Director, American Chinese Fellowship
VP, Stallion Oilfield Services
Seton Motley
President
Less Government
Belden Bell
Goldens’ Pond
Rae Bell
Co-Chair, The Legacy Society
Quin Hillyer
Veteran Conservative Columnist
Rick Manning
President
Americans for Limited Government
Adam Brandon
President & CEO
FreedomWorks
Ron Robinson
President
Young America’s Foundation
Art Ally
President
Timothy Plan Mutual Fund Family
Andrea Lafferty
President
Traditional Values Coalition
Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America
C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Susan Carleson
Chairman/CEO
ACRU
Willes K. Lee
President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Tricia Erickson
PresidentAngel Pictures & Publicity
Tom McClusky
Vice President of Government Affairs
March For Life Action
David W. Preston
Executive Director
Oklahoma Wesleyan University Foundation
Penny Pullen
President
Life Advocacy Resource Project
Mike Spence
President
Conservative Republican of California
William H. Shaker
President
American Council for Health Care Reform
Jim Martin
Founder/Chairman
60 Plus Association
George Landrith
President
Frontiers of Freedom
Bob Adams
President
Revive America PAC
Rebecca Hagelin
President and CEO, Rebecca Hagelin
Communications and Marketing, LLC
Kathleen A. Patten
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Target Advertising
Elaine Donnelly
Founder and President
Center for Military Readiness
Robert K. Fischer
Meeting Coordinator
Conservatives of Faith
Dr. Bob Reccord
Former Executive Director
Council for National Policy
Judson Phillips
Founder
Tea Party Nation
Ralph T. Hudgens
Commissioner of Insurance
State of Georgia
Floyd Brown
President
Western Center for Journalism
David N. Bossie
President
Citizens United
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
President
Center for Security Policy
Andrew C.McCarthy
Former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney
Southern District of New York
Ronald D. Rotunda
Chapman University
The Dale E. Fowler School of Law
James C. Miller III
Former Director of OMB
President Ronald Reagan
Rod D. Martin
Founder and CEO
The Martin Organization
Sherri R. Martin
The Martin Foundation
Shawn A. Mitchell
Chaplain
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Nicholas Stehle
Campaign for the American Future
Monty Warner
Plains States Legal Foundation
Steve Thrasher
Special Counsel
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Hon. Jerry Melvin
Former Dean, Florida House of Representatives
President, Florida Republican Assembly
Lee A. Beaman
Chief Executive Officer
Beaman Automotive
Peter J. Thomas
Chairman
Americans for Constitutional Liberty
Joel Anand Samy
Co-Founder and President
International Leaders Summit
Mike Hill
District 2
Florida State Representative
Herb London
President
London Center for Policy Research
Dr. Barry Creamer
President
Criswell College
Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values
Richard Falknor
Publishers
Blue Ridge Forum
Susan Falknor
Publishers
Blue Ridge Forum
Joe R. Calvert
Rabon-Calvert Interests
Kenneth Boehm
Chairman
National Legal and Policy Center
Norman Singleton
President
Campaign for Liberty
Melissa Ortiz
Founder & Principal
Able Americans
Kevin D. Freeman
NSIC Institute
Jenny Beth Martin
Co-Founder
Tea Party Patriots
Todd W. Herrick
COB
Herrick Foundation
Andresen Blom
Executive Director
Grassroot Hawaii Action, Inc.
The Honorable Steve Stockman
Former Congressman from Texas
Sandy Rios
Director of Governmental Affairs
AFA
Dr. James C. Dobson
Founder & President
Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk
Tony Saliba
CEO
Saliba Venture Management
Morton Blackwell
Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch
The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio
Lou Cordia
President
Cordia and Associates
Donna Hearne
CEO
Contstitutional Coalition
Larry Beasley
President and CEO
The Washington Times
Demos Chrissos
President
RapidResponse Media, Inc.
The Honorable General Ken Cuccinelli
President
Senate Conservatives Fund
Phillip L. Jauregui
Judicial Action Group
Taylor Budowich
Executive Director
Tea Party Express
Pete Weyrich
Conservative Activist
Sandy Froman
Treasurer Council for National Policy
Cathie Adams
Former President, Texas Eagle Forum/Former Chairman, Republican Party of Texas
Erich Pratt
Executive Director
Gun Owners of America
Allan E. Parker
President
The Justice Foundation
Dr. Richard Lee
President
There’s Hope America Broadcasting
Joseph Farah
Editor and Chief Executive Officer
WND.com, WND Books, WND Films
Russell J. Ramsland, Jr.
Founder
Park Cities/Preston Hollow Leadership Forum
R. Peter Weaver
Vice President
International Liquid Terminals Association
Tonya Tiffany
President
Maryland Citizen Action Network
Phyllis Schlafly
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Eagle Forum
Dick G. Ellis
Ft. Worth, Texas
Michael R. Long
Chairman
New York State Conservative Party
Gerrye Johnston
Founder/CEO
Women for Democracy in America, Inc.
Allan E. Parker
President
The Justice Foundation
Ellen Grigsby
Director of Institutional Partnerships
Open Doors USA