National View: Congress' lame-duck session is the 'Grinch that Stole Christmas'

Special interests are attacking emergency bills with very non-emergency pork.


While Americans’ attention has been on the pandemic and election, Congress has been on an unprecedented spending binge. And it looks like the spending will continue during this post-election lame-duck session of Congress. Congress is on the naughty list.

From missing in-person schooling, friends, sports, and perhaps even seeing grandparents this holiday season, America’s children have had a hard year. Kids love this time of year, and as long as Santa doesn’t have to quarantine in between houses, Christmas should be a sweet ending to a bitter 2020.

But while Santa may save the day for America’s youth in Christmas present, the congressional Grinch is hard at work stealing their inheritance of Christmas future.

Every dollar Americans borrow today for government overspending will have to be paid off by the next generation of taxpayers. The Congressional Budget Office reported that the deficit for this past year was a record breaking $3.1 trillion — “more than triple the shortfall recorded in fiscal year 2019.”

The office estimated that legislation responding to the coronavirus pandemic cost about $2.3 trillion in new debt. When you look at government charts, you see that spending has spiked by 50% in one year while receipts have stayed relatively stable.


This was the year Congress decided to take even more in generational theft, because it steadfastly refused to find any cuts to spending to pay for pandemic-response outlays.

Expected spending in the next few weeks will keep the U.S. Treasury spending like Buddy the Elf when he got into the special syrup down in the mailroom.

The Hill reported on Dec. 2 that in addition to the spending bill it had to pass to avoid a government shutdown, “Lawmakers are also trying to strike an elusive agreement on another round of coronavirus economic relief and provide funding for vaccine distribution as well as pass an annual bill to renew defense programs.”

The coronavirus relief plan will cost between $500 billion and $2 trillion in new spending. During the next few weeks, Congress needs to make sure that non-emergent special-interest requests are not added to must-pass legislation.

The Daily Signal reported that “progressives and some Republicans are trying to sneak a bill into the National Defense Authorization Act that would impose a beneficial ownership reporting regime on small businesses.”

The legislation would create “a large compliance burden on approximately 11 million businesses with 20 or fewer employees (the only non-exempt category) and would create as many as a million inadvertent felons.”

Sure, just what our small businesses need, this of all years. This is to be attached to the National Defense Authorization Act even though it clearly is not an emergency — nor does it have anything to do with defense policy.

Another special-interest favor is one being pushed for the optometrists’ lobby. Senate Commerce Committee put a contact lens bill on the agenda that reverses a Federal Trade Commission rule that protects access to patients’ contact lens prescriptions.


Don’t be surprised if a member tries to sneak this legislation onto the National Defense Authorization Act, too, or the coronavirus pandemic legislation.

If a coronavirus relief package is considered, expect Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to push for provisions in the House-passed $2 trillion HEROES Act. Forbes reported that “the 50 richest places in the country received $350 million in bailouts” in the Pelosi bill.

The biggest lumps of coal go to the members of Congress who think it’s a good idea to borrow money for the purposes of subsidizing the richest cities in America, including Atherton, California, with an average income of $525,324 a year with median home prices at $7.5 million.

This is merely a small sample of what we will end up seeing if these bills pass. And what’s terrifying is we won’t not know what is in them until they are signed into law.

Cronyism is alive and well in Washington, D.C., and this seems like a bonanza for the K Street lobby.

Lane Koch of Chesterfield, Missouri, is a former congressional staffer and a Republican strategist specializing in grassroots voter contact. She wrote this originally for

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Lane Koch

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