What’s a lame duck, and what does it have to do with Congress?

Posted on Nov 9, 2012

We’ll have some political lame ducks this year, and Congress will convene a lame duck session after the November election. A quick reminder about lame ducks: A member of Congress who lost his or her bid for reelection in November 2012 will still be in Congress until January 2013. Because the individual will not be in the new 2013 Congress, he or she is considered a lame duck lawmaker (with less influence than those who will sit in the new Congress).

A lame duck session of Congress occurs in even-numbered years following the midterm elections held in November. Congress is reconvened after the election to complete whatever unfinished business remains for the year. Because some of the members failed in their reelection bids and will be out of Congress in January, they are lame ducks and the session is called a lame duck session.

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