Congress Gets Back to Work


Capitol Hill is overflowing with lawmakers this week. More than 100 newly elected congressmen and senators are in town for freshman orientation while Congress is back for its lame duck session.

Lawmakers have seven weeks to act before taxes go up for millions of Americans. Temporary tax cuts put in place by the Bush administration are set to expire.

“We are in the midst of the greatest recession in the history of this country since the Great Depression,” Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, told Meet the Press. “It is not the time to raise anyone's taxes.”

Just about everyone favors extending the cuts for lower and middle income taxpayers, but the Obama administration and Republicans are at odds about extending them for individuals making more than $200,000 a year.

"We can't afford to borrow another 700 billion dollars for tax cuts that are almost entirely gonna go to millionaires and billionaires,” said White House Advisor David Axelrod. “We just don't have that money.”

President Obama has hinted he may be open to a compromise. He meets with Democratic and GOP leaders this week to see if they can find common ground.

As lawmakers return to Washington for the lame duck session, more than 100 mostly Republican freshmen are in town for orientation. It's the largest incoming class in the House in more than 60 years.

They've been collecting their laptops, checking out their new offices and learning the lay of the land on Capitol Hill. The lawmakers all know what voters want.

“Well, we just want to talk about the economy and what it takes to get jobs back in America,” said Georgia’s congressman-elect Austin Scott.

Both sides will have to work together to get things done. Republicans will control the House while the Democrats still have a majority in the Senate.

Ohio congressmen John Boehner is expected to be the next House speaker, while Nevada Senator Harry Reid will likely continue to as majority leader.

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