Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heard on the Hill- ‘Lame Duck’ Session

With Election Day just around the corner, you are likely hearing political pundits talking about the “lame duck” session that will follow the elections. But what exactly is a “lame duck” session?

“Lame duck” sessions occur when Congress reconvenes in an even-numbered year following the November general elections. Some lawmakers who return for this session will not hold a seat in the next Congress, therefore, they are informally called "lame ducks".

This year, the “lame duck” session convenes on November 15th. That means lawmakers will have about six weeks to pass legislation before the session ends in December. Any bill that is still pending at the end of a congressional session dies, forcing lawmakers to start from scratch, reintroducing it at the start of a new two-year term, which begins in January.

The American Heart Association will be particularly focused on moving the HEART for Women Act through the Senate and the Child Nutrition Act through the House during the "lame duck" session to complete the work on those bills. We'll be calling on advocates like you to push Members to act before time runs out.

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