What Is Lame Duck and What Can We Expect from Congress?

What Is Lame Duck and What Can We Expect from Congress?


Now that the 2018 midterm elections are over, advocates across the country are gearing up to engage with incumbents and newly-elected members of Congress on global poverty issues.

It is especially critical to engage with members during the lame duck session, which refers to the time that Congress is in session between an election and the start of the new Congress. During a lame duck session – especially ones when one party is conceding control of power to another – several legislative priorities are pushed through in a short amount of time. As of now, the current 115th Congress is scheduled to be in session until December 14, but this is likely to change based on how quickly they move through their legislative agenda. Congress has a full agenda in the lame duck and it is anticipated that they will address everything from the Farm Bill to criminal justice reform.

Which of CARE’s issues will be taken up during lame duck?

CARE anticipates that this Congress will take up the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act and the International Affairs Budget during lame duck.

Our advocates have made great strides elevating women’s economic empowerment with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, helping to pass legislation in the House of Representatives and securing cosponsors for the Senate bill. When the Senate is back in session, it will be crucial that they pass this bipartisan legislation that lifts barriers to women’s economic potential worldwide.   

Additionally, Congress will have lengthy budget discussions to decide whether to sustain and protect the International Affairs Budget in fiscal year 2019 at a minimum of $59.1 billion. This funding is imperative to saving lives and combating poverty around the globe, especially as humanitarian needs continue to grow due to conflict and violence. The Trump administration has repeatedly proposed cuts to U.S. foreign assistance, which could have life and death consequences.

Daily life in Kagadama, a village CARE began it’s pilot saving’s and loan program over 25 year-ago. CARE's cholera response in Grande Anse is financed by USAID.

What can you do now?

CARE Action advocates pose in front of the U.S. Capitol at the CARE National Conference. While incumbents are focused on the work of the lame duck, newly-elected members are transitioning to Washington and forging new relationships. It’s important for them to hear from their new constituents, YOU, on issues that affect women and girls globally.

Want more information about getting involved locally and using your voice for global change? Sign up with CARE Action today for breaking alerts sent directly to your inbox when your voice is needed. Learn more about getting involved post-elections here.

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