Congress returns today with a full plate and limited time. Top priority is funding the government by the Dec. 11 deadline to avert a shutdown. But angry Republicans have vowed a showdown following President Barack Obama’s recent action on immigration. Just before Thanksgiving, Congress came close to agreement on another pressing matter: expiring tax breaks. But the President threatened to veto the deal for failing to help the working class. Now with only 10 days left to resolve this and other issues, many are wondering what the tail end of the lame-duck Congress could mean for the economy moving into the new year. What’s at stake in the remaining days of the lame-duck Congress.


  • Alice Rivlin Senior fellow, Brookings Institution, vice chair, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (1996-99); director, White House Office of Management and Budget (1994-96); and founding director, Congressional Budget Office (1975-83).
  • Norman Ornstein Resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute; co-author with Thomas Mann of, "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism."
  • Jonathan Weisman Economic policy reporter, The New York Times. Former congressional reporter.

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