Democratic leaders were first planning to adjourn last Friday. Then it got moved up to yesterday for the House. Now that target date is moving into October, as Congress tries to deal with the Wall Street bailout.
In the good ole days, the Election Year target date for a Congressional adjournment was around Columbus Day. At a minimum, lawmakers could be pretty much assured that they could head home by then to campaign.
If they had to come back for a lame duck session – which happened fairly regularly in the last 20 years – they could do that too.
Democrats had hoped to avoid all of that. They wanted out early, after only three weeks of post-Labor Day work.
They wanted no part of being in session in October.
And they wanted to no part of any lame duck session.
I’m starting to wonder whether they may be in for both of those. October is a gimme at this point, as there is no way they can strike a deal today on a Wall Street bailout.
I would bet that lawmakers are watching college and pro football games in their offices and the cloakrooms this coming weekend, waiting on a deal to be worked out.
The lame duck session could become a reality as well, especially if the markets continue to tank and there’s not much that works to rein in the declines.
We ask the $64,000 question at this point in the debate, which is always this: Which party does this help or hurt?
I still say the party in power in the White House gets the blame most of the time. We’ll see if the GOP can hand off any of that voter angst to the Democrats this year.