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October 19, 2020, 10:32:42 AM
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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  Presidential Election Process (Moderator: muon2)
  Lame duck session
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Author Topic: Lame duck session  (Read 907 times)
Samof94
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« on: October 10, 2020, 07:06:01 AM »

Why doesn’t an amendment pass so that the new Congress and new President are in session before Christmas??? It makes a lot more sense than having a lame duck session.
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brucejoel99
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2020, 12:03:02 PM »

Because it's never been a priority.

Also, it's not like the presidential transition period & giving a President-elect the time to prepare an administration before being inaugurated are the worst things in the world.
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politicallefty
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2020, 01:32:52 PM »

I think you read my mind or something, because I was going to make a topic about this subject. I've long thought about. It's not that it was never a priority, it just hasn't been one in a long time. The terms of offices made sense for the time when it was 1789 and the same goes for the adoption of the 20th Amendment in the 1930s. It's largely a holdover from a bygone era, but one that would require a constitutional amendment to remedy.

I can see the argument for having a longer presidential transition period, but I'd still say it should be shortened (perhaps have the new term start at midnight on New Year's Day, as many state governors already do).

The biggest problem with the lame duck period is having a Congress act after it's lost the consent of the people, often acting in contravention of the outcome of the election. In most countries, the legislature is dissolved prior to an election and the prior legislature does not have the ability to govern after an election. I would say that the new Congress should be sworn in no later than 30 days after an election. For those that wonder about slow counting in some states, California is one of the slowest states to count votes and yet the new legislature is sworn in on the first Monday in December. There is no reason why that can't be the same for Congress. (In some states, legislators assume office immediately.) If there's a national emergency, perhaps a provision can be made requiring a 2/3 majority for any action and/or an automatic sunset of anything passed in the intervening time (but completely forbidding the confirmation of any presidential nominations).
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StateBoiler
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2020, 02:20:26 PM »

1. Provides a chance to get outstanding political work from the Session done.
2. It takes a couple weeks minimum for governments to have certified election results. If you're in California, triple that. So the absolute earliest you could seat a new Congress and president would be around the time the Electoral College takes place, mid-December.
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politicallefty
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2020, 08:29:27 AM »

1. Provides a chance to get outstanding political work from the Session done.
2. It takes a couple weeks minimum for governments to have certified election results. If you're in California, triple that. So the absolute earliest you could seat a new Congress and president would be around the time the Electoral College takes place, mid-December.

If you read my post, the California Legislature takes office on the first Monday in December. There is no reason why the United States Congress cannot take office at least that soon after the election. I would agree that the transition period for a new Presidency (although not a reelected President) takes a bit longer than assembling a new Congress.
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