Which Lame Duck Legislation Would the President Approve Of? Today’s Q’s for O’s WH – 10/4/2010

By Josh

Oct 4, 2010 2:08pm

TAPPER:  There's been a lot of talk about what kind of legislation the Congress might consider after the elections during the lame-duck session.  And I'm wondering if the president would have any problem with any specific legislation passed in lame-duck. For instance, would he be concerned at all if an energy bill — a major energy bill, were passed, finalized in a lame-duck? Would he be concerned at all about a major immigration bill passed, finalized, sent to his desk from lame-duck?

GIBBS:  Well, it's hard to know what that would mean based on — we obviously need to look…

TAPPER:  I mean as a philosophical concept, not — I'm not asking you to sign off on legislation.

GIBBS:  I would just say this.  There are obviously — and I mentioned this last week — here, there are a number of important things that need to — that continue to need to be done that didn't get done at the end of the regular legislative session. We've got a START treaty that we believe needs to be ratified through the Senate. Obviously, a fairly large tax debate is going to have to be settled before the end of the year. We have the reauthorization of the children's nutrition program. There are a whole host of judgeships that have languished for far too long.  And I anticipate that we'll have a new budget director that will be confirmed by the — by the full Senate. So there are a number of things that certainly have to be done. I can't look into my crystal ball in terms of what you said. Obviously, the president continues to believe that energy and immigration are tremendously important priorities.

TAPPER:  But would they be important — let's specifically talk about energy and immigration, because they're obviously — it's vast, bold legislation, it's controversial legislation, it's legislation that there have been problems with introducing during the Congress. Does the president think that because they are so big that they should be considered by the next Congress or would he be OK philosophically with immigration or energy being addressed by a lame- duck Congress?

GIBBS:  Again, it's hard to get around the hypothetical. Obviously, these are issues that — look, let's take immigration. I think the president has been very clear that — and the courts in many ways upheld that we can't have a patchwork of immigration laws for every state in the country or every border state in the country, that that just doesn't make a lot of sense. Obviously, the president was supportive of the Senate taking up and passing the DREAM Act before — before Congress adjourned, and that obviously didn't happen. We are — we continue to look for ways to work with Democrats and Republicans to move forward on immigration.

TAPPER: OK. Thank you.

-Jake Tapper

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