Harry Reid told Univision he would put forward a vote on the DREAM Act in the lame-duck session, regardless of the outcome of the midterm elections on Tuesday.
The Huffington Post confirmed Reid’s remark with a Democratic source, who said that the exact timeline hasn’t yet been worked out. The source noted that because the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution, the first order of business will likely be approving new funding, as well as approving a large number of Obama nominees who have been blocked by Republicans. But the source confirmed that Reid’s answer to Ramos on whether he will bring up the DREAM Act was an “unequivocal yes.”
Based on public promises, we already have a pretty crowded schedule for the post-midterms lame duck session. Reid filed cloture on three measures – a food safety bill, a paycheck fairness bill, and a promotion of electric and natural gas vehicles – before closing the Senate at the end of September. He and Nancy Pelosi have promised a vote on a one-time, $250 benefit for Social Security recipients who will see no cost of living adjustment this year. As noted above, there’s a continuing resolution that would either need to be updated or filled out with spending bills for government agencies, as well as Presidential nominees. That includes the defense authorization bill, which includes the legislative repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and possibly also the DREAM Act, though it’s unclear whether Reid means to bring it up within that bill or as a stand-alone measure.
That doesn’t include the Bush tax cuts, the recommendations of the deficit commission, energy-related measures including a renewable energy standard, extending expiring unemployment benefits which run out on November 30, the “doctor’s fix” on Medicare reimbursement which also runs out around that time, the START arms reduction treaty with Russia, and about a dozen other bills.
Because Congress is so speedy, especially when a substantial number of members won’t be back next year and the entire ideological makeup of the body will change, and because Republicans can simply wait until then for more favorable terms for legislation, I expect all of this to pass without delay!