Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz differ on lame-duck activity

Cruz and Lee, who led the charge for defunding Obamacare during last year’s government shutdown, said that they fear ousted lawmakers will vote for “partisan, unpopular bills” that they would never consider before an election. They warned that a lame duck Congress might raise taxes or pass immigration reform without the threat of November hanging over their heads.

But McConnell doesn’t see it that way. The lame duck agenda will be largely dependent on which party is controlling the Senate — so he declined to commit support to specific measures other than an extension of tax breaks for individuals and businesses. But he hinted there is likely to be significant legislation after the election — which includes his own contest against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky.

“We have to get to the lame duck before we decide what’s possible,” McConnell said. “Hopefully we can agree to do some things together that need addressing. The extender package I think is one of them. And we’ll talk about how to put that together once we’ve got the election behind us and while we’re talking about what to do for the balance of the year.”